Narrative Strategies

A Thousand Splendid Suns the reader would think it’s a happy novel, however there’s nothing particularly “splendid” one would assume about the novel. From the very beginning of the novel the author, Khaled Hosseini inserts hints and foreshadowing to aware the reader that it will be an unhappy story. This is evident in the following illustration when Mariam breaks the sugar bowl , “It was the last peice that slipped from Mariam’s fingers, that fell to the wooden floorboards of thekolba and shattered” (Hosseini 2).

Hosseini is generating depressing emotions in the novel by introducing words ” fell” or “shattered” resembling failure or sin. The reader also gets introduced to the word “Harami” and other words, such as “kolba” and “Jinn” which are terms not identified by the author, so the reader must rely on the context to better understand what the word means. For example, when Mariam expresses the fear that the “jinn” has returned to her mother, the reader will assume that jinn is something bad.

The use of these terms establishes the setting , but also signifies that some things cannot be translated remaining a mystery for the reader. In the novel , Hosseini makes the reader live, see and feel by portraying the experiences the characters are going through in the novel, and by writing from a third person point of view , he broadens the readers ability because the perspective of the characters is limited, sometimes Mariam, sometimes Laila, which works to great effect to attach the reader to both characters equally.