Thursday, February 7, 2013
Though we haven't had this discussion yet, I wanted to expound upon Socratic Seminar question number twenty-three which states, "In your opinion, would a better ending for the novel have been for Mariam to escape with Tariq and Laila and also find happiness? Are you left with the impresion that Tariq and Laila can experience happiness?" In the novel A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini, the character Mariam was brought up in a world filled with hate. Her mother, Nana, was constantly trying to convince Mariam that her father, Jalil, was an evil man and, consequently, Mariam felt torn because she didn't know whether or not she should be loyal to her mother or her father because she loved them both. After Nana died and Jalil sent her away to marry Rasheed, she essentially her father because she hated him for sending her away. Throughout her many years with Rasheed, she was unhappy and lonely and she never felt that she was good enough. When Laila joined the family, Mariam felt that she would be completely forgotten. However, once Laila and Mariam became friends through Aziza, she experiences true and unconditional love which brings her real happiness for the first time in her life. That being said, I believe that, while it is unfortunate, it was necessary for Mariam to sacrifice herself for Laila's safety. Though I would have wanted for everyone to have a 'happily ever after', Mariam was right when she said that if both of them escaped, the authorities would never stop trying to hunt them down for murdering Rasheed. Mariam is an older woman by the end of the novel; she would not have been able to remarry and there would have only been limited job opportunities open for her and it made her happy to know that she was sacrificing herself to ensure the safety of the people she loved. Tariq and Laila, on the other hand, are still on the road to happiness. While their children are mostly adjusted and content by the end of the novel, all of the horrible events that occured throughout Tariq and Laila's lives are going to make it difficult to truly find happiness, again. However, I do believe that, with time, their wounds will heal. This is a question of sacrifice for the greater good and, in reality, Mariam's decision to turn herself in was the correct one. Laila, Tariq, Aziza and Zalmai had full, prosperous lives ahead of them and the children depended on Laila. I, personally, have been in situations where I've either witnessed or had to sacrifice something in order to help someone else out. While I do not want to take the blame, I know that I am doing the right thing and that makes it okay.