The novel A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini presents various themes as the primary centers of argument and upon which resolutions at the end of the book, are based. These themes include; the theme of hope, the rights of women, conflict, and the importance of family among others. In this case, however, the idea of hope versus false hope is critically reviewed as they are depicted in the book by the author, and various incidences have also been illustrated to explain more comprehensively the theme. Two characters; Nana who is Mariams mother and Mullah Faiullah appear to give two different versions of hope where Nana represents false hope to Mariam while Faizullah, on the other hand, provides real hope. However, these points of view are not as direct as they may seem to be and the readers of the book might find it a bit confusing unless the work is finely synthesized and understood. As a mother, Nana is expected to give hope and protection to her child Mariam, what from the beginning to the time her death as is evident in Part One, she does not portray. In other words, Nana gives false hope to her daughter whereas Mullah Faizullah provides genuine hope for the teenage girl Mariam.
Both Nana and Jalil are vital in instilling some hope in Mariam; whether real or false hope. Moreover, in other sections of the book, a new character is introduced, Mullah Faizullah who is a local religious leader and who Mariam later talks to about acquisition of formal education. Although Nana is Mariams mother, it does not appear as the two get along with each other well especially after she (Nana) called Mariam harami the very day she broke the ancient family heirloom. "You are a clumsy little harami. This is my reward for everything I've endured An heirloom-breaking, clumsy little harami (Hosseini n.p). Harami is a term which means illegitimate. In other words, nana was referring to Mariam as a bastard child most likely due to the nature in which she was conceived and the plight which followed Nana after that when the other three wives chased her. By calling her daughter harami, it is clear as a mother she was not giving Mariam any hope. Furthermore, although she was her real daughter, she was always full of criticisms on anything Mariam did or whatever Jalil would tell or give her (Mariam).
The only character in the book that appears to show real hope is Mullah Faizullah who teaches Mariam about the verses of the Quran. According to him, Mariam had a brighter future although he disapproved what Nana did (hanging herself). Even when Mariam was about to be married to Rasheed, she cried that she would live with Mullah Faizullah because she trusted him. "I'll live with Mullah Faizullah," she said. "He'll take me in. I know he will" (Hosseini n.p). These words meant that her hopes were on him.
From the two characters; Nana and Mullah, it is evident that Mariams mother was right when she told her daughter that there is no hope for a happy life. It is apparent from all the happenings that Mariam encountered in her entire life in Part One of the stories and especially after Nana had died. The unfortunate encounters include; forced marriage, miscarriage, and marriage abuse by her husband Rasheed among others. All these came to pass and show that till then, Mariam knew no happiness.
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