Female Protagonists: “A Thousand Splendid Suns” by Khaled Hosseini

Hey guys!

I am so excited for our second topic, as it involves one of my favourite things: BOOKS. We decided as a group to discuss powerful female protagonists from TV shows, books, films, comics… anything, so I have gone for the two protagonists from one of my all-time favourite books, “A Thousand Splendid Suns” by Khaled Hosseini.

Image sourced from Google Images.

Image sourced from Google Images.

Hosseini is the author of the critically acclaimed “The Kite Runner”, but I prefer his second novel “A Thousand Splendid Suns”. It follows the lives of two Afghan women, Mariam and Laila. The first half of the book is predominantly from Mariam’s point of view, as she is the older of the two protagonists, and from her view we are eventually introduced to Laila, and her side of the story.

I have a bit of an interest in Afghan culture, simply because it is so different from the culture I have grown up in. The reason I have chosen “A Thousand Splendid Suns” is because Hosseini has given a voice to Afghan women, when they would normally be silent. I think this links perfectly with the whole idea of feminism and equality, because even though the Afghan culture is different to Western ideas, I still don’t think it’s a good enough reason for women to be so oppressed.

In the book, Mariam and Laila end up marrying the same, abusive husband. Although they have a limited amount of freedom, I still think that they show their power and strength as people because it shows how women have to survive in a male-dominated society. This book is really quite sad, mainly because of the themes, but also because before writing it, Hosseini went to Afghanistan and interviewed women and witnessed what it was really like for them, and you can see this in how he has constructed the story and the plot.

I have chosen to write about Mariam and Laila because I think it gives the reader hope. Hope that even in the darkest times, things can get better, and there is a light at the end of the tunnel. (Sorry about the cliche!) If you haven’t read “A Thousand Splendid Suns” I really strongly recommend it, because it is such a fantastic read, and it’s so emotional, and it’s clever, and real… It’s everything you’d want from a book.

-The Storyteller

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