A Thousand Splendid Suns

Oppression of Women: A Comparison of A Thousand Splendid Suns and Tess of the D'Ubervilles 12th Grade

Andrea Dworkin, claimed that, ‘Women have been taught that, for us, the earth is flat, and that if we venture out, we will fall off the edge’, this is shown within both novels as the female characters are presented as being controlled within society. Hosseini presents the female characters Laila and Mariam as oppressed within society in A Thousand Splendid Suns, this is shown through a dual narration of Mariam and Laila to show a difference in characterization. Hosseini does this to demonstrate the juxtaposition between both characters, as Mariam is referred to a ‘harami’ within the novel which is the Farsi word for ‘bastard’, whereas Laila comes from a well-respected, educated family and is characterized by her beauty as “she was a pari, a stunner”. Hosseini illustrates the contrast between both women to show that any women will become a victim towards their husband and oppressed in Afghan society. Similarly, within Tess of the d’Urbervilles, Hardy also illustrates Tess as a victim but within Victorian society, as both Alec and Angel take advantage of her due to gender bias, in which Tess is considered to be a “fallen women”. Both novels show a male dominated society where women were oppressed.

Hosseini demonstrates the harsh...

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