A Thousand Splendid Suns features examples of situational irony, in which the outcome is different from what is originally intended. One example of situational irony is Rasheed's marriage to Laila. Rasheed marries Laila because she is young, and he wants her to give birth to a son. Instead, she gives birth to a daughter (who is not really Rasheed's child), and Rasheed turns abusive towards her. While Mariam initially disliked Rasheed's marriage to Laila, the two women become intense friends because they are both abused by Rasheed. Later, Mariam kills Rasheed, which allows Laila and her true love, Tariq, to escape to a better life.
Another example of situational irony is what happens to the package that Jalil, Mariam's father, had left for her when she was young. It contained money and a tape of the movie Pinocchio (the movie she had hoped to see at his cinema when she was a teenager). Jalil later was remorseful about marrying off Mariam to Rasheed. Laila decides to use the money to start an orphanage. Ultimately, the money Jalil left helps children, but it is too late to help Mariam, who has been executed for the murder of the devilish Rasheed.
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.