This essay discusses that Hosseini had filled the novel with poignant symbols, which clearly pointed out to the constant struggle between oppression and the hope. The following quote illustrates it, “Then she added a fourth column. A solitary, eleventh pebble.” (Hosseini 27). This quote is the symbol of Mariam trying to fit herself into Jalil’s family where she was the solitary eleventh pebble. The word “solitary” reinforces that throughout her life Mariam was an outcast. By birth, she was an outcast as she was an illegitimate child and even after her marriage, her husband too treated her as an outcast due to her miscarriages and her inability to bear his children. The incident of arranging pebbles came to life when one day while cooking, she burnt the food and her husband forced her to chew pebbles which broke her molars. The symbol of hope, which pervades the plot of the novel.Throughout the play, Hosseini depicts the plight of the women in patriarchal society. The constant strife between oppression and hope shines through the plot. Mariam’s life, Laila’s life and the lives of all other characters bear witness to it. The other wise sad and dark novel gets a ray of hope through Laila’s pregnancy which is symbolically represented by the lines where she hopes to plant some more saplings once the walls are rebuilt. The walls being rebuilt symbolizes the recovery of Afghanistan. In this manner the all the literary elements used in the novel contributes to the central theme of the novel.
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