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Jansten75
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Part 3, Chapters 27-47

[ Edited ]


Message Edited by rkubie on 08-14-2007 01:06 AM
"For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbours, and laugh at them in our turn?" Pride and Prejudice
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Nadine
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Re: Part 3, Chapters 38-47

3.By the time Laila is rescued from the rubble of her home by Rasheed and Mariam, Mariam's marriage has become a miserable existence of neglect and abuse. Yet when she realizes that Rasheed intends to marry Laila, she reacts with outrage. Given that Laila's presence actually tempers Rasheed's abuse, why is Mariam so hostile toward her?
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Pg 191-193

This had me puzzled. Mariam's attitude suggest that his is an insult to her. I thought the meaning of her outrage might be explained by her use of the word "ambagh" but I have not been able to find anything on it except that it is the relationship of a second wife to a first wife.

I found these comments about polygamy by Muslim men but it didn't really help either:

---------------------------------
Qur’an is the only religious book on the face of the earth that says ‘marry only one’. The context of this phrase is the following verse from Surah Nisa of the Glorious Qur’an:

"Marry women of your choice, two, or three, or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one."

[Al-Qur’an 4:3]

Before the Qur’an was revealed, there was no upper limit for polygyny and many men had scores of wives, some even hundreds. Islam put an upper limit of four wives. Islam gives a man permission to marry two, three or four women, only on the condition that he deals justly with them.

In the same chapter i.e. Surah Nisa verse 129 says:

"Ye are never able to be fair and just as between women...."

[Al-Qur’an 4:129]

Therefore polygyny is not a rule but an exception. Many people are under the misconception that it is compulsory for a Muslim man to have more than one wife.

Broadly, Islam has five categories of Do’s and Don’ts:

i. ‘Fard’ i.e. compulsory or obligatory

ii. ‘Mustahab’ i.e. recommended or encouraged

iii. ‘Mubah’ i.e. permissible or allowed

iv. ‘Makruh’ i.e. not recommended or discouraged

v. ‘Haraam’ i.e. prohibited or forbidden

Polygyny falls in the middle category of things that are permissible. It cannot be said that a Muslim who has two, three or four wives is a better Muslim as compared to a Muslim who has only one wife.
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This site had a bit more but still does not shed light on Mariam's reaction:

http://www.islamonline.com/news/newsfull.php?newid=795

If I were in Mariam's shoes, I think I would welcome having Rasheed take on a distraction. But my feeling is that this is some sort demotion and humiliation to her.

Any one have any other thoughts?
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Sunltcloud
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Re: Part 3, Chapters 38-47

Assuming for right now that all of us carry a seed of jealousy inside and that we often heap our frustrations on somebody other than the person who is responsible for our feelings, I would say that Mariam is upset over the way Rasheed behaves in front of Laila. I would also assume that Mariam's self-esteem receives a blow when her sixty year old husband wants to marry a fourteen year old, beautiful girl.

Page 189. "For years, Mariam had looked on as he ate, the muscles of his temples churning, one hand making compact little rice balls, the back of the other wiping grease, swiping stray grains, from the corners of his mouth. For years, he had eaten without looking up, without speaking, his silence condemning, as though some judgment were being passed, then broken only by an accusatory grunt, a disproving cluck of his tongue, a one-word command for more bread, more water. - Now he ate with a spoon. Used a napkin. Said lotfan when asking for water. And talked. Spiritedly and incessantly." Wouldn't that outrage anybody?






Nadine wrote:
3.By the time Laila is rescued from the rubble of her home by Rasheed and Mariam, Mariam's marriage has become a miserable existence of neglect and abuse. Yet when she realizes that Rasheed intends to marry Laila, she reacts with outrage. Given that Laila's presence actually tempers Rasheed's abuse, why is Mariam so hostile toward her?
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Inspired Scribe
IBIS
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Re: Part 3, Chapters 38-47

What Mariam reacted negatively to was Rasheed's "staged" delivery. His hypocrisy and lies. Just to impress young Laila, who didn't know him well.

Rasheed had always mocked Babi and his education and opinions.
(p. 190) "You know, your father, God give him peace, your father and I used to have discussions like this."

Rasheed used to rant against Massoud, how he was a traitor and a communist. But now because Massoud was Tajik, just like Laila, he says:
"Now there's a reasonable fellow. An honorable Afghan. A man geneuinely intersted in a peaceful resolution."

It wasn't so much WHAT he said, the blatant lies, the contrived empathy, or even the fact that he had not raised a hand to her, Mariam, since he had dug the girl out from under those bricks. It was the STAGED delivery. Like a performance. An attempt on his part, both sly and pathetic, to impress. To charm." (p. 191)

THAT would certainly drive me up a wall. And I empathize with Mariam for feeling the same way.
IBIS

"I am a part of everything that I have read."
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englishculture
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Re: Part 3, Chapters 38-47


Nadine wrote:
3.By the time Laila is rescued from the rubble of her home by Rasheed and Mariam, Mariam's marriage has become a miserable existence of neglect and abuse. Yet when she realizes that Rasheed intends to marry Laila, she reacts with outrage. Given that Laila's presence actually tempers Rasheed's abuse, why is Mariam so hostile toward her?




I think part of it, at least the way I interpreted it, is that Mariam was already treated badly by Rasheed. She knew that his bringing another wife in the house would decrease her status and usefulness in the household that much more. She already failed to give him a child, something that would have given her a little status, and she knew that Laila would be able to give Rasheed what she couldn't.

I don't think she's outraged at Rasheed or Laila so much as she's feeling sorry for herself. But that's just my take on it.
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IBIS
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Re: Part 3, Chapters 38-47

[ Edited ]
______________________________________________________
Englishculture wrote:
I think part of it, at least the way I interpreted it, is that Mariam was already treated badly by Rasheed. She knew that his bringing another wife in the house would decrease her status and usefulness in the household that much more. She already failed to give him a child, something that would have given her a little status, and she knew that Laila would be able to give Rasheed what she couldn't.
_________________________________________________

That's a perceptive insight into Mariam's initial jealous response to Laila. It makes absolute sense.

Mariam would feel threatened by Laila at the beginning, especially in light of Mariam's lack of status for not giving birth to a child. And as the novel progresses, we know that Laila not only gives Rasheed a child, it's a boy. And boys are more valuable in this society.

Message Edited by IBIS on 09-06-2007 11:02 PM
IBIS

"I am a part of everything that I have read."
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mickmcc
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Re: Part 3, Chapters 38-47

I suspect a big portion of Miriam's upset was the child issue. She already felt pretty rotten about the fact that she kept having miscarriages, partly because she was upsetting Rasheed but mostly because she *wanted* a baby very badly. She seemed to be alright enough with Rasheed during their walks and "courtship" phase (for whatever that was worth) and probably very much resented this new girl for coming in and getting the love and attention she so desperately wanted. The jealousy ended when she got THAT from Laila. I thought her response made sense. Even though Rasheed was not nice to her, she still craved his acceptance and love, since he was all that she had.

But I'm not finished yet, so maybe I'll change my mind.
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