When did Tariq lose his leg?

Tariq lost his leg to a landmine when he was a child.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In A Thousand Splendid Suns , Tariq is presented as a kind, moral, compassionate, selfless and occasionally playful man who has a physical disability—he has only one leg. As the story progresses, we learn that when Tariq was very young, he accidentally stepped on a landmine. This blew off his...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

In A Thousand Splendid Suns, Tariq is presented as a kind, moral, compassionate, selfless and occasionally playful man who has a physical disability—he has only one leg. As the story progresses, we learn that when Tariq was very young, he accidentally stepped on a landmine. This blew off his leg, which is when the Red Cross gave him a prosthetic one. When Tariq goes to Ghazni once again, Laila begins to worry about him and thinks that he might've stepped on a landmine again and ended up getting hurt, or worse—dying, because he hasn't contacted her in weeks. Thankfully, a few days later she hears from him and is reassured that's he's well.

Laila found herself caught in a net of terrible thoughts. A landmine had gotten to him again. The way it did in 1981, when he was only five, the last time his parents took him south to Ghazni. This was shortly after Laila's third birthday. He'd been lucky that time, losing only a leg; luck that he'd survived at all.

Tariq grew up in a very supportive and loving family; his parents were always there for him and helped him accept his injury, and he has absolutely no shame about his disability, nor does he see it as a weakness or a hindrance. In fact, when Laila is bullied by some boys in their neighborhood, Tariq removes his prosthetic leg and tries to beat the boys with it, defending her.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on