Study Guide: A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini - BookNotes|
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A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS: DOWNLOADABLE STUDY GUIDE
Laila begins the sweaty job of bringing box after box of items to be sold outside to be taken away in a taxi. She becomes even more energetic the more she brings outside, because she knows that this brings her even closer to Tariq. She hears a voice, Mammyís, say that they are going to need a big taxi. Laila sees her in her cobalt blue dress leaning out the window upstairs and wonders where the radiant creature with the plump, smiling face in her wedding photo has gone. Laila calls up that they will call two big taxis. Mammy then tells her to come upstairs when she is finished with the piles in her arms, and they will have lunch. Just then, Laila is suddenly reminded once more of her dream of the singing sands. The chanting is all around until she realizes that itís more of a whistling. She drops the books in her arms and looks up to the sky. Then, there is a giant roar and flash of white. Something hot and powerful slams into her from behind, and she strikes the wall. The last thing she is aware of is a bloody chunk of something with the tip of a red bridge poking through the fog that surrounds it.
A womanís face appears then above Lailaís with a fluorescent light behind
it. It fades away to black. Later, there is a manís face, his features
broad and droopy. She cannot hear him even though his lips move. A pink
pill sends her back to darkness. The woman appears again, her face long,
her eyes narrow-set. Everything hurts. She wonders where Tariq is. There
is darkness and a flock of stars. Then, she is with Babi somewhere up
high and he is pointing to a field of barley. Only the pink pill brings
a cease of the pain and the deep hush that falls over everything.
This entire chapter is ironic. Just as Babi convinces Mammy to leave
Kabul and Lalila believes itís possible to find Tariq again, the missile
that luck has kept away up to this moment finds them and kills Babi and
Mammy. Laila is alone.
Slowly, Laila awakens, but when Rasheed and Mariam ask her if she knows who they are, she tells them that she canít hear from one ear. At first, she sleeps most of the time even though she has awakened from her unconscious state. While she sleeping, Mariam notes how she cries out strange names, weeps, grows agitated to the point of having to be held down. And she retches and retches, throwing up everything Mariam has fed her. Some days she is childlike, refusing to eat or take medicine. Then, only after long bouts of resistance, would she surrender to even longer bouts of weeping. Mariam asks Rasheed how long she is staying and he says until she is better and calls her poor thing. He also brings her new blankets and a pillow as well as a bottle of vitiamins. He even salvages a handful of Babiís books from the pile of rubble that was their house. He tells Laila all about how he had found her under the rubble and brought her to his house with a scrap of metal embedded in her shoulder. He tells her that Tariqís house is now occupied by three of Sayyefís commanders. They are actually three boys who notice Laila after she is able to get up and walk outside. One looks at her in such a way that his arrogance falls away and she catches a glint of humanity. Later, a missile hits this house as well and the neighbors then keep finding bits and pieces of the boys. Rasheed only says they had it coming.
Mariam thinks that it was extraordinary luck that Laila escaped with just minor injuries, considering that the missile had turned her house to smoke. Laila tells Mariam one day that she shouldnít even be there. Babi had wanted to take the books downstairs, saying they were too heavy for her, but she was so excited about leaving that she insisted and ended up being outside when the missile hit. Mariam finds herself unable to think of anything she can say to ease Lailaís burden. However, she doesnít need to worry, because the memory makes Laila retch again and Mariam must rush to clean her floors once more.
Then, one day man named Abdul Sharif comes to the door and asks for
Laila. She doesnít even know him, but Mariam insists that the young girl
come down and talk to this man.
This chapter is basically an explanation of how Laila slowly begins to heal
physically from her wounds after the missile even though her psychologically
wounds will take much longer to heal. It is interesting to note how solicitous
the cruel Rasheed behaves to her.
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Clapsaddle, Diane. "TheBestNotes on A Thousand Splendid Suns".
. 09 May 2017