Honors English 1/ Period 4
10 May 2018
Quotes from Chapter 16 -26 of A Thousand Splendid Suns
1) “I know you’re still young, but I want you to understand and learn this now…. Marriage can wait, education cannot. You’re a very, very bright girl. Truly, you are. You can be anything you want, Laila…. I know that when this war is over, Afghanistan is going to need you as much as its men, maybe even more. Because a society has no chance of success if its women are uneducated, Laila. No chance.” (pg 103)
Babi has modern and progressive attitudes in sharp contrast to Rasheed. He believes in gender equality and cares a lot about Laila’s education. He thinks that women needs equal opportunities like education and respect in society. Rather than attempt to marry Laila off at a young age, Babi hopes his daughter will pursue an education and contribute to the rebuilding of Afghanistan after the war. Laila went to school unlike Mariam, although Mariam also wanted to be educated. When Babi tells Laila that Afghanistan is going to need its women after the war. It reminds us how he thought about the importance of women’s role in the world. Many things in today’s society and could not have been accomplished without them. Women have become large roles in the development of education, science, medicine, mathematics, and literature, etc. If Afghanistan wanted to make a strong comeback from the Taliban’s rule, it would need its women; Hosseini goes beyond the plot to make his point about the importance of education and inspire readers to purse a future of education. Despite the setting in which A Thousand Splendid Suns takes place, Hosseini exemplifies that how hope still exists not only from women amidst female oppression.
2) “Women have always had it hard in this country, Laila, but they’re probably more free now, under the communists, and have more rights than they’ve ever had before, Babi said, always lowering his voice, aware of how intolerant Mammy was of even remotely positive talk of the communists. But it’s true, Babi said, it’s a good time to be a woman in Afghanistan. And you can take advantage of that, Laila”. Of course women’s freedom… is also one of the reasons people out there took up arms in the first place. (pg 121)
Analysis: This quote show the Communist rules which favour women education, means that there is high hope for women and their rights of equality. Although they are portrayed harshly in A Thousand Splendid Suns, but its view on women’s education is a rare bright spot. Even Babi has to give them credit despite the fact that they had fired him from his job . This quote is important because it shows how women’s rights were something that were considered and looked at in Afghanistan. It is interesting to think that in Afghanistan where women are severely oppressed, their rights have been an important factor in the revolutions that took place in Afghanistan. Perhaps the two different ideologies of the communists and the Mujahidin saw women’s rights with a different lens, which lead to the two very contrasting viewpoints that they enforced. This quote, said by Babi, is a reflection on the situation that Afghanistan was in; women could receive education. As time goes on, and Afghanistan came under Taliban’s control as described in Hosseini’s another masterpiece The Kite Runner. Taliban rule made it illegal for a woman to be educated. Women as a whole are pushed off to the side while men are able to learn and make a living and they even can’t work when their husband died to feed their kids. Currently day in Afghanistan, women are typically not educated and deprived of very basic right of equal opportunities in Taliban rule, reflects that its society is not in great shape.
3) “Mm.’ He smiled sadly.’I can’t believe I’m leaving Kabul. I went to school here, got my first job here, and became a father in this town. It’s strange to think that I’ll be sleeping beneath another city’s skies soon.’ ‘It’s strange for me too.’ “All day, this poem about Kabul has been bouncing around in my head. Saib-e-Tarizi wrote it back in the seventeenth century, I think. I used to know the whole poem, but all I can remember now is two lines: ‘One could not count the moons that shimmer on her roofs, or the thousand splendid suns that hide behind her walls” (pg. 172; This is a significant quote, because the author found his title from it.)
Analysis: This depicts the emotions that are going through Laila and her family while preparing to move. Even though they all know that Kabul is a dangerous city to live in with the war booming overhead, they have strong emotional connections to the city. By using these lines from the poem, Babi portrays that the city may be going through difficult times with the constant fighting but it is still a beautiful city with a lot of inspiration and pleasure. Depict the complete destruction of Afghanistan in terms of culture and sophistication. This highlights the tragedy occurred in Afghanistan. Hosseini’s choice in using figurative language allows for more imagination and understanding. The lines flawlessly capture the essence of nostalgia.
4) “Laila, my love, the only enemy an Afghan cannot defeat is himself.”(pg. 122)
Analysis: This quote is made in the backdrop of the transitionary period of Afghanistan when Communist left and Taliban took over. That change leads to the deep divide in Afghan society which is also beautifully narrated in The Kite Runner as well. These ideological divisions in Afghanistan lead Pashtuns, Tajiks, and Hazaras to take up arms against one another. Afghan people are so attached to their old culture and rituals that they will not let go of it for more modern and realistic options. It shows how perhaps, the greatest battles they have to fight is not against others, but against themselves as they are unable to fight their own prejudice and are too stubborn to accept that perhaps someone’s approach may be more valid than the one that they hold. It also shows how Afghan people became their own enemies after the transition. This quote represents the unwillingness of the Afghan people to allow change in the country and accept a new way of doing things. I found this quote to be a sad and powerful reminder that sometimes it is necessary to reflect and change you in order to solve a problem and move forward.
5) “Mammy was soon asleep, leaving Laila with dueling emotions: reassured that Mammy meant to live on, stung that she was not the reason. She would never leave her mark on Mammy’s heart the way her brothers had, because Mammy’s heart was like a pallid beach where Laila’s footprints would forever wash away beneath the waves of sorrow that swelled and crashed, swelled and crashed.” (Pg. 130)
Analysis: This quote elaborates the complications developing between Mammy and Laila. The figurative language describes the anguish subjected to Laila. Despite Laila’s efforts to leave an impression on Mammy, she remains lost in the memories of her deceased sons. Laila had been devoid of a motherly figure throughout her childhood. Laila’s self-worth had constantly been depreciated by Mammy, who failed to live up to the motherly figure that she was to her sons. Although Laila was too young to understand, Mammy was disillusioned by the past, lingering in memories rather than reality. The more Mammy continues to grieve about her sons, the further away she pushes Laila. The emotional trauma Laila underwent is evident from the quote. I felt that throughout Laila’s childhood, she had tried to earn the respect and love of her mother. When Mammy failed to provide the care and love to Laila, she gave up. As a result we see how Laila and Babi’s relationship flourished in ways Mammy and Laila’s could not.