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Attempts at female independence are universally shown as a prominent theme in both ‘Wuthering Heights’ and ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ This is revealed in the ways the female characters try to fight against the patriarchal system that strips away their independence and both oppresses and represses them. In ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ the omniscient narrator demonstrates to the reader the ways Mariam and Laila attempt to fight against Afghanistan’s misogynistic and backward-thinking society, for example when Mariam ‘for the first time in her life’ decided for herself and ‘headed down the hill to Herat’ this elucidates the hunger that Afghanistan girls and women have to take dictatorship of their own lives and escape from the clutches of subjugation, the Omniscient narrator gives us a glimpse through the third-person narrative that Herat is symbolic for Mariam’s independence and opportunity, a place where ‘no one called her a Harami” this alludes to the ideology that Mariam’s harami status is the only thing and the fact that she’s a woman that is ultimately stripping her from obtaining freedom and equality, she’s rendered independent on men to survive. Contextually speaking Afghanistan The patriarchal society enforces ‘the ideal womanhood’ concept on women which has to be attained in any condition or circumstance. As reflected in the novel, in Afghan society, it is the women who have to cultivate these ideas laid down by the patriarchy.

Similarly in ‘Wuthering Heights’ young Cathy, like Mariam, attempts to obtain independence and freedom of mobility, when Cathy goes against her father’s order and secretly visits Wuthering Heights, this highlights that young Cathy decides to take matters into her own hands and goes against the Victorian patriarchy by disobeying the orders of her father, who contextually speaking during the Victorian Era men were the head of the house and women were expected to obey them as well as men were active and independent, whereas women were passive and dependent on men. For Cathy to go against her father’s order elucidates her attempt to gain her independence and individuality, she’s going against societal expectations about how a woman, especially a child, should behave. As the narrative switched from Nelly Dean to young Cathy the reader can catch a glimpse into Cathy’s feelings and how she ‘wished her father knew, and approved of my excursions” this elucidates that although Cathy decided to govern her actions her dependence on the male characters is inevitable and like Mariam her attempt to be independent ends with the tragic death of their parents, thus leaving them both vulnerable to the dictatorship of their husbands, in Cathy’s circumstances it is Heathcliff who dictates her life and strips her from her Independence.

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Moreover ‘In A Thousand Splendid Suns’ and ‘Wuthering Heights’ female attempts to gain independence are demonstrated through the ideology that Laila, Mariam, Catherine, and young Cathy seem to be victims of a Patriarchal Society; some suffer more in it, especially those who are too frightened to stand up for themselves. Catherine and Laila are not examples of an everyday woman unlike Isabella and Mariam, who are more the norm, traditional women and the ones who were subjugated the most. They are both controlled by men who are very cruel mentally and physically to them and seem to accept that they are always to blame if anything goes wrong ‘Like a compass needle that points north, a man’s accusing finger always finds a woman. This acts as both a simile and a metaphor and it is emblematic of the suffering of women and although they attempt to gain independence like they are always found out and how men in Afghanistan, in Nana’s opinion, have overpowered women in terms of freedom and equality. Both these characters, try to break out, but sadly it doesn’t go well for them. Isabella knows this and believes ‘If Cathy died… I might begin to live. ‘ This is unlike Mariam who died so that she could save others; she shows so much courage, as this is her first break for freedom and independence. ‘She was leaving the world as a woman who had loved and been loved back ‘ This alludes that through love Mariam was able to find freedom and choose the course of her own life and that her life would only end on her terms, she died as someone who fought against the Taliban and Rasheed oppressive behavior, at the end of the novel she died independently.

Catherine is also similar to Mariam in the way they both choose to die. But Catherine died for only one reason and that was that she believed she would get her way by making herself ill. It was her form of passive protest, as she believed it was the only thing she could do with the little power she had, and it can be argued that through her use of self-starvation, she found her independence and how she lived her life. ‘Well, if I cannot keep Heathcliff for my friend I’ll try to break their hearts by breaking my own’ This further enforces the ideology of female attempt for independence and it could be argued that she attempted to find power and independence in a patriarchal society that killed her as well as Edgar’s controlling nature and trying to tame Catherine’s wild and passionate nature. For example, when Edgar demands she ‘must’ choose between him or Heathcliff with the forceful adverb ‘absolutely and modal verbs ‘require’ and ‘must’ reflecting his strict dominance over her Catherine responds to this authority by breaking down into ‘senseless, wicked rages’ and eventually descending into a darker, more troubling state – the state of madness as she ‘stretches herself out stiff’, her cheeks become ‘blanched’ and ‘assume the aspect of death. The semantic field of violence used to describe her behavior emphasizes her lack of control and the intensity of her rage as she ‘rings the bell till it breaks with a twang’, and ‘dashes her head against the arm of the sofa.’ We get the feeling that this madness is a result of her entrapment in her marriage to Edgar and that she is desperately thrashing out in frustration, feeling caged by her husband’s demands. This idea of a restraining strict marriage is reflected in the symbolism of books – which Edgar spends his time reading instead of caring for Catherine, this alludes to the idea that books traditionally represent education and nobility – things Edgar Linton’s whole life revolves around as a high-class gentleman. This highlights that Catherine believes that Edgar is more willing to abide by the rules of society that dictate that a woman should be dominated by her husband’s wishes than to care for his wife’s well-being – something the law at that time ignored, believing it was only right for women to be completely under the rule of men.

The endings of both ‘Wuthering Heights’ and ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ reveal to the reader the writer’s purpose and the aftermath of the experiences of the second generation, for example in ‘Wuthering Heights’ Catherine Earnshaw’s death can be seen as the last resort for the oppressed, a kind of willed suicide which she announces is her only form of revenge against both Edgar Linton and Heathcliff for thwarting her true nature, this gives rise to a more hopeful ending for young Cathy Linton stays true to her promise that Heathcliff ‘won’t, from mere malice, destroy irrevocably all her happiness’. Cathy ends up finding love with Hareton, therefore through this love, like Mariam, she finds freedom and turns her life around. This leaves the readers with a final glimmer of hope: she has finally escaped the patriarchal world of oppression against women despite her father-in-law’s tyrannical abuse- here Bronte’s message is that women can achieve freedom and escape society’s constraints. Similarly ‘In A Thousand Splendid Suns’ Khalid’s message is that of universal hope for women and the reader can see that the second generation with hopeful eyes as with the Taliba vanished women’s rights to education was established and ‘the noose around Kabul’ was finally released and women didn’t need to attempt to gain their independence since with the Taliban gone they found independence in the buds of flowers and nurtured it for it to grow across the whole of Afghanistan this is demonstrated through the symbolism of ‘the rocket flowers’ which are symbolic that despite the war, conflict and oppression women were still able to grow into people who are no longer restricted but free.

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