Transitivity Analysis of Mariam’s Character in A Thousand Splendid Suns


  • Farah Rauf Government Girls High School Jamrud, KPK Author



Transitivity, Systemic Functional Linguistics, Systemic Functional Grammar, process types, participant types, circumstances


This study investigates the portrayal of the central character, Mariam, in A Thousand Splendid Suns through the framework of Transitivity based on Halliday’s Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL). The study has analyzed some important events in Mariam’s life such as her childhood, her marital life, and the act of murdering her husband towards the end of the novel. A clause–by-clause analysis reveals that Mariam is assigned mental processes more than material, verbal, and relational processes in the beginning of the novel. Within mental processes, a majority of the processes are cognitive which illustrate that Mariam is a rational person. In contrast, a large number of verbal processes assigned to the Mullah, a religious figure, especially on the eve of Mariam’s wedding, suggest the influential and controlling role played by the religious/orthodox segments in the Afghan society as depicted in the novel. Towards the end of the novel, there is a shift in the use of material processes from Rasheed to Mariam which suggests the transfer of ‘power’ from one to the other, culminating in the murder of Rasheed at Mariam’s hand. The study shows the transformation of Mariam’s character from an ‘innocent’ and docile person into a powerful and empowered woman who takes her fate in her own hands.




How to Cite

Farah Rauf. (2021). Transitivity Analysis of Mariam’s Character in A Thousand Splendid Suns. University of Chitral Journal of Linguistics and Literature, 5(II), 137-147.

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