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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. What caused Tariq to lose one of his legs?
2. In what year does Chapter 12 begin?
3. When did Fariba and her husband move to Kabul?
4. What word used in the narrative refers to a woman's honor?
5. What is the name of the celebration that follows Ramadan?
Short Essay Questions
1. How does the Afghanistan war against the Russians factor directly into Laila's storyline in Chapter 17?
2. Chapter 6 is a transitional chapter in A Thousand Splendid Suns. What purpose does this transition serve?
3. What discrepancy is seen between Nana's and Jalil's descriptions of Mariam's birth in Chapter 2?
4. What loss does Mariam suffer in Chapter 13? How does this loss affect her?
5. When does Chapter 23 take place? What is the political atmosphere like in Afghanistan at this time?
6. What are Mariam's perceptions of Kabul during Ramadan in Chapter 12?
7. How does Nana respond when Mullah Faizullah suggests Mariam be educated in Chapter 3? Why?
8. What literary allusion does the author employ in Chapter 21? How does this allusion relate metaphorically to A Thousand Splendid Suns?
9. How is the wedding ceremony described in Chapter 8? Who is present for the wedding?
10. What leads to the change in Fariba's behavior in Chapter 23? How does her behavior change?
Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:
Essay Topic 1
Discuss the themes of grief and war in A Thousand Splendid Suns. How are these themes illustrated symbolically in the novel? How do the women and men in the narrative express their grief differently? How are war and grief intertwined for the characters in the story?
Essay Topic 2
Discuss marriage customs within Muslim society and girls’ education in Afghanistan in the 1960s and 1970s. Jalil has three wives in the novel. How common is it for Muslim men to have more than one wife? What customs surround marriage and courtship in Afghanistan, particularly in the 1960s?
Essay Topic 3
Discuss the theme of suffering in A Thousand Splendid Suns. How has Laila come to understand her mother’s suffering when she feels the loss of Tariq? How does Laila react differently to grief than her mother? What does Mariam think of when she considers Laila’s grief over her parents’ loss?
This section contains 932 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)