A Thousand Splendid Suns

Laila's Character Development College

When Laila is introduced at the beginning of part two, the reader recognises that she represents the new, modern ideals that stem from the communist revolution in 1979. From being called ‘Revolutionary girl’ by her teacher, due to her being born on the same day as the revolution, as well as having physical attributes such as her ‘green eyes’ and ‘blonde curls’, it is instantly clear that the author is portraying Laila as someone who is unique or special in terms of the context. This extends to both her educational achievement as well as her families socially progressive views on woman’s rights. However, the instability surrounding Afghanistan’s politics is shown to immerse her uniqueness and force her to grow up faster than she is expected to. Over the course of the novel, the surrounding conflict forces her to develop certain ideas, which are showcased through her moments of skepticism towards authority and her headstrong personality. The ways in which she grows up to adopt these attitudes all originate from her uniqueness; her families’ values, her academic performance and the close relationships she has with other characters.


The death of Ahmed and Noor happens near the beginning of Laila’s story and is the first death in...

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