A Thousand Splendid Suns

Essay by ashawHigh School, 10th gradeA-, September 2014

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A Thousand Splendid Suns

By Khaled Hosseini

"One could not count the moons that shimmer on her roofs, or the thousand splendid suns that hide behind her walls." Khaled Hosseini tells an empowering story about life in Afghanistan from early 1960s to early 2000s. Hosseini portrays the history of the era through the eyes of Afghan people, in their simple ordinary lives. He does an excellent job in choosing the narrative through which his words and characters live.

The narrative begins in a small house just outside of Herat. Hosseini narrates through Mariam's eyes; a young girl who had always dreamed of visiting the cities around her. The first fifteen years of her life were spent living on hill isolated with her mother. Mariam had a rich father who came to visit every Thursday. She loved her father, Jalil, but her mother was far from loving him at all. She told Mariam that Jalil was a "Rich man telling rich lies".

But Mariam never used to see him that way, that is, until her fifteenth birthday. She ran away to Jalil's house where she wasn't accepted. When Jalil's chauffer took her back to her house they discovered that her mother had committed suicide. With nowhere else to turn Mariam was taken in at Jalil's house. Jalil's three wives didn't like Mariam, as to them she was a disgrace to the family name. To rid of her they married her off to a widowed shoemaker, Rasheed. He took Mariam to Kabul where he showed her around and treated her well. That changed when it was revealed that Mariam was infertile, that he started physically and verbally abusing her.

Meanwhile growing up across the street from where Mariam and Rasheed lived was a beautiful, smart, and talented young girl, Laila. She was...