Defense Mechanisms in the Khaled Hosseini Novels

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People's who do not receive affection as children impacts their future relationships. In Khaled Hosseini novels, he illustrates the psychological results of people’s lack of affection in their early ages. Hosseini’s novels take place in Afghanistan during the Soviet Regime. In his novel, A Thousand Splendid Suns, the story follows Mariam and Laila, two co-wives of a middle aged man, Rasheed. Mariam is first introduced in the novel; she is the daughter of Nana and Jalil. She is a harami, a child conceived out of wedlock, with a father that is ashamed of her and a mother who is unable to provide her with the love and affection that she needs. At the age of fifteen, Mariam decides she wants to go and discover her father’s life and meet his family, which results in Nana committing suicide. After the death of her mother, Jalil and his wives, force Mariam to get married to Rasheed who is older than her by at least thirty years. Her marriage with Rasheed is filled with mental and physical abuse. The novel then introduces, Laila who becomes Rasheed’s second wife but she does not have a choice. At the time she gets married, she has just lost her entire family including the love of her life, Tariq. Laila and Tariq are childhood best friends who become intimate and have sexual intercourse before marriage. In Islam, this is considered to be haram which means forbidden. When Laila comes to the Rasheed household, she is injured and he tricks her by convincing her that her best friend is dead. Unfortunately, Mariam marries him because she realizes that she is already pregnant with Tariq’s child. Mariam never has children of her own but makes a strong connection with Laila's children, especially Aziza. Aziza is also a harami. Laila and her two ch...

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...iam s enduring from Rasheed is cruel. Her own husband rapes her because she does not consent of sex with him but he still decides to rape her. Rasheed is projecting his frustration out on Mariam. He witnessed the death of his only son and he is ready to have more sons. Therefore, Mariam projects her feelings into having a baby.

Works Cited
Hosseini, Khaled. A Thousand Splendid Suns. New York: Penguin, 2007. Print.
Hosseini, Khaled. The Kite Runner. New York: Penguin, 2005. Print.
Hunter, Jeffrey W. Twenty First Century Novels: The First Decade. Detroit, Gale Cengage Learning. 2001. Web.
Kristof, Nicholas D., and Sheryl WuDunn. Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2009. Print.
Tyson, Lois. Critical Theory Today. A User Friendly Guide. New York, NY: Rout Ledge, Taylor & Franas Group. 2006. Print.
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