A Thousand Splendid Suns Questions and Answers
by Khaled Hosseini

A Thousand Splendid Suns book cover
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What are some examples of irony (verbal, dramatic, or situational) in A Thousand Splendid Suns?

Examples of irony in Thousand Splendid Suns include when Laila tells Tariq that she will not cry over him in a thousand years (verbal irony), when Rasheed tells Laila that he would rather sleep alone (dramatic irony), and when Mariam marries out of convenience but learns that her lover is still alive (situational irony).

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There are many examples of irony—verbal, dramatic, and situational—in Khaled Hosseini's A Thousand Splendid Suns.

The first category of irony is verbal, which occurs when a character says one thing but means another. For example, when Jalil’s wife, Afsoon, tells Mariam they have good news for her—that they have found her a husband—it is actually good news for them but bad news for her. It is verbal irony when a character protests too much. When Laila tells Tariq she won’t cry over him in a thousand years, they both know otherwise. When they watch a romantic wedding scene, they say, “I’m never getting married” and “Weddings are stupid” when in fact they both desire a wedding. Sarcasm is another venue of verbal irony. A shopkeeper assures Rasheed that an item is valuable, and Rasheed replies, “And I’m Moshe Dayan” (in reference to the famous Israeli statesman).

When irony is dramatic , readers know something the characters don't know. There are several scenes of...

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mkcapen1 | Student

In the beginning of the book Mariam sees her mother as the one who ells lies and she believes her father is noble.  She runs away from her mother to go to her father.  The irony is that her mother had been right all along but when Mariam returns it is too late to tell her mother.  Her mother has killed herself.

Another irony is when she marries Rasheed.  He acts like he is so worried about her purity and that she needs to wear a burqua. However, he himself hides dirty magazines of women who are someones sisters or wives.

Another irony is that Mariam hates that her husband has married Laila.  Yet, she is relieved that she no longer has to have physical relationships with him.  Laila also brings joy into her life and the first person who has really loved her in a gentle and kid way.