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Julia Miles

Mrs. Manugo

English 112

18 April 2017

Love in War

Books have the ability to carry valuable life lessons from words on a page to the minds of


BEFORE JUMPING INTO ATSS. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini is just one

famous example; this particular novel spreads messages about love, war, oppression, family, and

much more. In ATSS Khaled Hosseini is particularly skillful in his use of figurative language to

prove that love and belonging can be found in even the darkest of places.

Lailas unconditional love for Tariq is one example of this theme. Hosseini writes,

Maybe it is senseless to want to be near a person so badly in a country where bullets had

shredded her own brothers to pieces. But all Laila has to do is picture Tariq going at Khadim

with his leg and then nothing in the world seems more sensible to her (Hosseini 137). Here, the

author uses hyperbole to describe how miniscule death and war seem in Lailas eyes when

compared to her feelings for Tariq. She says nothing in the world is more sensible than staying

with her love even in a country that killsed her brothers, which really tells the reader that her

love burns passionately despite the war raging around her. This quote is short and simple, yet the

hyperbole of Lailas love speaks volumes.

Miriam wished for so much in those final moments. Yet as she closed her eyes, it was not

regret any longer but a sensation of abundant peace that washed over her. She thought of

her entry into this world, the harami child of a lowly villager, an unintended thing, a
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pitiable, regrettable accident. A weed. And yet she was leaving the world as a woman

who had loved and been loved back. She was leaving it as a friend, a companion, a

guardian. A mother. A person of consequence at last. No. It was not so bad, Miriam

thought, that she should die this way. Not so bad. This was a legitimate end to a life of

illegitimate belongings. (Hosseini 370)

In this quote, the author uses commas and periods to create dramatic pauses that enhance the

magnitude of Mariams feelings of love and belonging. He also uses parallel structure to create a

contrast between Mariams positive and negative feelings. Each descriptor - harami, pitiable,

accident - is written with quick pauses like a series of swift punches to the readers emotions.

Then, Hosseini turns around and does the exact same thing but with positive descriptors -

friend, companion, guardian, mother - to mirror and oppose the negatives so that the

positives seem much stronger, all while repeating those same rapid pauses to drum at the readers

emotions in a much more loving way. This quote reinforces Hosseinis theme of love in dark

places by showing how strong Mariams loving thoughts are even in the face of death.

Khaled Hosseini masterfully uses many writing strategies to send a number of messages

to his readers, but his most prominent strategy is the figurative language he uses to drive home

the lesson that love and belonging will always exist in dark places.

Works Cited
Hosseini, Khaled. A Thousand Splendid Suns. New York: Riverhead Books, 2007. Print.