Khaled Hosseini

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Khaled Hosseini’s A Thousand Splendid Suns features at the most basic level the compelling life story of a two women, Mariam and Laila, and their lives. However, the true heart of this work lies in a much broader issue through all of the characters and the events that took place in Afghanistan around the time of this novels story.Hosseini writes characters into his novel as characters in themselves on the surface, but can be seen as representations of a much larger population of Afghanistan. Hosseini uses individual characters as a window into the larger scene of the entire country of Afghanistan, and the many facets of its people, in order to illustrate the political issue in a new light so as to demonstrate to the audience Hosseini’s hope for the future of Afghanistan. It is in the final image of Laila’s family that Hosseini’s use of characters as smaller personal representations of a larger picture is most clearly, and most essentially to the significance of the novel, seen. The thoughts of Mariam that Laila has after her death are where the heart of the novel is revealed. “Laila resigned herself to moving on… Because in the end she knows thats all she can do. That and hope” (Hosseini 363). Hosseini at this point reveals the idea that the novel has been written to exemplify. Laila chooses to move on, as Mariam would have said to, learning from the adopted mother of her life. Hosseini paints a picture of hopefulness in this ability to move on that Laila posses. The entire novel has been centered around relationship of two women and the effect that that relationship had on the two characters as both individuals and windows into Afghan society. It is at this point that Hosseini shows not how he painted this picture, but why. Hoss... ... middle of paper ... ...in A Thousand Splendid Suns, but without combining the characters into one family the thought would be incomplete. Each of the characters compliments upon the other, Aziza’s ability to forgive pairing with Zalmai’s capacity for change, Laila’s desire to return and rebuild and Tariq’s devotion to her. Without these elements combining, the characters would be isolated and the people they represent would be as well. Without Zalmai and Aziza, two children of two different fathers, being accepted and loved, and uniting as one family, Hosseini would not be able to use them as an embodiment of the unification of Afghanistan. Hosseini use of characters to show greater issues than what are directly present in the novel allows individuals to be representations of different people, which when united together in a family, depict an entire culture and a hope for its future.

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