International Journal of Applied Research
Vol. 2, Issue 5, Part L (2016)
Endless endurance: A feminist study of Khaled Hossieni’s novel A Thousand Splendid Suns
Dr. Bindu Ann Philip
“There is only one, only one skill and woman like you and me need in life, and they don’t teach it in school. Only one skill. And it’s this: tahamul. Endure”. As we quote from A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini it pulls out our heart strings. Anyone with a conscience can’t over look this poignant tale of feminine struggle. And it could have easily been me, you or any women among us. The pain strikes me harder as a woman. Because after all, every women in the contemporary world fights for gender inequality. Everyone in the society is familiar with the word “Endure”. All women are circled within the confined space of endurance. No women have their own voice and rights. In the novel, the two protagonists Mariam and Laila projects their lives of endless endurance. This made me to end up with the title “Endless Endurance” for my project. Limits of endurance are shown towards the end of the novel, when Mariam took a decision to kill or to hit Rasheed. This is the turning point or the first decision that Mariam took alone in her life without any pressure or force or any influence of men. Feminism is a struggle against social discrimination and a fight for equality among men and women. My aim is to explore social and political injustice directed towards the women of Afghanistan through gender equality and their socio political activism during tough times. I also brings out the suppressed sufferings of the women of Afghanistan and creates a vision of women empowerment through Mariam and Laila. This paper analyses the struggles of women to survive and to free themselves from the suffocating chains of oppression and violence. Both of them are hailed from different backgrounds but they are connected by tragic twist in their lives. Both of them had bitter taste of endurance. They are denied with all happiness of lives. Constant change of ruling resulted bitter experiences for women. Women are always scrutinized in Afghan society. This project is a voice against the cruel attitude of patriarchal society. Mariam gained her freedom, power and became self sufficient only when she had struck her husband. Her death was her heroic reward and her decision gave happiness, strength and a new beginning to Laila’s life. Mariam never had a happy ending. And her life is overshadowed by the youthful resilience and hope Laila evolves in the reader. Perhaps if the author had not presented Laila, the story would have been sorrowful to the point of depression. Yet it is Marian who seals Laila’s destiny. In Khaled Hosseini’s words “Mariam is in Laila’s own heart, where she shines with bursting radiance of a thousand suns. Both of their confidence, endurance and self determination helped them to break all the shackles.
How to cite this article:
Dr. Bindu Ann Philip. Endless endurance: A feminist study of Khaled Hossieni’s novel A Thousand Splendid Suns. Int J Appl Res 2016;2(5):791-801.