A Thousand Splendid Suns Questions and Answers
by Khaled Hosseini

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What are some of Mariam's motivations and goals in A Thousand Splendid Suns?

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Mariam's motivations and goals change a bit over the course of her life. As a child, her primary goal is to earn the affection and attention of her father. She lives with her mother (Nana), a woman who conceived a child with the powerful Jalil. He, however, has a few wives and Nana is not in a high enough class to become one of them. Therefore, Mariam takes her mother for granted and always seeks her father's approval. She cherishes the little bit of time he spends with her and eventually tries to run away from home to live with him instead. This results in her mother's suicide, Mariam's uncomfortable temporary life with Jalil's family, and her rushed marriage to Rasheed, a much older widower who has a shoe shop.

When she is married to Rasheed, Mariam's main goal is to stay out of his way and avoid abuse. However, she must learn to cook for him and clean the home to his standards. She has to master...

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