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Rachel-K
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Discussion Topic: Love and Friendship

[ Edited ]
In many ways, A Thousand Splendid Suns can be read as a love story, but one in which the bond of love that is created is a friendship rather than a romance. And considering that it is set against such a brutal time and place, we must almost wonder how it is possible for any kind of love to survive such basic daily struggles.

What do Laila and Miriam overcome to care so strongly for each other? It is despite or because of Rasheed's tyranny and their being trapped together in this household? Is despite or because of the conditions Kabul is thrown into?

Message Edited by LitEditor on 08-14-2007 09:00 AM
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greentrees
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Re: Discussion Topic: Love and Friendship

It's because of hope that they are drawn together. The human spirit finds hope within when we are faced with such an enormous amount of human tragedy and emotion. What is trapped beneath our surface I believe is the hope that sees us through to another day. Something inside these two women awaken and they are drawn together in a sisterly-motherly bond because there is so much bias against them---they are one in the same, facing the same realities every day. Because neither one of them was heartless, they both felt that strong pull of the human instinct to protect each other before all was lost. In that sense, what was born was this sincere and deep friendship and love for each other for survival against all the elements--Rasheed, Afghanistan's political nature, the Taliban, and the reality that each of them wanted so much to survive this life they lived. They wanted to live a life that immersed itself in meaning, so if they perished their lives would have had meaning, even after they were gone. I think people do not recognize how strong the will to hope and the will to survive is. It's more than we think.
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DSaff
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Re: Discussion Topic: Love and Friendship


rkubie wrote:
In many ways, A Thousand Splendid Suns can be read as a love story, but one in which the bond of love that is created is a friendship rather than a romance. And considering that it is set against such a brutal time and place, we must almost wonder how it is possible for any kind of love to survive such basic daily struggles.

What do Laila and Miriam overcome to care so strongly for each other? It is despite or because of Rasheed's tyranny and their being trapped together in this household? Is despite or because of the conditions Kabul is thrown into?

Message Edited by LitEditor on 08-14-2007 09:00 AM


Good questions. Miriam and Laila overcome so many things - jealousy and anger, fear and anguish - just to come to grips with their new lives. I think the thing that draws them together is the respect they begin to feel for each other. That respect turns into love and hope.

They were each thrown into the home of a man who deceived them, only to find that he was a tyrant. At the same time, there was a place of safety when he was calm. The roaming bands of men in black terrified most of the women then, but having a man alongside gave some protection. That bound them to him. There was also nowhere for either woman to go. But, trust didn't happen between these two women until they actually sat and talked, after fighting and arguing was put aside. I think the baby was also a bridge to a good relationship.

Fear, anger, jealousy, trust, friendship, and respect. I think all of these emotions bound Miriam and Laila to each other in the end.
DonnaS =) " Reading is a means of thinking with another person's mind; it forces you to stretch your own." Charles Scribner
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IBIS
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Re: Discussion Topic: Love and Friendship

[ Edited ]
The first time that Mariam sees Laila in a different light is when Laila defends her from their abusive husband. When Rasheed is beating Mariam, Laila showed true selflessness in defending her, knowing full well that Rasheed would punish her in turn.

In Mariam's entire life, no one ever stood up for her, or defended her. It was a paradigm shift in Mariam's worldview.

Because they lived in each other's backpockets, so to speak, they were privy to each other's personal shame and suffering. It was only a matter of time that they would recognize their mutual powerlessness and unite against Rasheed's brutality to make their lives more bearable.

Although I suffered with Mariam's initial jealousy of Laila, in the end, I was so very glad that Laila had come into her life. Laila and her children ultimately challenged Mariam to escape her solipsism, and gave her the strength to transcend her isolation.

Having Laila share her life eventually enabled Mariam to perform her final devastating act of self-sacrifice.

Message Edited by IBIS on 08-16-2007 04:26 PM
IBIS

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