Study Guide

A Thousand Splendid Suns Family

By Khaled Hosseini

Family

Nobody loves his or her family all of the time. That's just a fact of life. Despite this, A Thousand Splendid Suns suggests that there's no one more important than your family. The novel also suggests that the concept of "family" extends beyond blood relatives. Think about how Mariam and Laila develop a mother-daughter relationship, or think about the bond between Tariq and Zalmai that begins to grow at the end of the novel. Sometimes family is your blood, and sometimes it isn't—but your family, however you define it, is always at the center of your life.

Questions About Family

  1. What are the similarities and differences between Laila and Mariam's relationships with their mothers?
  2. How does Mariam's status as a harami isolate her from a normal family life? How does she eventually overcome that stigma?
  3. Is Mammy right to be upset with Babi over what happened to Ahmad and Noor? Why or why not?
  4. How does Laila's love for her children change her?

Chew on This

A Thousand Splendid Suns sometimes portrays family as a burden, but it always portrays it as a burden worth carrying.

The novel doesn't limit the concept of "family" to just blood relatives. On the contrary, Mariam and Laila's mother-daughter relationship shows that other people can fulfill familial roles.

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