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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.
Short Answer Questions
1. How long has Tariq been gone when Fariba finally agrees to leave Kabul in Chapter 26?
2. What word used in the narrative refers to a woman's honor?
3. What does the word "kojr" translate to in English?
4. What kind of hat does Tariq wear as they watch the last Soviet convoys leave the city in Chapter 22?
5. Who is the village arbab of Gul Daman that visits Mariam and her mother once a month or so during Mariam's childhood?
Short Essay Questions
1. How have Mariam's circumstances changed by the end of Chapter 5? What has caused Mariam's circumstances to change?
2. What literary allusion does the author employ in Chapter 21? How does this allusion relate metaphorically to A Thousand Splendid Suns?
3. How are Laila's circumstances shown to be different than Mariam's circumstances in Chapter 16?
4. When does Chapter 21 take place? What is the political atmosphere like in Afghanistan at this time?
5. What does Hakim reveal to Laila when they are alone at the top of the statues in Chapter 21?
6. What news is delivered to Laila's family in Chapter 19? How does Laila's mother handle this information?
7. What circumstances lend themselves to Mariam's feelings of isolation in Chapter 10?
8. What are Mariam's perceptions of Kabul during Ramadan in Chapter 12?
9. What political even does Laila's family witness in Chapter 22? What do they make of this affair?
10. How would you describe Mariam's relationship with each of her parents in Chapter 1?
Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:
Essay Topic 1
Discuss the themes of pregnancy and oppression in the novel. What oppressions has Mariam faced as a woman in Afghanistan by the age of fifteen? How are these oppressions compounded with her marriage? How does Mariam feel about her pregnancy? How do these themes apply to Laila?
Essay Topic 2
Analyze and discuss the character of Rasheed in the narrative. How does Rasheed treat Mariam after their wedding? How does she adjust to her new circumstances? What “rules” and expectations does Rasheed set in place for his wife? How does Rasheed’s character evolve in the course of the story?
Essay Topic 3
Discuss the political atmosphere of Kabul following Najibullah’s surrender in 1992. How many different factions in Afghanistan began warring against one another at this time? What were the objectives of each group? How were the everyday lives of Afghani citizens affected by these changes?
This section contains 957 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)