Consider the representation of male characters in the novel and discuss to what extent Hosseini is successful in challenging traditional Afghan male roles and values. (Focus on minimum 3 characters: eg. Jalil, Tariq, Rasheed, Babi)
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Certainly all men are not like Rasheed. Consider Hakim who is Fariba's husband and Laila's father, an intellectual who loves books and study. While valuing a woman's education is not the cultural norm in Kabul, Hakim fosters Laila's potential. He challenges her to think in new ways and work hard. Hakim loves discovery and history. Like his wife, he has a strong love for Afghanistan, but he also senses the urgency in moving for Laila's sake. However, he is loyal to his wife, and respects her wishes, almost to the point of submission. He ultimately dies in the bomb blast along with his wife.
Tariq is Laila's next door neighbor, a few years older than Laila. Tariq lost a leg during a war, and many of the people in the neighborhood refer to him as the cripple. Yet, Tariq has a strong heart, and he stands up for Laila when she gets picked on.
Jalil is Mariam's father, a rich movie theater owner who lives in Herat. To Mariam, Jalil is an amazing father - and a paragon of virtue - but to Mariam's mother he has neglected his obligations to his family