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A Thousand Splendid Suns

Essay by   •  August 16, 2016  •  Creative Writing  •  1,935 Words (8 Pages)  •  1,281 Views

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Chapter 1: The story begins with Mariam remembering a time when she first heard a curse word which translates to an unwanted thing. The story is told in Third person, omniscient in which the narrator tells the events of the day she heard the word. The narrator says what lead to this word being spoken was Mariam who was holding a porcelain bowl that slips out of Mariam’s hand. This leads back to the usage of the curse word when Mariam’s mother, Nana, sees the bowl as she walks into the area & is shocked by the shattered porcelain bowl & without hesitation she grabs Mariam by the wrist & calls her this curse word. The word had hazed Mariam because she’d never heard the word before. When she got older she understood that the word meant that she was a unwanted thing & believe that she would never be able to have things like other people. Her father, Jalil, never called her this & he appreciated her existence. Mariam and Jalil go to a tree which was planted over a body of a five hundred year old poet. After Jalil leaves Nana who has a bitter tone tells Mariam that Jalil is a liar betrayed them both & doesn’t care for them both. Mariam listened to Nana without refusal but she doubts the fact that Jalil would do anything like that. The Narrator goes on to talk about the relationship between Mariam & Jalil from Mariam’s perspective. The narrator also includes a story about Nana who was one of Jalil’s Housekeepers until she got pregnant and Jalil’s wives wanted him to throw her out. Nana’s own father disowned her and packed his stuff and departed to Bran. The end of the chapter ends with Nana telling Mariam a life lesson “Learn this now and learn it well, daughter: Like a compass needle that points north, a man’s accusing finger always finds a woman. Always. You remember that, Mariam.” this quotes foreshadows what may occur in the future. Very extensive summary! I know you were including some of the questions in this summary, but for the remainder of the questions, just answer them one by one. As for the chapter summaries, keep them to 3-4 sentences.

Chapter 2: Nana and Mariam discuss their life in the kolba, with Nana insisting that Jalil see them as weeds. Mariam didn’t think Jalil thought of her as a weed but she doesn’t protest Nana. Nana reveals that she refused to live in Herat because she did not want to have Jalil's legitimate life paraded around her constantly, so Jalil and two of his sons built the small, simple house Mariam inhabits until she is fifteen years old. When Nana was fifteen, she was to marry this man, but then the jinn (a seizure) came over her that scared off her husband and any other potential suitors. Despite her own youth, Mariam realizes that Nana has not been happy since losing her first love.

Chapter 3: Mariam remembers a time when her brothers were pushing a wheelbarrow full of rice for rations for Nana and Mariam. Mariam felt bad she couldn’t give them water for their tired bodies but her mom won’t have appreciated that. Once Mariam had yelled at her brother Muhsin just to please her mother but she was then consumed with guilt. Mariam‘s tutor confronts Nana and tries to convince her to let Mariam go to school but Nana tells Mariam she doesn’t need school all she needs is the ability to endure


Mariam’s sense of herself shows that she’s insecure because her mother calls her a name and treats her harshly. Mariam relationship with her mother is a sort of tough love relationship Mariam also feels unwanted by her mother and has low self esteem.The opening sets the tone for the novel because this shows what the characters feel towards each others.

Solely based on the experiences of Nana, the women in Afghanistan are treated badly if they’re not wealthy or married to a wealthy man. Poor women are seen as mere objects compared to wealthy men and mainly used. Nana forbids Mariam from going to school because she believes that the one and only thing Mariam needs to know is how to endure life. Nana wants to keep Mariam in with her in poverty and stay away from the outside world. Nana’s “goals” are not realistic because Mariam doesn’t want to stay in poverty and she want to go to school.

Jalil loves Mariam because he always comes to visit her and Nana. Jalil lacks “Fatherly love” toward Mariam because he has social anxiety when around her.He is afraid to be seen with her that why the only meet at Nana’s house or go fishing. Jalil has no courage and is scared of what people would think if he was seen with her.

Chapter 4: Mariam insomnia-ridden wants to see her father,Jalil, and worrying that a business entanglement would prevent his visit. Fortunately Jalil had arrived and Nana served them tea while surprisingly subdued and nice when he was around. Jalil and Mariam went fishing after tea and Jalil read Mariam some stories from the Herat newspaper.

Chapter 5: At noon on her birthday, Mariam gets dressed up and goes to wait for Jalil. When he doesn't arrive, Mariam impulsively heads to his home in Herat.Mariam knocks on the door and is met by a young woman who gets confused when Mariam tells her that she is Jalil's daughter. A man comes out and tells her that Jalil is out of town. Stubbornly, Mariam refuses, and she ends up spending the night in Jalil's front yard. In the morning, the driver returns and tells Mariam that she has to leave. He tries to bring her to his car, but she slips away and runs through Jalil's gate. As she runs through the front garden, Mariam sees Jalil watching through the window. He quickly closes the blinds, and the driver is finally able to



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