A Thousand Splendid Suns

How did Mariam and Laila's cultural and physical surroundings influence the people that they became?

Make sure to use evidance for both characters


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One of the larger themes in this book is the struggle of women in a culture that often allows misogyny. Both Marium and Laila must find strength in each other when trying to survive in this environment. The women forge strong bonds despite the efforts of their husbands and their government to reduce women’s power. The bonds differ in nature. For instance, Giti, Hasina, and Laila form a bond of girlish friendship, but Mariam and Laila form a much more powerful familial bond later in the novel. Nana finds strength from her daughter Mariam, and Mariam finds an admirer when she arrives in a Taliban-controlled prison. The novel thus suggests that women have a strong ability to find strength and support in one another. Mariam never would have gained the strength to fight Rasheed if she had not gained confidence and love from Laila.