Mariam is an amazing character and hoes through many changes throughout the book. In the beginning of the book, when she was younger Mariam saw herself, “reflected in the brown of Jalil’s eyes,…her face blazing with excitement, the sky behind her”(20). Mariam loved her father even though he left her as a harmai. Eventually Mariam’s mother commits suicide and Jalil marries her off to Rasheed. After she gets married the “bus pulled away” and “she did not look back to see him receding, to see him disappear in the cloud of exhaust and dust”(51). Now, Mariam is disgusted with Jalil and realizes that he is a dishonest person. After her poor marriage Mariam grows hatred for Rasheed and remembers “how women like us suffer, how quietly we endure all that falls upon us”(82). She realizes that Rasheed is making her suffer and she does not deserve it. Once Rasheed marries Laila, Mariam becomes jealous and upset with her, but eventually they from a bond. Mariam bonds with Laila’s baby and after sometime they would look at each other and “in this fleeting wordless exchange…know that they were no longer enemies”. They are now like sisters and Mariam has someone to love her. One day Mariam is holding Aziza and “her eyes watered. Her heart took flight. And she marveled at how, after all these years of rattling loose, she had found in this little creature the first true connection in her life of false, failed connections”(226). Mariam has never truly been loved and she finds truth in Laila’s baby. Hosseini writes that “two sprouted new flowers sprouted in her life”, revealing that Laila and Aziza are two beautiful people that she will grow relationships with.
Later on in the story Laila and Mariam try to escape but get caught and this leads Rahseed to be more strict than usual and causes him to attack Laila and try to kill her. Mariam will not have this and she kills Rasheed. This “was the first time that she was deciding the course of her own life. And, with that, Mariam brought down the shovel. This time she gave it everything she had” (30). This is a major turning pint in Mariam's life. She kills her husband for the only two people who have ever loved her. She realizes that she can’t let people control her and she must stand up for herself. Mariam is than jailed for her actions and as her mother said, “a man’s accusing finger always finds a woman” (323). Mariam, while in jail looks out at “children playing a blindfolded game”, revealing that there is truth in their game. They were singing a rhyme which Mariam remembers form childhood with Jalil, “Lili birdbath sitting on a dirt path, minnow sat on the rim and drank, slipped and in the water sank”(366). In this passage it seems that Mariam realizes that she was that bird who wanted the drink of “water” or love in her life but she always “sank” or never had these things. Now she realizes before facing death that she will be free, as a bird is, of all her worries and that she has experienced love. She entered the world as a “weed” and “yet she was leaving it as a friend, a companion, a guardian., a mother. A person of consequence at last”(329).
Before her execution Mariam realizes these things and although she struggled through life, in the end God guided her and after reciting the last words of the Koran a man tells her to kneel down and to look down. And for “one lat time, Mariam did as she was told”(329)., suggesting that death will bring Mariam to a better place where she will continue to be loved.