A thousand Splendid Suns Essay – 30 points Due. April 8th

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A Thousand Splendid Suns Essay – 30 points Due. April 8th
Requirements – 1-2 pages typed (double spaced, 12 font, TNR) or neatly written in pen (single spaced) Have an introduction, body, and conclusion. Use at least two quotes from the novel to support what you are saying (include the page number).
Note: The entire novel is in a PDF file on my website – www.hatcherworldhistory.weebly.com
Choose from the topics below.

  1. Discuss the character of Rasheed, contrasting him with other men in the novel, such as Mullah Faizullah, Jalil, and Tariq.

  1. Discuss the following quote from Nana: “Like a compass needle that always points north, a man’s accusing finger always finds a woman. Always. You remember that, Mariam” (Chapter 1, p. 7). Is Nana correct that men always find a way to blame women? Give examples from the story. 

  1. Compare and contrast Laila and Mariam. How do the two women go from being enemies to close friends, and what do they learn from each other?

  1. Honor and shame play a large role in this novel. Consider the examples of honor and shame in the novel. What is considered honorable or shameful? Do you think some of the actions that are undertaken in the name of ‘honor’ are actually quite shameful? Why or why not?

  1. Even though this is a very dark and sad story, there are elements of hope throughout. What aspects of the story provide hope? What kind of hope do they provide?

  1. What did A Thousand Splendid Suns teach you about the history of Afghanistan? Did anything surprise you?

  1. Mariam’s mother says: "Women like us. We endure. It’s all we have." In what ways is this true? How do Mariam and Laila endure? How is their endurance different from the ways their mothers faced their trials?

  1. The driver who takes Babi, Laila, and Tariq to the giant stone Buddhas above the Bamiyan Valley describes the crumbling fortress of Shahr-e-Zohak as “the story of our country, one invader after another… we’re like those walls up there. Battered, and nothing pretty to look at, but still standing.” Discuss the metaphorical import of this passage as it relates to Miriam and Laila. In what ways does their story reflect the larger story of Afghanistan’s troubled history?

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