Dissertation
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A Feminist Reading of a Thousand Splendid Suns

Author ChenPengHua
Tutor LiuMinXia
School China University of Geosciences
Course English Language and Literature
Keywords A Thousand Splendid Suns Feminism Oppression Awakening Resistance
CLC I712.074
Type Master's thesis
Year 2013
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Khaled Hosseini, an Afghan-American writer, shot to fame because of the publication of his first novel The Kite Runner in2003, and appeared on the stage of the world literature. In2007, his second novel, A Thousand Splendid Suns, also attracted rave reviews after its release. As the first Afghan-American writer who describes the history of Afghanistan in English, Hosseini always presents that his fictions are richly and deeply rooted in Afghan culture. A Thousand Splendid Suns tells a heartrending story against the backdrop of Afghanistan warfare and reveals almost a half-century of miseries and sufferings faced Afghan women. With his two books, Hosseini presents a different Afghanistan, which urges people all over the world to rediscover it.Based on the theory of feminist literary criticism, this thesis aims to interpret A Thousand Splendid Suns from the perspective of feminism. It analyzes the two females’ changes from wildering, to awakening and to resisting in face of oppression, with their relationship changing from Mariam’s hatred to Laila into being friendly sisters. Also, it exposes and bitterly rebukes, the oppression both physically and spiritually imposed by family and society and shows that women should make constant efforts and play their own roles in order to lift the restrictions of a male-dominated society.This thesis is divided into six parts:Chapter One briefly introduces Khaled Hosseini, his works and a literature review on A Thousand Splendid Suns; Chapter Two mainly reviews the phylogeny of feminism, phases of its development, and makes a brief survey of feminist literary criticism; Chapter Three shows that it is because of domestic violence and social violence that Mariam and Laila lose their selves and their subjectivity step by step; Chapter Four delineates the sufferings that Mariam and Laila have to endure and their changes from enduring to awakening; Chapter Five explores how Mariam and Laila resist the patriarchal society and achieve equality and freedom under the guidance of independent female consciousness; Chapter Six points out a bright way for the oppressed and suppressed women:only through constant struggle and search for the integrity of self can women establish their identity, achieve the equality between men and women, and obtain independence and autonomy.

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