A Thousand Splendid Suns: Use Of Birds As a Symbol Essay

541 WordsOct 16, 20113 Pages
Birds have always had a significant meaning in many cultures and in many ways. They are used to symbolize purity, evil, immortality, and beauty. Kahled Hosseini uses many birds to symbolize the life of Miriam, in “A Thousand Splendid Suns”. Miriam’s actions and desires reflect themselves in the birds that Hosseini strategically places throughout the book. He uses a mockingbird’s freedom, the banning of parakeets, and a simple crow to show that something seemingly so innocent and basic, can have a deeper, more complex meaning behind it. The mockingbird does precisely what its name says, it mocks other birds. In one particular scene, Mariam observes the bird as it copies other sounds and flies into the clouds, where it is free from the horrible land that Mariam is living. Hosseini writes, “Outside, mockingbirds were singing blithely, and, once in a while, when the songsters took flight, Mariam could see their wings catching the phosphorescent blue moonlight beaming through the clouds” (244). This mockingbird symbolizes the one thing that Mariam wants more than anything; freedom. Another bird that constantly shows up in the book is the parakeet. The parakeet is a beautiful, colorful, and exotic bird, who loves to imitate what it hears. When the Taliban took over Kabul in “A Thousand Splendid Suns,” they set a list of rules that the people living there must follow. One of these specific laws stated that, “If you keep parakeets, you will be beaten. Your birds will be killed” (276). The Taliban prohibited any form of entertainment from flying kites, parakeets and even laughter for the people living in Kabul. As Miriam continues to fail to bear a boy child for Rasheed, he becomes more and more angry with her. Miriam must deal simultaneously with her husband’s anger towards her and with the war that is going on. This banning of parakeets, along with the banishment of

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