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What are two important symbols and their significance in "A Thousand Splendid Suns"?

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cariito | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 7, 2009 at 11:33 AM via web

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What are two important symbols and their significance in "A Thousand Splendid Suns"?

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mkcapen1 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted April 5, 2010 at 9:35 PM (Answer #1)

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In the book A Thousand Splendid Suns Mariam is a little girl who lives with her mother in a kolba.   A kolbais a very small mud house.  The kolba is a symbol of the entrapment and poverty that Mariam will experience for all of her life.  It is a home for her as a child, but it is also a prison.  She is a child born out of wedlock which places her in a terrible status and kept there away from others.

Another symbol in the story is the burqua.  Mariam nor Laila had to wear one before, but when they become Rasheed's wives he makes them wear one when they go into the community.  For the women it is again a symbol of entrapment.  It also symbolizes their loss of identity in their marriage and later when the Taliban control the community.

The burqua is also a symbol of hiding for both women.  When they appear in public they are able to look around and not have to smile or show expressions that they do not feel.

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