Gender Representation in A Thousand Splendid Suns: A Corpus-Based Stylistic Analysis


  • Nabeeha Qayyum Department of English, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan
  • Sammar Fatima Syed Graduate ,BS in English, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan


Corpus-based, Gender Representation, Stylistic Analysis


The current study consists of corpus-based stylistic analysis of a novel ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ (2008) by Khaled Hosseini. This study aims to examine gender representation in the selected book. The researcher utilizes Dale Spender’s theoretical framework. The research adopts a mixed-method approach that blends qualitative methods with quantitative one. The focus of the study is the analysis of adjectives, verbs, and taboo terms that have been used with both male and female characters in the novel. The occurrences of the chosen categories, together with their concordances, are extracted from a specialized corpus created from one novel’s worth of text using AntConc version 4.2.0. The study demonstrates that men frequently abuse women physically and verbally. The frequency analysis of adjectives, verbs and taboo terms has shown that male characters are presented as powerful, immoral, authoritative and dominating, whereas female characters are oppressed, victimised, and weak. 42% of adjectives having unfavourable meanings in different contexts are employed with females, thus underrepresenting them in this novel; on the other hand, 53% of adjectives positively depict the male characters relating to their strength and masculinity. Moreover, 40% of verbs are found with males depicting men’s authority and autonomous status, while 54% of verbs directly correlate with women’s inferior status. The taboo terms are used mostly by male characters to devalue and degrade others especially females in this novel. This research is expected to pave new paths for upcoming researchers to understand new perspectives of stylistics and the portrayal of gender roles in Afghani culture.
Keywords: Corpus-based, Gender representation, Stylistic analysis.




How to Cite

Qayyum, N., & Syed, S. F. (2023). Gender Representation in A Thousand Splendid Suns: A Corpus-Based Stylistic Analysis. Journal of Excellence in Social Sciences, 2(1), 20–36. Retrieved from