A Thousand Splendid Suns

Comparing "Osama" and "A Thousand Splendid Suns" 9th Grade

After years of abuse, Mariam, the protagonist of A Thousand Splendid Suns, looks back and examines herself: “What harmful thing had she willfully done to this man to warrant his malice, his continual assaults, the relish with which he tormented her?” (Hosseini 346). During the time period of both this novel and the film Osama, a woman’s life in Afghanistan was completely shaped by oppression. In this quote, Mariam demonstrates this pervasive sense of subjugation by blaming herself for her own abuse, a weakness that has been with her since she was born. The childhoods of the central characters of the novel A Thousand Splendid Suns and the film Osama determine how they each respond to oppression.

Mariam’s upbringing shaped her in a way that caused her to accept her own oppression, until she realized that she didn’t have to respond in this manner. Throughout her childhood, Mariam is ambitious and dreams for a life outside of her small shack, but grows up ashamed of her existence. Her mother, Nana, encourages this shame with lines like, “You are a clumsy little harami. This is my reward for everything I have endured. An heirloom-breaking, clumsy little harami” (Hosseini 4). Nana also uses the frightening and difficult circumstances...

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