Directions: Choose three



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A Thousand Splendid Suns Quotations: Characterization and Theme

Directions: Choose three of the following quotations and explain each one’s significance to the novel. Your explanation must demonstrate what the quotation tells the reader about specific characters, the setting (time and/or place), conflict or resolution, and theme. Please include concrete examples. The page numbers correspond to the paperback edition.



  1. “She [Mariam] was being sent away because she was the walking, breathing embodiment of their shame.” (p. 48)

  2. “Where I come from, a woman’s face is her husband’s business only.”
    (p. 70)

  3. “Babi had made it clear to Laila from a young age that the most important thing in his life, after her safety, was her schooling.” (p. 114)

  4. “To me, it’s nonsense—and very dangerous nonsense at that--all this talk of I’m Tajik and you’re Pashtun and he’s Hazara and she’s Uzbek. We’re all Afghans, and that’s all that should matter.” (p. 130)

  5. “The Mujahideen, armed to the teeth but now lacking a common enemy, had found the enemy in each other. Kabul’s day of reckoning had come at last.” (p. 172)

  6. “I have friends who have two, three, four wives. ... what I’m doing now most men I know would have done long ago.” (p. 215)

  7. “... for the first time, it was not an adversary’s face Laila saw but a face of grievances unspoken, burdens gone un-protested, a destiny submitted to and endured.” (p. 249)

  8. “...she [Mariam] marveled at how, after all these years of rattling loose, she had found in this little creature [Aziza] the first true connection in her life of false, failed connections.” (p. 252)

  9. “The more Tariq talked, the more Laila dreaded the moment when he would stop. The silence that would follow, the signal that it was her turn to give account, to provide the why and how and when, to make official what he surely already knew.” (p. 337)

  10. “Kabul is waiting. Needing. This journey home is the right thing to do.”
    (p. 392)

  11. “Laila thinks of her own life and all that has happened to her, and she is astonished that she too has survived....” (p. 395)

  12. “...Mariam is in Laila’s own heart, where she shines with the bursting radiance of a thousand suns.” (p. 414)


A Thousand Splendid Suns Quotations: Characterization and Theme

Directions: Choose three of the following quotations and explain each one’s significance to the novel. Your explanation must demonstrate what the quotation tells the reader about specific characters, the setting (time and/or place), conflict or resolution, and theme. Please include concrete examples. The page numbers correspond to the paperback edition.



  1. “She [Mariam] was being sent away because she was the walking, breathing embodiment of their shame.” (p. 48)

  2. “Where I come from, a woman’s face is her husband’s business only.”
    (p. 70)

  3. “Babi had made it clear to Laila from a young age that the most important thing in his life, after her safety, was her schooling.” (p. 114)

  4. “To me, it’s nonsense—and very dangerous nonsense at that--all this talk of I’m Tajik and you’re Pashtun and he’s Hazara and she’s Uzbek. We’re all Afghans, and that’s all that should matter.” (p. 130)

  5. “The Mujahideen, armed to the teeth but now lacking a common enemy, had found the enemy in each other. Kabul’s day of reckoning had come at last.” (p. 172)

  6. “I have friends who have two, three, four wives. ... what I’m doing now most men I know would have done long ago.” (p. 215)

  7. “... for the first time, it was not an adversary’s face Laila saw but a face of grievances unspoken, burdens gone un-protested, a destiny submitted to and endured.” (p. 249)

  8. “...she [Mariam] marveled at how, after all these years of rattling loose, she had found in this little creature [Aziza] the first true connection in her life of false, failed connections.” (p. 252)

  9. “The more Tariq talked, the more Laila dreaded the moment when he would stop. The silence that would follow, the signal that it was her turn to give account, to provide the why and how and when, to make official what he surely already knew.” (p. 337)

  10. “Kabul is waiting. Needing. This journey home is the right thing to do.”
    (p. 392)

  11. “Laila thinks of her own life and all that has happened to her, and she is astonished that she too has survived....” (p. 395)

  12. “...Mariam is in Laila’s own heart, where she shines with the bursting radiance of a thousand suns.” (p. 414)


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