Victimization of Women in Khaled Hosseini’s novel A Thousand Splendid Suns
Keywords:Mariam, Laila, burqua, victimization, brutality, Taliban
The way women are treated, the oppression they go through every day, the hardships they have to endure quietly, especially in conservative Islamic society is brought forth through the works of various writers.
This paper is an attempt to understand the way women are being victimized in the male dominated patriarchal society as shown in Khaled Hosseini’s novel A Thousand Splendid Suns. Khaled Hosseini in his novel views Afghanistan through the veils or burqas of Afghani women and has succeeded in bringing out the plight of Afghan women who suffered not only through the bombings and indiscriminate shelling of civilian areas but were beaten, tortured, humiliated and imprisoned.
The novel covers the turbulent period of Afghanistan from 1970s to post 9/11, a span of 45 years. It deals with the struggle of two women- Mariam and Laila, twenty years apart, married to the same man, being physically abused by him. They endure starvation and brutality at his hands and are forced to take up joint struggle against him. They also symbolize those belittled women who have no choice but to endure. Through them the experiences of polygamy, childlessness, longing for a male child, domestic violence, shame of illegitimacy are well projected. Each group that ruled Afghanistan allowed men to have complete power over their wives and treated them not as individuals but as ones property. Women hardly get any opportunity to define their own lives. They are first known by their father’s name, then by their husband’s and later by their son’s name.