Character list and analysis in a Thousand Splendid Suns

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  • Characters
    • Laila
      • relationship with mariam gives laila the mother figure she never had
    • Jalil
      • redemptioni in letter
      • abandons mariam because of wives' wishes
    • Mariam
      • opposite to Laila in name and insecurities
        • Laila
          • relationship with mariam gives laila the mother figure she never had
        • "Inquilabi girl" - "revolutionary girl"
          • deeper meaning
            • assertiveness is unique in a society that undermines women
              • result of relationship with "mammy" who was consumed with absent sons
        • "harami - unwanted thing"
      • quite and thoughtful at the beginning of the novel
      • the shame she feels makes her unable to stick up for herself.
        • opposite of laila
          • in laila she finds, love, a friend and a child that she has never had throughout her life, hence the reason for the strong bond.
            • same as shug and celie in color purplle
              • marriage to rasheed is unwanted by mariam
      • marriage to rasheed is unwanted by mariam
    • Tariq
      • despite trials he faces he returns to laila through thi he shows loyal and loving traits, which cant be seen in Rasheed
      • lost leg in land mine
      • takes care of zalmai like he was his own
  • Mariam
    • opposite to Laila in name and insecurities
      • "Inquilabi girl" - "revolutionary girl"
        • deeper meaning
          • assertiveness is unique in a society that undermines women
            • result of relationship with "mammy" who was consumed with absent sons
      • "harami - unwanted thing"
    • quite and thoughtful at the beginning of the novel
    • the shame she feels makes her unable to stick up for herself.
      • opposite of laila
        • in laila she finds, love, a friend and a child that she has never had throughout her life, hence the reason for the strong bond.
          • same as shug and celie in color purplle
    • uses education to create a better world
      • becomes teacher
    • Idealism and independance challenged by marrying rasheed to give unborn child a better life, learns the sacrifices of parents
      • plagued throughout novel of stresses of childhood
        • laila described as beautiful, opposed mariams insecurities
          • rasheed
            • Characters
              • Jalil
                • redemptioni in letter
                • abandons mariam because of wives' wishes
              • Tariq
                • despite trials he faces he returns to laila through thi he shows loyal and loving traits, which cant be seen in Rasheed
                • lost leg in land mine
                • takes care of zalmai like he was his own
            • only when he finally replaces dead son, redeeming traits emerge
              • not completely bad - because of circumstances
                • dead wife and son
            • killed by mariam - act of revenge
            • entraps laila who has limited  options
          • ashamed of daughter
            • jalil regrets negligence towards mariam and leaves large inheritance and letter
              • protects laila from bully
                • Minor characters
                  • Hakim - Lailas dad construct of equality, does his best to give laila an education
                  • Nana - Mariams mother, strict and bitter eventually commits suicide
                  • Fariba - Lailas mother destroyed by the absense of her sons neglects Lailas needs
                  • Aziza - Lailas daughter forced by rasheed to live in an orphanage
                • Mullah faizullah - Mariams koran is a calm and loving influence in mariams childhood
                  • Minor characters
                    • Hakim - Lailas dad construct of equality, does his best to give laila an education
                    • Nana - Mariams mother, strict and bitter eventually commits suicide
                    • Fariba - Lailas mother destroyed by the absense of her sons neglects Lailas needs
                    • Aziza - Lailas daughter forced by rasheed to live in an orphanage

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