Study Guide

A Thousand Splendid Suns Warfare

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War! Hoo! Hah! What is it good for? Absolutely nothing! A Thousand Splendid Suns is defined by war, but that doesn't mean it has to like it. The novel does not shy from showing you the horrible reality of war and its effect on regular people, but it's not a hopeless tale. Instead, it's concerned with how people manage to endure despite the horrors that surround them. War is tough, sure, but people are tougher.

Questions About Warfare

  1. What internal tensions cause infighting among the Mujahideen?
  2. How does the war affect the city of Kabul? How are its people changed by the conflict?
  3. How is Mammy's view of the war shaped by Ahmad and Noor's participation?
  4. Why does Laila remain skeptical about the outcome of the American invasion?

Chew on This

In A Thousand Splendid Suns, all war is inherently evil, and even so-called "just wars" can end up causing more harm than good.

The novel shows why revolutionary wars usually fail. Different political and cultural factions can come together in the face of a common enemy, but those alliances quickly fall apart once the common enemy is gone.

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