Khaled Hosseini recaptures the beauty of Afghanistan, and in particular the city of Kabul, in this novel. He follows the journey of two young women who are forced into oppressed lives, while highlighting their resilience throughout their ordeals: a reminder of the spirit of the women of Afghanistan, in spite of those who try to strip them of their dignity.
Symbols in A Thousand Splendid Suns - Symbols, Themes, and Motifs in A Thousand Splendid Suns
THE BAMIYAN BUDDHAS
The title is based on poet Saib Tabrizi’s poem “Kabul.” His poem is a love song to the city of Kabul, the same city where Laila and Mariam form their bond, and the city that, while ravaged by war, pulls Laila back to help rebuild. It becomes a symbol of hope for a new start for Afghanistan.
Mariam decides that she wants Jalil to take her to see Pinocchio for her 15th birthday. Later, Jalil waits outside of Mariam’s house, but she refuses to see him. Laila later receives what he was trying to give to Mariam: a box with an apology letter, money, and a copy of Pinocchio.
Mariam begins to see Laila in a new light when she intervenes during Rasheed’s beating. Their truce leads Laila to ask Mariam to have a cup of chai in the yard. Mariam insists that she has chores so she can’t stay for long, but one cup turns into three, until Rasheed yells for Laila, and the two women exchange knowing looks. They were not enemies any longer.
The Buddhas were once part of a thriving Buddhist center. They are carved into the mountainside, and have thousands of caves behind them. Here, Laila sees the love that Babi has for Mammy. The Buddhas were destroyed by the Taliban in 2001.