What do Maryam and Tariq and Laila in A Thousand Splendid Suns, Hassan in The Kite Runner, and Dane in The Thorn Birds all have in common?

The main things that Mariam and Tariq and Laila in A Thousand Splendid Suns, Hassan in The Kite Runner, and Dane in The Thorn Birds all have in common are their fundamental goodness. All of these characters make tremendous efforts or sacrifices to make life better for other people.

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These five characters are among the most virtuous in their respective novels. Although they endure many hardships, they all put out considerable effort to make life better for others, especially their children. Some of them even sacrifice their lives. There are specific similarities between two or more characters among the different novels.

In A Thousand Splendid Suns, Mariam and Laila are the two female protagonists. Tariq is Laila’s lover, and ultimately the father of their two chidren. In The Kite Runner, Hassan is the biological son of Baba but is raised by Ali as his own. Hassan later takes care of Baba and becomes the father of Sohrab, but leaves the boy orphaned. In The Thorn Birds, Dane is the illegitimate son of Father Ralph, but believes that Luke is his father.

Mariam, who has no chidren of her own, overcomes reluctance to accept Laila, her husband’s second wife. She later musters the strength to kill Rasheed to save Laila and her children from his abuses. She pays with her life for this crime. Laila endures the violence in her marriage in order to protect her and Tariq’s daughter, whom Rasheed resents for being a mere girl. Tariq makes a sacrifice when he leaves Laila, instead adhering to his parents’s wishes, but he later returns and assumes his paternal role.

Dane is similar to Mariam in that he has no children and also sacrifices his life. He dies, however, during an effort to save a stranger from drowning.

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