Defense Mechanisms In The Khaled Hosseini Novels

1566 words - 6 pages

People's who do not receive affection as children impacts their future relationships. In Khaled Hosseini novels, he illustrates the psychological results of people’s lack of affection in their early ages. Hosseini’s novels take place in Afghanistan during the Soviet Regime. In his novel, A Thousand Splendid Suns, the story follows Mariam and Laila, two co-wives of a middle aged man, Rasheed. Mariam is first introduced in the novel; she is the daughter of Nana and Jalil. She is a harami, a child conceived out of wedlock, with a father that is ashamed of her and a mother who is unable to provide her with the love and affection that she needs. At the age of fifteen, Mariam decides she wants to go and discover her father’s life and meet his family, which results in Nana committing suicide. After the death of her mother, Jalil and his wives, force Mariam to get married to Rasheed who is older than her by at least thirty years. Her marriage with Rasheed is filled with mental and physical abuse. The novel then introduces, Laila who becomes Rasheed’s second wife but she does not have a choice. At the time she gets married, she has just lost her entire family including the love of her life, Tariq. Laila and Tariq are childhood best friends who become intimate and have sexual intercourse before marriage. In Islam, this is considered to be haram which means forbidden. When Laila comes to the Rasheed household, she is injured and he tricks her by convincing her that her best friend is dead. Unfortunately, Mariam marries him because she realizes that she is already pregnant with Tariq’s child. Mariam never has children of her own but makes a strong connection with Laila's children, especially Aziza. Aziza is also a harami. Laila and her two children become the family that Mariam wished she always had and they soon discover the importance of their relationship. Similarly in The Kite Runner, Amir the protagonist does not receive affection during hi childhood from his father, Baba. When Amir was younger, he always thought his father did not love him because he blamed him for his mother’s death. Amir and Baba’s relationship is weak because of his father’s past secrets that prevent him from expressing his feelings to Amir. Baba does not tell him the truth about Hassan, the family servant’s son. Amir and Hassan are half brothers. Baba had a secret affair with Hassan’s mother. The social status of Baba made it difficult for him to be open about Hassan being his son, which resulted in him not being able to express his fatherly love to both of his sons. In Amir’s childhood, he never valued his relationship with Hassan and he witnesses Hassan getting raped. When Amir finds out that Hassan is indeed his brother he goes on a mission to save his nephew, Sohrab. The characters in both novels, experience tragic events in their lives but they cope with the emotions differently. Therefore, Khaled Hosseini illustrates through his work, that when dealing with tragic life...

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