How are Luke O'Neill in The Thorn Birds and Amir in The Kite Runner similar and different to each other?

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Luke O'Neill and Amir are similar in that they are both deeply flawed individuals. Luke is a crude, selfish man who thinks only of his own needs. He marries Meggie for her money and then proceeds to treat her like dirt. As for Amir, he's so insanely jealous over his...

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Luke O'Neill and Amir are similar in that they are both deeply flawed individuals. Luke is a crude, selfish man who thinks only of his own needs. He marries Meggie for her money and then proceeds to treat her like dirt. As for Amir, he's so insanely jealous over his father's relationship with Hassan that he stands by and does nothing when Hassan is brutally raped. Amir betrays Hassan in the belief that it will bring him and his father closer together.

Yet the big difference between the two men is that Amir is capable of showing remorse and making amends for his unacceptable behavior. Much of The Kite Runner is concerned with Amir's attempts to make up for his refusal to intervene and help Hassan in his hour of need.

Luke, on the other hand, displays no such qualities. If anything, his behavior gets even worse as the story progresses. Not content with grabbing all the money that Meggie brought to the marriage, he hires her out as a maid, making her work long, hard hours for an absolute pittance. At no point does Luke show the slightest love or respect for Meggie. Completely lacking in concern for another living soul, Luke is chronically incapable of demonstrating the kind of selflessness which we see from Amir.

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