What does Mariam learn about victimhood?
In Khaled Hosseini's book, A Thousand Splendid Suns, Mariam learns about being a victim very early. She waited while living with her mother and looked forward to the day when she would live with her father and be able to be part of his other wives and her sister's lives. When she finally went to him, she was rejected. He finally decides the best thing to do about her is to marry her to a man.
Mariam's first victim-hood occurs because she is a bastard child of her fathers. She has no real name nor acceptance by society because of her birth circumstances. In addition, because she is a female she has no power over the decision of her marriage and is a victim again. Once she marries she is forced to cover herself and reveal herself only to her husband. After she is married, she experiences a brief period of tranquility when Rasheed learns she is pregnant, but this changes after she loses the child.
Mariam is victimized by her husband who owns her and can treat her as he likes. He brutally beats her, brings another woman into their lives and constantly insults Mariam. She finds some peace in her relationship with Rasheed's next wife and children. However, to protect them she gives her own life. Her life has been one of victim-hood because her destiny was never in her own hands but at the mercy of men.