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What are the psychological impacts of wearing a burqa for both Mariam and Laila in A...

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machtau | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 20, 2009 at 11:46 AM via web

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What are the psychological impacts of wearing a burqa for both Mariam and Laila in A Thousand Splendid Suns?

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scarletpimpernel | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted December 22, 2009 at 12:06 PM (Answer #1)

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The women's responses to being forced to wear burqas demonstrate their self-image.  Mariam doesn't mind wearing the burqa--it provides security for her, especially since she does not view herself as worthy or attractive.  The burqa allows her to hide; so psychologically it furthers Mariam's poor self-image and her desire and ability to continue her hiding.

In contrast, Laila has always had positive reactions to her physical appearance, respect from her family members as a female, and a healthy sense of independence.  When she is forced to wear a burqa by her abusive husband, she bristles and begins to lose some of her confident, positive self-image.

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