Women in Prism: A Psychoanalysis of Khaled Hosseini’s A Thousand Splendid Suns

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Shalini Sharma, Rabindra Kumar Verma


The research paper explores multifaceted, multifarious, and bifurcated images of women characters in Khaled
Hosseini‟s A Thousand Splendid Suns (2007) in the light of Maslow‟s theory of “Hierarchy of Needs”. The
west Asian Afghan-American writer, Khaled Hosseini‟s characterization of women characters and depiction of
their problems vie attention of the readers widely. In the novel, two Afghan women Laila and Mariam showcase a strong bond of love, and find themselves connected with each other as if they cannot live in isolation; consequently they are dependent on each other. Abraham Maslow‟s theory of “Hierarchy of Needs” argues that people‟s behavior is provoked by the five basic principles of needs - physiological, safety, love, esteem, and self-actualization. All these five principles of need are inherent in the linguistic devices employed by the novelist; particularly use of signs, images, emblems, symbols, and tokens helps readers to unfold different aspects of woman‟s personality. The relationships between Mariam and her father; Jalil, Mariam and Rasheed, and Laila and Mariam portray women‟s problems. The relationship between Mariam and Laila showcases the prism of unselfish attachment and with the passage of time the antagonistic relation shapes mother-daughter relationship and fulfillment of womanhood by further provoking Mariam to indulge herself in a heroic deed beyond the social norms.

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