A Thousand Splendid Suns

How does Mariam find peace before she dies?


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The night before she is to be executed, she dreams of young Jalil, Mullah Faizullah, and Nana in the kolba. On the way to the stadium on the day of her execution, a Talib assures Mariam that it is normal to be scared, and Mariam cries. She is nervous about her behavior at the execution. She does not want to make a scene. Yet, she thinks of what she has done to Zalmai, and she is able to remain composed walking into the stadium. Mariam thinks about how she'd miss Laila, and would like to see Aziza grow up and have children. Mariam reflects on her life and thinks that this is a "legitimate end to a life with illegitimate beginnings". She recites lines from the Koran asking for mercy, kneels, and is killed.