The Power of Artistic Expression in “A Thousand Splendid Suns”
Today it is impossible to imagine our developed society in modern world without art. Throughout the whole human history people have been forming their world view, philosophy and belief system under the influence of art. Absorbing all experience and aesthetic knowledge, collected from the art of past generations, people gain one of the most precious things – education. Moreover, despite all restrictions, which exist in different countries and religions, people are willing to risk their lives in order to be a part of the world of art.
“Society has no chance of success if its women are uneducated, Laila. No chance” (Hosseini, 2007). Like Wagner said in his “Religion and Art” (1880), over the course of history, religion and art have been in close interaction, effecting each other. Moreover, religion has always served as inexhaustible source of inspiration for such great masters of visual arts as Raphael and Leonardo da Vinci.
Unfortunately, history continues to show us the opposite, when every human attempt of self-expression and speech liberty is cruelly punished by religion system. In “A Thousand Splendid Suns” by Khaled Hosseini the author demonstrates such a terrible example, presented by Taliban movement. In order to augment its power, Taliban deprived Afghan commonwealth of any chance to share culture of other nations and create their own. Such prohibition against art creation and its contemplation brings society deep isolation and degradation. Countries with no opportunity to create their own culture will always be corrupted from inside: “Laila, my love, the only enemy an Afghan cannot defeat is himself” (Hosseini, 2007).
Every religion provides people with the answers to the most worrying questions, leaving them no possibility to find the truth on their own. But any kind of art indispensably leads people to intellectual development, after what they may just refuse to take existing rules. So, art is a very powerful weapon for resistance as it gives an artist full freedom for mind expression.
Since any political regime used an art to strengthen its propaganda, artists would always create masterpieces to support revolutionaries. The power of resistance thoughts may be hidden beyond the bright colors of the paintings or be chanted in the mellifluous songs and skillfully rhymed in catchy poetry (Sartwell, 2010). At all times artists have been bumping up against restrictions and censor, brought by government system. However, those, who wanted to convey their truth no matter what, would only see in this situation an additional challenge to create genuine work of art. History got plenty of examples, when writers even in reprisals continued to create masterpieces, remembered by nations through epochs.
Moreover, art doesn’t have any boundaries or timeframes, while imparting mores and ideas through generations and parts of the world. There always will be shadowy organizations, which will praise the forbidden truth and bring it to others under the risk of their lives. According to violent regulations, which are brought by Taliban against art creation and contemplation, the true power of artistic self-expression may be seen. Only because Taliban political regime believes in power of artistic expression, it isolates Afghan nation from art freedom.
Like characters of “A Thousand Splendid Suns” by Khaled Hosseini, Mariam and Laila fought for their bright future in contempt of all hardships, presented by fate and Taliban restrictions, people would always risk their lives for all freedom they should have.