Mariam's mother: "Women like us. We endure. It's all we have." How is this true for women in A Thousand Splendid Suns Afghanistan?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Nana is probably the most pessimistic woman in the novel A Thousand Splendid Suns, but her statement does ring true concerning the plight of the female in Afghanistan. In Nana's case, she was a single mother who was left alone with her child in an out-of-the way hut by the man who impregnated her. Uneducated, as are most women in Afghanistan, she had no prospects and nothing to love aside from her daughter, Mariam. When Nana found that Mariam had gone to visit her father, she hanged herself, since, in her mind, there was nothing else worth living for. Her life was simply one of surviving--enduring--the hardships of life in a country where women's rights were few. Mariam and Laila also sufferered similar existences during their life with Rasheed; wearing the burka and being forced into marriage were just two of their indignities. As do many conservative Afghan men, Rasheed insisted that his two wives obey him completely, and brutality was usually his answer to any of their transgressions. Afghani law, which allows women few equal rights with men, supported his actions. In such a repressive society, there was little else for the women to do but obey their husband and take life one unhappy day at a time.

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A Thousand Splendid Suns

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