In Hosseini's novels, what are Hassan's and Mariam's reasons for decisions for giving their lives for the sake of their friends?
Why did Hassan and Mariam give their lives for their respective friends? What good did their sacrifices bring about in Amir and Laila's lives? What does this show us about Hassan and Mariam?
Hassan--Hosseini's character from his first novel The Kite Runner does not literally give his life for his friend. Yes, he does sacrifice his innocence by not giving up the kite that Amir wants to badly, but he does not sacrifice his life. Later in the novel when Hassan is killed by a Talib, you might argue that he is killed trying to protect Baba and Amir's home, but even then Amir has long been out of his life. None of that is to weaken, however, Hassan's loyalty to Amir. Because Hassan never betrayed Amir to Baba and because he forgave Amir even when Amir did not ask for forgiveness, he is able to have an indirect influence on the novel's narrator. When Amir returns to Afghanistan in that last third of the novel, he does so in an effort to redeem himself for betraying Hassan and eventually saves Hassan's son Sohrab.
Mariam--Mariam's journey is slightly more difficult than Hassan's because she is rejected by her own mother and father and suffers years of abuse at the hands of her husband. Unlike Hassan, Mariam is actually put in a position where she literally sacrifices her life for Laila and Laila's family. She takes the blame for Rasheed's death so that the younger Laila has a chance at happiness. What Mariam teaches Laila through her sacrifice is that even in the midst of the greatest tragedy and happiness there is still hope for a better future.
Both the characters from his two books have hard lives but chose to give to others rather than focus on themselves. The spiritual side of a person can help to guide a person's decisions. To chose willingly to give of oneself is a form of self satisfaction and trust in one's faith. Both characters demonstrated this type of goodness.
Hassan's blind faith in his friend eventually led to his friend's personal redemption and eventually Hassan's son being saved from Assef.