A thousand Splendid Suns

Essay by pamie08High School, 11th grade November 2008

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In the novel A Thousand Splendid Suns, the protagonist, Mariam also undergoes a positive change of self. This change is also similarly a positive and uplifting change. Mariam personality shifts from being one that lacks self esteem, confidence and courage, similarly to Amir at a younger age; to one with courage, confidence, strength and heroism, similarly to Amir in his older age. This is change is due to a significant individual in Mariam's life, Laila, who inspires and encourages her greatly to achieve this change. Her original personality is exemplified in the fact that Mariam lives in fear of Rasheed, "his shifting moods, his volatile temperament, his insistence on steering even mundane exchanges down a confrontational path that, on occasion, he would resolve with punches, slaps, kicks, and sometimes try to make amends for with polluted apologies and sometimes not." The listing of Rasheed's personality traits emphasises Mariam's fear of him and the constant abuse that she deals with.

Rasheed's power is shown in the words "sometimes not" emphasising that she means nothing to him, contributing to her low self esteem. Her change in self is evident towards the end of the novel were we see a final change of self in Mariam. She decided for the first time in her life to do something that no one has told her or forced her to do. "She turned it so the sharp edge was vertical, and, as she did, it occurred to her that this was the first time that she was deciding the course of her own life… Mariam brought down the shove… she gave it everything she had", exemplifies that Mariam has finally achieved the confidence, strength, courage and heroism that she had lacked before through the words "everything she had", "deciding", "first" and "she".

Novel: Khaled Hosseini, A Thousand Splendid Suns (2007)