Crime Scene/Gathering Evidence
Summary: Rola Phoenicia’s review of A Thousand Splendid Suns summarizes the general idea of the story in a very effective and well-worded way, as the story of two women struggling in an oppressive condition reminds us that those who suffer have strong spirits. It is also mentioned that this story is a prominent example of love and how tough times bring individuals closer together.
Conclusion: I agree with many of Phoenicia’s ideas in this analysis, for example, the interesting thought that Nana’s death is accounted for the flawed way she loves her daughter as well as her damaged spirit. However, I feel strained to disagree with the idea encompassed in the quote: “…for the rest of us that suffering may wear a burqa but always the heart of a women beats underneath the mesh covering her indomitable heart. “I believe Phoenicia’s conception in the quote has a positive idea, yet I can’t consent with her statement that every women suffering has a strong will. I believe this quote more accurately describes the characters in A Thousand Splendid Suns. I observed Phoenicia’s piece to be very insightful and accurate, yet in the passage, “…broken mothers who then mothers brokenly and thus raising broken daughters…” seems a little irrelevant. Mariam may have been raised by a broken mother, but she does not “mother brokenly”, as she never has a child. Laila, who does have children, is a good parent who does not seem to be affected by her mother’s neglect.
Summary: Harvey Thomson analyzes A Thousand Splendid Suns and how it interestingly incorporates historical events into a motivating tale. He explains how the novel expresses the endurance of women through Mariam and Laila’s stories. Thomson suggests, however that the story doesn’t have enough critical engagement, and doesn’t emphasize the lack of advancement in women’s status to the extent that it should.
Conclusion: I disagree with Thomson’s analysis on many levels. To begin, it is suggested in his article that A Thousand Splendid Suns is a more “sincere effort” than The Kite Runner. As I have read both novels, I believe that the two stories are diverse enough to say that both are sincere efforts and target different groups of people subject to abuse. It is true enough that typically the women’s rights issue is a sensitive topic among society, yet I do not believe this undermines the sincerity of the story in the Kite Runner. Thomson suggests that the author should have incorporated more historical facts in A Thousand Splendid Suns to further illustrate the lack of advancement of women’s rights in Afghanistan. I believe that if Hosseini were to include more historical events, this would negatively impact the plot of the story by making it too verbose. A Thousand Splendid Suns is a very strong and interesting story that has a wonderful balance of history and symbolism, making it out to be a beautiful piece of literature. Adding more unnecessary information, in my opinion would disturb this balance. Thomson’s title by itself expresses his opinion in a nutshell: “A Thousand Splendid Suns: the plight of Afghan women only partially depicted.” It seems as if Thomson had higher expectations for the novel in regards to it's history lesson rather than the substance of the story.