In A Thousand Splendid Suns, Mariam's and Laila's friendship inspires them to fight back against a very challenging situation.
Mariam and Laila suffer mightily under the oppression in their daily lives. Under the Taliban, submission and silence are common reactions to such overwhelming difficulty. People suffer in silence because they do not believe their situation is going to change.
However, the friendship between Mariam and Laila is transformative. Both women recognize the possibility of restorative hope because of their friendship. We see the transformative power of this friendship at different points. For example, Mariam is profoundly impacted when Aziza, Laila's daughter, is born:
As soon as she was in Mariam's arms, Aziza's thumb shot into her mouth and she buried her face in Mariam's neck. […] Mariam had never before been wanted like this. Love had never been declared to her so guilelessly, so unreserved.
Aziza's love strengthens the bond between Mariam and Laila. This bond...
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