And the Mountains Echoed Chapter Three Summary & Analysis
Chapter Three Summary – Spring 1949
The narration shifts back three years before Parwana is married to Saboor. She is taking care of (and cleaning up) her twin sister Masooma after she had soiled herself. Masooma is paralyzed. She can speak and feels shame at her mess, but cannot help it. Masooma seems to know that she is holding her sister’s life back, claiming that she “deserves better than ” (53). The narrator describes the amount of work Parwana must do in taking care of the both of them.
The narrator moves into a flashback to illustrate the context of the sisters’ relationship. Masooma was the perfect child, and was the only expected one. Parwana arrived unexpectedly and was a difficult baby. Masooma was loved by all and as she grew, became a beautiful young woman. Even young boys were enchanted by her. Both Parwana and Masooma knew this, although it was an unspoken truth.
In the past, Parwana secretly admired Saboor, even as a youngster. At a young age, he would tell the village tales and he admitted that he would like to write down his stories one day. Parwana stole a leather journal to give to him when she felt the courage. However, Masooma gives the journal to Saboor claiming she had just found it around the house. It crushed Parwana even though she never let on.
The narration moves back into the present and Nabi, the sisters’ older brother, stops by for his monthly visit. He provides money from his city job in Kabul and he talks with Parwana about Saboor and the death of his wife with the birth of Pari. ” he’s looking to marry again” (62). Nabi knows that Parwana admires Saboor.
The story moves into a flashback again to when the sisters were thirteen. Parwana muses on Masooma’s beauty and she feel that she is a “pathetic shadow, torn between her envy and the thrill of being seen with Masooma” (64).
Back in the present narration, Masooma and Parwana are smoking from the hookah. Masooma asks Parwana if she would take her…