Study Guide: A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini - BookNotes|
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A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS: STUDY GUIDE / ONLINE NOTES
18.) They have three cups of tea while they sit there, and then Aziza
awakens and begins to cry. Rasheed yells for Laila to come upstairs and
shut her up. That’s when “a look passes between Laila and Mariam. An unguarded,
knowing look. And in this fleeting, wordless exchange with Mariam, Laila
knows that they are not enemies any longer.”
(pg. 224; This the moment when Mariam and Laila bond.)
19.) “ ‘Why have you pinned your little heart to an old, ugly hag like
me?” She murmurs into Aziza’s hair. “Huh? I am a nobody, don’t you see?
A dehati. What have I got to give you?’ She has found in
this little creature the first true connection in her life of false, failed
(pg. 226; This quote shows how deeply Mariam is coming to love little Aziza.)
20.) Rasheed says to Laila after she is brought back by the police,
“You try this again and I will find you. I swear on the Prophet’s name
that I will find you. And if I do, there isn’t a court in this godforsaken
country that will hold me accountable for what I still do. To Mariam first,
then to her, and you last. I’ll make you watch. You understand me? I’ll
make you watch.”
(pg. 243; This reinforces the basic cruelty of Rasheed.)
21.) Mariam has been teaching Aziza all the verses she should know
from the Koran. Mariam thinks, “It’s all I have to give her, this knowledge,
these prayers. They’re the only true possessions I’ve ever had.”
(pg. 265; This is poignant, because it shows how little Mariam has ever had and how much she wants to give.)
22.) “Everybody wants Jack to rescue them from disaster. But there
is no Jack, Jack is not coming. Jack is dead.”
(pg. 270; This is how Laila applies the plot of Titanic to the situation in Afghanistan.)
23.) Laila insists that it isn’t fair for Mariam to stay and face punishment
for Rasheed’s death, but Mariam tells her it is. She says she has killed
their husband and deprived Zalmai of a father. It isn’t right that she
runs. She will never escape Zalmai’s grief. How will she look at him in
the future? She says, “For me it ends here. There’s nothing more I want.
Everything I’d ever wished for as a little girl you’ve already given me.
You and your children have made me so very happy. It’s all right, Laila
jo. This is all right. Don’t be sad.”
(pg. 319; This is Mariam’s justification for staying behind and accepting punishment for killing Rasheed.)
24.) After Mariam was punished with a sentence of death, she
was led out to sign a document while the Taliban watched. “She wrote out
her name - the neem, the reh, the yah, and the neem - remembering
the last time she signed her name to a document, twenty-seven years before,
at Jalil’s table, beneath the watchful gaze of another mullah.
(pg. 326; This signinig of her own death warrant reminds Mariam of signing the marriage contract with Rasheed. They both signify a kind of death for her.)
25.) Mariam had entered this world a harami, a weed,
but she is leaving it a woman who had loved and been loved back. “This
is a legitimate end to a life of illegitimate beginnings.” She begins
to say a few words from the Koran as the executioner tells her to kneel
and look down. “For one last time, Miriam does as she is told.”
(pg. 329; This represents the last thoughts of Mariam.)
26.) There is now a part of Laila that wants to return to the city
of her birth for Mammy and Babi, for them to see it through her eyes.
She also asks herself if Mariam had died so she could be a maid in a foreign
land. “Maybe it wouldn’t matter to Mariam what Laila did as long as she
and the children were safe and happy. But it matters to Laila. Suddenly,
it matters very much.”
(pg. 345; This shows Laila’s determination to go back to Afghanistan.)
27.) “But the naming game involves only male names, because if it’s
a girl, Laila has already named her.”
(pg. 367; This is the last sentence of the novel and shows that Laila is pregnant and will name a girl child Mariam in honor of the woman who had come to mean so much to her.)
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. 12 May 2008