In the story, Mariam is indeed a figure of sacrifice. Here is one quote that demonstrates this:
She could feel his hand working at his belt, at the drawstring of her trousers. Her own hands clenched the sheets in fistfuls. He rolled on top of her, wriggled and shifted, and she let out a whimper. Mariam closed her eyes, gritted her teeth. The pain was sudden and astonishing. Her eyes sprang open. She sucked air through her teeth and bit on the knuckle of her thumb.
Here, Mariam's meek submission to Rasheed leads to physical injury. Essentially, Mariam sacrifices her feelings for Rasheed's selfish pleasure. She does this not because of a misguided desire to please her husband but because society demands her obedience to her husband. For a woman such as Mariam, there is no recourse to justice.
For her, all these months later, their coupling was still an exercise in tolerating pain. His appetite, on the other hand, was fierce, sometimes bordering on the violent.
The above quote demonstrates...
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