In The Kite Runner, how did Sanaubar betray Baba, Hassan and Ali?
It is obvious that Hassan's mother, Sanaubar, betrays both her husband and son, but I'm not so sure that Baba is affected by her sexual indiscretions. The beautiful Sanaubar is apparently a common harlot, remembered by soldiers for her willingness to serve their sexual needs. She betrays her husband, Ali, by cheating on him with Baba (and the soldiers), and her union with Baba produces their son, Hassan. Sanaubar betrays her baby by refusing to touch him and then deserting her family a week later by running off "with a clan of traveling singers and dancers." But Sanaubar may be judged too harshly: Since Ali is sterile, it is possible that he may have wanted a son--his previous marriage produced no children as well--and what better choice to turn to than his oldest friend, Baba. It is possible that Ali was in agreement with his wife's coupling with Baba and that he had given his approval. It is also possible that Baba's tryst with Sanaubar was a one-time thing, meant to produce the child that Ali may have desired. There is no evidence that Baba and Sanaubar had an ongoing relationship, and she willingly left Baba's home shortly after Hassan's birth. Of course, this could also be a form of betrayal if Baba was in love with her, but that is highly unlikely; and Sanaubar's bad reputation may also be considered a form of betrayal toward Baba, since rumors of her other liaisons could have brought disgrace to his home. Many years later, Sanaubar atones for her past sins by returning to Baba's home, where she reconciled with Hassan; his son, Sohrab, "became the center of her existence," and "The two of them were inseparable."
check Approved by eNotes Editorial