Thousand Splendid Suns

Sangita Karki By Sangita Karki, 29th Sep 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Reviews>Books>Dramatic Fiction

“A man's heart is a wretched, wretched thing. It isn't like a mother's womb. It won't bleed. It won't stretch to make room for you.”

Thousand Splendid Sun

Following the debut of his first best-selling novel The Kite Runner, which presents the story of a friendship of two Afghan boys, the bond between fathers and sons, and a betrayal and redemption during the time of great turmoil in Afghanistan, Khaled Hosseini takes the readers back to Afghanistan once again through the heart breaking stories of three Afghani women who were trapped in the male dominated society in the novel A Thousand Splendid Suns. "Khaled Hosseini's A Thousand Splendid Sons became a national bestseller soon after it was released in 2008”. The author takes the novel’s title from a poem about Kabul, translated from Farsi by Dr. Josephine Davis and written by Saib-e-Tabrizi, a seventeenth-century Persian poet who wrote it after a visit to the city that left him deeply impressed. The novel is set against the volatile events of Afghanistan’s last thirty years—from the Soviet invasion to the reign of the Taliban to the post-Taliban rebuilding, which reveals the real situation of Afghani women who have to endure the brutality of men for living their lives.
The novel basically split into four parts. First part discuses about the early lives of one of the main women character, Mariam. Mariam- a daughter of wealthy businessman but often is known as “Harami” because she was the illegitimate daughter of Jalil and Nana—lives in Kolba on the outskirts of Heart with her mother, Nana. Her fate made her to lose her mother when she was 15 and after her mother’s death her father and three step mother force her to marry a shoemaker from Kabul who was thirty older than her. Then Mariam miserable life starts.
The second part of the story focuses on the life of Laila, another main woman character in the novel. She was born in an educated and liberal family, and was the loveliest child of her father. But for her mother she was “no better than pots and pans, something that could go neglected, then laid claim to, at will, whenever the mood struck” (Hosseini 2007: 160). Gradually, the novel increases describing her fate, where she became close with her only boyfriend Tariq, had sexual relationship with him and at the day of their departure (her and her parents due to the internal conflict in the country) to Pakistan she lost her parents in the bomb attack.
Then the third parts of the novel shows how the life of Laila mingles with the miserable life of Mariam and how both of them fight to live their lives on strict patriarchy and chaos situation of the country.
Overall, in A Thousand Splendid Suns, Khaled Hosseini paints of a patriarchal society where women’s freedom to education, work and take decision for themselves are overshadowed by Afghani men. In addition, Hosseini points out that in various ways the family’s and society’s beliefs and the government’s laws are giving men legitimate power over women. As a result of men’s authority, three different women are sexually, emotionally and physically abused in the household and in the broader society. The author also clarifies that women suffer deeply and are oppressed because of their gender identity. Ultimately, men are the privileged group in the society where they have right to control over women in a way that legitimizes masculine power.

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Book Review, Novel

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Comments

author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
29th Sep 2012 (#)

Nice review. Thanks Sangita, It is indeed very sad that even in modern society women are taken advantage of, denied basic rights and freedom. This is a blot on humanity. If any religion says they are inferior to men, then it should be rejected - siva

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author avatar Sangita Karki
29th Sep 2012 (#)

I think no religion says women are inferior to men but it is the people who misread and misinterpreted the words from the religious books to take more benifits...

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author avatar Sangita Karki
29th Sep 2012 (#)

I think no religion says women are inferior to men but it is the people who misread and misinterpreted the words from the religious books to take more benifits...

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author avatar Sangita Karki
29th Sep 2012 (#)

Thank you Shiva ji for your wonderful thoughts :)

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
29th Sep 2012 (#)

We need to fight for justice and basics remain the same. Sadly, few dictate over the silent majority and soon their words are taken as the law! We should resist the tyranny of the minority. Good share, Sangita - siva

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author avatar Seema
2nd Oct 2012 (#)

Interesting Review.

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author avatar Retired
3rd Oct 2012 (#)

Informing article. It is sad that women in other countries are treated so unfair.

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author avatar Sabita
4th Oct 2012 (#)

great post.

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author avatar Lovelythoughts
4th Oct 2012 (#)

“One could not count the moons that shimmer on her roofs,or the thousand splendid suns that hide behind her walls.”
― Khaled Hosseini, A Thousand Splendid Suns

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author avatar Sweetgirl
4th Oct 2012 (#)

beautiful post

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author avatar Sanu Shrestha
6th Oct 2012 (#)

Beautiful post Sangita!

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author avatar Maharjan.S
6th Oct 2012 (#)

Beautifully composed

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author avatar Ms. Christina
6th Oct 2012 (#)

Interesting. Thank you for sharing.

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author avatar vpaulose
10th Oct 2012 (#)

Nice, thanks.

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