FC: A Thousand Splendid Suns and its Monomyth By Madelyn Colby
1: A Thousand Splendid Suns is separates into four parts: Parts I and III focus mainly on our hero, Mariam. Part IV focuses on the second main character, Laila. And part II switches between the focus of Mariam and Laila.
2: Mariam's Call | Mariam's call comes when Afsoon, one of her father's three wives, tells Mariam that she has a suitor & that they will soon be married. Mariam had only been living in her father's house for a month at the most. She had no clue that her father would just marry her off. The suitor, Rasheed, couldn't "be more than... Forty. Forty-five at the most" (Hosseini44). Mariam also had no say whatsoever in this marriage. She is unable to avoid this call.
3: Mariam immediately refused this call, soon after she was told her marriage was arranged. "I don't want to. I don't want this. Don't make me" (Hosseini144). "She hated the sniffling, the pleading tone of her voice, but could not help it." Still, Mariam has no way out of this nikka- marriage, despite her pleading with Jalil, her father. | Her refusal...
4: Mariam crosses the threshold | Mariam crossed the figurative threshold when she literally crossed the threshold into her new home in Kabul. Though she is in a new place, physically, her mental state, overall, is still the same. She still has not fully accepted her marriage, for the reality has not had time to set in. For weeks, she lives in fear of her husband, who is three times her age. "You're shaking. Maybe I scare you. Do I scare you? Are you frightened" (Hosseini55)? Mariam mentally crosses the threshold when she wear a burqa for the first time in public; she felt so safe and the fact that she had a protective husband like Rasheed really helped that along.
5: Mariam's aid | Mariam's aid was a combination of her first pregnancy, and the miscarriage soon after. Mariam's pregnancy give her this new jolt of life and excitement, knowing that she will be able to make a family of her own like the one she never had... Then her dreams were crushed when she miscarried in the bath house. After coming home from the doctor, she lays down on the couch and watches snow fall. She then reconnects with her mother, remembering that she had once said that every flake of snow was a woman's sorrowful sigh, "As a reminder of how women like us suffer... How quietly we endure all that falls upon us"(Hosseini82). This reminds Mariam, again, that a woman's role is to suffer a lot, and to suffer often. These events prepare Mariam's subconscious for the turmoil that will soon ensue in her womb... and her marriage. | http://hero021.edublogs.org/files/2011/02/helping_hand-1fczhx7.jpg
6: Road of Trials | Mariam miscarries several times in the early months of her marriage. This, of course, makes Rasheed upset and very, very intolerant. Tradition says it is Mariam's fault that she cannot give him a baby, even though the doctors do not know why. Because of his anger, Rasheed lashed out. He treats Mariam like a dog. He is not a even a fraction as happy as he was when Mariam first got pregnant. Every little mess-up Mariam makes, Rasheed goes off. In the last scene in part one of the book, Rasheed forces Mariam to chew gravel because she fed him undercooked rice. After forcing Mariam to crunch the gravel between her teeth, Rasheed says, "Good. Now you knwo what you've given me in this marriage. bad food, and nothing else" (Hosseini94).
7: The Goddess | Laila. When her house was hit by a rocket, she was orphaned. Rasheed and Mariam took Laila in. Rasheed ended up marrying her, and for a while, Mariam hated Laila- until they shared three cups of chai on the back porch one fall evening. It was this that showed both women that they were "enemies no longer" (Hosseini224). Laila also gave Mariam something that she could never even conceive herself (literally!). It was a baby girl named Aziza. | https://encrypted-tbn2.google.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRkjnLTKrBXhgI3bKX-HfiD1kRaTbPQtOnw4DMXJzDti9B8axpu
8: Apotheosis | After Laila has her daughter, Aziza, Mariam has something common to love with Laila. Laila gave Mariam something she could never obtain herself. that was the gift of life- children. Because of Mariam's trials earlier in the marriage, she has become bitter. But the birth of Aziza breathed new life into her heart. Not only did Laila give Mariam a child for them to share, but Laila was like a daughter to Mariam from the start. Over time, that relationship really blossoms to a bittersweet end.
9: Master of Two Worlds | With these trials and lessons, Mariam has changed. She went from being thoughtful and naive, to fearful and resentful, to finishing her life having been a good mother, even though she couldn't have her own children. Mariam, though she cannot return to her past, would be able to prevent and/or handle better what happened to her when she was younger. Mariam has mastered these worlds she has visited so well, that she ends up standing up to Rasheed when he tried to kill Laila, by killing him. It was very violent, but she finally got to do what was right after all these years of having to submit. The scene was very graphic. Mariam went and got a shovel, raised it above her head, and while Rasheed was choking Laila, she said,"Rasheed." He looked up, and she administered a blow to his temple. After that, Mariam aided Laila one last time; "Are you all right? Answer me, are you all right?" (Hoseini313). Mariam, then helped Laila get her children together, and watched them leave, knowing the inevitable: Mariam would be put to death.
10: Works Cited | Black-and-white goddess. n.d. Maria J. William. Mariawilliam.net. graphite, online. Tuesday Nov. 13, 2011. http://s145.photobucket.com/albums/r239/realmodel/Mena_Suvari35.jpg. Front cover. N.d. Columbia.edu. online. Tuesday nov 13, 2011. http://www.columbia.edu/itc/mealac/pritchett/00routesdata/1800_1899/northwest/kabulview/kabulview.html “Helping hand”. N.d. edublogs.org. blog. Tuesday nov 13, 2011. http://hero021.edublogs.org/2011/02/13/supernatural-aid-scavenger-hunt/. Stained glass goddess head. N.d. goddessgift.com. website. Tuesday nov 13, 2011. http://www.goddessgift.com/goddess-myths/goddess-myths.htm The phone call. N.d. Justin. Hoklife.com. online. Tuesday nov 13, 2011. http://hoklife.com/2009/09/10/after-noon-naps/