Who is Sanaubar and how is she contrasted to Amir's mother in The Kite Runner?

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Amir's mother is described as a princess, while Hassan's mother, Sanaubar, is flighty and abandons her family just after Hassan is born. In essence, the two women are portrayed as polar opposites, at least in the beginning. We don't learn much more about Amir's mother; she remains an almost mythical...

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Amir's mother is described as a princess, while Hassan's mother, Sanaubar, is flighty and abandons her family just after Hassan is born. In essence, the two women are portrayed as polar opposites, at least in the beginning. We don't learn much more about Amir's mother; she remains an almost mythical figure without faults. In death, she becomes more perfect than she probably ever was in life. This is especially hard on Amir because he considers her death his fault. Since she died giving birth to him and since he has no memory of her, he can remember nothing imperfect about her. He killed the perfect mother.

Even so, Amir probably inherited his love of books and literature from his mother. He is the artistic, pacifist son whom Baba loves and resents, partly because of these traits from his mother.

Hassan, on the other hand, is described as being unable to cause pain even while being born. Sanaubar did not have any difficulty in childbirth, and Hassan was smiling immediately after he was born. When Sanaubar returns many years later, she has changed and loves Hassan and his family with all her heart. She has grown, evolved, and redeemed herself. Amir's mother can never change.

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Sanaubar is Hassan's mother, who ran off with a clan of traveling singers and dancers immediately after Hassan was born. Sanaubar was an extremely attractive and promiscuous woman who lived up to her dishonorable reputation. She criticized Ali for his appearance and even refused to hold Hassan when he was born. As a child, Hassan is continually teased by older men about his mother's promiscuity.

In contrast, Amir's mother, Sofia Akrami, was known as one of the most beautiful and highly-respected women in all of Kabul. Sofia Akrami was a descendant of royalty and taught classic Farsi literature at university. Amir developed his love of literature from his mother, and she was remembered as a sweet, educated woman. Tragically, Sofia died giving birth to Amir, which is one of the many reasons Amir believes Baba resents him.

Aside from their exterior beauty, Sanaubar and Sofia Akrami do not have much in common.

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Sanaubar is Hassan’s mother and was Ali’s wife before she left with performing travelers. She abandons Hassan after he is born and is considered immoral in her younger years but she becomes a caring grandmother to Sohrab later on.

Amir’s mother Sofia Akrami is not seen in the novel as she dies when giving birth to Amir. Amir believes his mother to have liked literature just like he does although his father would prefer he participate more in manly activities.

While Sanaubar is considered immoral, Sofia Akrami is considered to have a strong moral sense. Sanubar is from the Hazara ethnic group which is marginalized and considered second class by the Pashtun, a dominant Pakistani ethnic group while Amir’s mother is from a royal Pashtun bloodline.

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Sanuabar is Ali's wife and Hassan's mother. Aside from her beauty, she is the polar opposite of Amir's late mother, Sofia Akrami. While Amir's mother was of royal heritage, a university professor of Farsi literature,

... and one of Kabul's most respected, beautiful, and virtuous ladies...

Sanuabar had apparently prostituted herself before (and possibly during) her marriage to her cousin, Ali. Amir relates the story of Hassan being accosted by a group of soldiers who claim to have had sex with Sanuabar. Shortly after Hassan's birth, Sanuabar

... ran off with a clan of traveling singers and dancers.

Amir discovers much later in the novel that Baba had actually impregnated Sanuabar (Ali was sterile) and that Hassan was actually his own half-brother. So, while Amir's mother was of royal lineage and died while giving birth to Amir, Sanuabar was a tramp who gave bore her son outside of marriage and then soon deserted her Hassan.

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