Homework Help

How is the novel, A Thousand Spledid Suns by Khaled Hosseini, a feminist...

user profile pic

india123 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 8, 2010 at 12:22 AM via web

dislike 2 like

How is the novel, A Thousand Spledid Suns by Khaled Hosseini, a feminist novel?

i need four points to proove it...i have 2:

i.) before Taliban were here the women were given the right to get educated, however after the talibans the women were not allowed to be educated.

ii.) when Hakim tells Laila that she was lucky to be born there because she was allowed to get educated..n told her that her first thing shld be to get high education..

i need help to find 2 more points...

PLZZZ some1 help me out to find 2 more point...can u tell me if these two points are okay in prooving that the book is faminist.

2 Answers | Add Yours

user profile pic

lmarshall09 | Elementary School Teacher | eNoter

Posted November 8, 2010 at 1:03 AM (Answer #1)

dislike 1 like

Hello!

A Thousand Splendid Suns can be examined as a feminist novel not in that it actively speaks out against the subjugation of women in Afghanistan, but in that it describes the horrors inflicted on women through the two main characters, thus inciting a feminist reaction from the reader.

For your essay, here are some points found within the pages of the novel to prove your thesis:

1. Education, or lack there of for women, could be used as one point. You can use many instances in the novel where this shows up to prove that point.

2. Women are forbidden to leave their homes unless accompanied by a male relative. When the main characters of this novel leave their home together and are sent back, they are beaten and threatened with worse punishment if they do it again.

3. Women are forbidden to show their faces. They are required to wear a burqa in public at all times. They are not even allowed to laugh in public. The punishment for breaking these rules is also beatings.

4. The most important point you can make and should save for last is the fact that in Afghanistan, women's rights under the law are non-existant. A man has the right to punish the women of his household how he sees fit without any interference from the law. The perfect example of this in the novel is when Laila speaks to an officer about returning home, and asks if he will protect her from her husband:

He responds: "As a matter of policy, we do not interfere with private family matters, hamshira."

"Of course you don't. When it benefits the man. And isn't this a 'private family matter,' as you say? Isn't it?"

Hope this helps!

user profile pic

cetaylorplfd | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted July 23, 2011 at 9:02 PM (Answer #2)

dislike 1 like

In addition to the above response, consider also the bonds that develop between the two female protagonists Laila and Mariam and how that bond enables the women to survive.  When it becomes clear that Rasheed has taken Laila into the home in order to make her his second wife, Mariam is angry because she has given her life to Rasheed; Laila is also not happy with the situation but feels that she has no other alternative given that her parents have been killed.  The two women try to avoid each other during the day, but eventually when Rasheed turns violent towards them both, Laila and Mariam forge a bond around their shared suffering.  Soon Laila's daughter Aziza is also part of this bond, as Rasheed hates the child and Aziza grows particularly fond of Mariam. 

Towards the end of the novel, Mariam tells the judge that she killed Rasheed to save Laila's life, and she understands the grave consequences that will come from the killing.  Mariam has made Laila and the children run away so that they can find a better life, and she willingly takes responsibility for killing Rasheed.  Laila understands Mariam's sacrifice, and when she finds out that she is again pregnant, she decides to name the baby after Mariam if it is a girl.  This intense bond between the two women is another example that supports the novel as a feminist novel--women forming bonds that bolster their identity and allow them to survive.

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes