How were Dane in The Thorn Birds and Hassan in The Kite Runner similar and different from each other?

Dane in The Thorn Birds and Hassan in The Kite Runner are similar in that both are male characters whose biological fathers are not the men to whom their mothers were married, both are good people, and both die as young adults. Differences include the countries where they were born and raised, their religions, their social statuses, and their marital and parental statuses.

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In The Thorn Birds, Dane is the son of Margaret (Meggie) O’Neill; his biological father is the priest Ralph De Bricassart, with whom she had a very brief affair. Meggie does not tell her husband, Luke, that the boy is not his son. Similarly, in The Kite Runner, Hassan is the son of Sanaubar; his biological father is Baba, the employer of her husband, Ali. It is unclear whether Ali is aware of this fact, and if so, when he learned.

Both Dane and Hassan are shown to be good people who go out of their way to help others. To some extent, this connects to another similarity, which is that both men die young. Dane dies while trying to rescue some women from drowning. Hassan is shot to death by the Taliban while trying to protect his family.

The differences of nationality and religion are significant in part because Dane, who is Australian and Catholic, becomes a priest. Hassan, born and raised in Afghanistan, is a Muslim of the Hazara, a minority ethnic and religious group. As such, his family’s work opportunities are limited, and he grows up as a servant. In contrast to Dane becoming a priest, Hassan marries Fazana, and they become the parents of Sohrab.

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