A Thousand Splendid Suns

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  • Soon after her parents death, Laila is forced to become the second wife of a man named Rasheed in order to survive. This scene basically represents a power move from Rasheed. He ties each other's honor together and then claims that it's up to him to guard it. He has taken ownership over Laila as a person and further highlights the main idea of sexism in the book.
  • "No matter. The point is that I am your husband now and it falls to me to guard not only your honor but ours. That is a husband's burden." (3.31.11)
  • "You try this again and I will find you... And when I do there isn't a court in this godforsaken country that will hold me accountable for what I will do!" (3.36.147)
  • Laila was disgusted with herself for marrying Rasheed, so she tried to run away. However, the government caught her fleeing and returned her to Rasheed. This emphasizes the power that men have over women in this society. It is worth noting, though, that this abuse would not be possible if the government didn't support men's "right" to punish them.
  • "Marco Polo Restaurant, near Chicken Street, had been turned into an interrogation room. Sometimes screaming was heard from behind its black painted windows." (3.38.3)
  • Women were not the only ones who live in fear in the tumultuous society of Afghanistan. Laila's first "love" was said to have been tortured and almost killed by "police". Everyone sans the Taliban themselves lived in fear of an abusive, powerful government. Even minor crimes could cost you your life in a society deprived of equality and ruled by "patriarchal theocracy".
  • AHHHHH! HELLPPP! I can't bear it anymore.
  • As the Taliban's grip on society tightened, women like Mariam (Rasheed's first wife) and Laila were subjected to a world of abuse and unfairness. This new rule enacted by the Taliban embodies their abuse of power. They are so obsessed in wielding authority over women that they relegate them to an understaffed and under-resourced facility. It was almost a death sentence in disguise.
  • "Mariam had heard about the announcement, that men and women would be seen in different hospitals and that all female staff would be discharge from Kabul's hospitals and send to work in a central facility." (3.39.7)
  • '"They want us to operate in Burqas," the doctor explained motioning with her arm to the nurse at the door. "She keeps watch. She sees them coming; I cover."' (3.39.77)
  • Seeking to further abuse women, the Taliban enacted new laws to make their lives harder. However, some women like this doctor became becomes of hope in a lackluster society. The doctor's resoluteness in the face of oppression was an inspiration to many. Most importantantly, it served as a condemnation of the Taliban's ridiculous laws and abusive power.
  • Towards the end of the chapter, Mariam is subjected to execution by a Taliban member for killing Rasheed. Before killing Mariam, the executioner made it clear that in his eyes women were almost half-people. What is truly sad is that this behavior has been a common trend among the powerful thoughout human history, Too often do poerful individuals dehumanize their victims in order to break their morale. These Taliban are no different. Nonetheless, women's morale was never broken and managed to resist the Taliban's aggressive tactics.
  • "God has made us differently, you women and us men. our brains are different... This is why we require only one male witness but two female ones." (3.47.21)
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