Sophomore English A
October 21, 2013
The Fuel of Love and Loyalty
In the famous story of "Romeo and Juliet," Romeo tells Juliet, "With love's light wings did I o'erperch these walls, For stony limits cannot hold love out, And what love can do that dares love attempt. Therefore thy kinsmen are no stop to me" (Shakespeare 72). In this scene Romeo tells Juliet that nothing can stop him from seeing her because his love for her is unfathomable. This strength of love pushes Romeo to find Juliet even though they are on opposite sides of a family feud. Romeo's loyalty towards Juliet is what makes him visit her during the exponentially growing hatred between the two families. Similar to A Thousand Splendid Suns, Nana, Mariam and Laila uses the strength of love and loyalty to face women discrimination. In Khaled Hosseini's novel, A Thousand Splendid Suns, the strength of love and loyalty is what help the Afghan women to endure the hardships they have to face in Afghanistan during the time of discrimination against women. Mariam endures many hardships during her twenty seven years of marriage with Rasheed before Laila and Aziza were woven into the threads of Mariam's life. In the Afghan culture, women are part of the minor group in the society. Rasheed is a man who values his culture very much. Therefore he is one of the people who discriminate against women. Mariam deals with the harsh reprimands, physical violence and sexual abuse from Rasheed. When Laila and Aziza suddenly show up in Mariam's life, they form a strong bond made from pure love with Mariam.
This love guides Mariam through some of the worst days in her life. The love from Aziza and Laila made Mariam stronger and more durable than ever before. Hosseini wrote, "Laila and Aziza had become extensions of her, and how, without them, the Mariam had tolerated for so long seemed intolerable. The years had not been kind to Mariam. But perhaps, she thought, there were kinder years waiting still. Two flowers had unexpectantly sprouted in her life..."(256). Mariam endures many dull and depressing days until Aziza and Laila came along. Mariam has to face Rasheed one on one when she is alone. Knowing Mariam as a shy and quiet person, Mariam only accepts the violence and abuse from Rasheed and never opposes or protests. When Laila and Aziza came up in Mariam's life, everything changed. There was a person who Mariam can finally truly rely on. Laila is the only person who truly understands what's really going on in the house. Mariam depends on Laila for comfort and even protection when Rasheed's temper was out of control. Like her mother, Mariam faces hard times that were brightened up by love. Another strong character in the novel who definitely endured many challenges is Nana. When Mariam looked back at what Nana had done for her, she realized that Nana was the one who really loved her. "Nana, who could have given her away, or tossed her in a ditch somewhere and run. Instead, Nana had endured the shame of bearing a harami, had shaped her life around the thankless task of raising Mariam and, in her own way, of loving her" (Hosseini 287). Nana proved her love and loyalty to Mariam by raising her. During Mariam's childhood, Nana and Mariam lived in a small kolba right on the outskirts of Gul Daman, separated from the public. Nana used this isolation to block out all the bad unfortunate things that's happened to her in the past and focused on raising Mariam. Nana concentrated on bringing Mariam up and teaching her all the things she needed to know in order to make a living. Nana is a mother who really loves
Wu 3 her child and made sure that her child was prepared to face the ugly truth about the world. With all the…