Who is more of a hero: Amir in The Kite Runner or Luke O'Neill in The Thorn Birds?

Amir in The Kite Runner is more of a hero than Luke O'Neill in The Thorn Birds. Although Amir does some bad things when he is young, he behaves heroically in taking responsibility for raising Sohrab. Luke, in contrast, does not undergo any process of redemption. He continues his pattern of selfish absorption in achieving his personal goals.

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Both Amir in The Kite Runner and Luke O’Neill in The Thorn Birds are complex male characters who often display selfish, inconsiderate behavior. They are similar in initially showing little regard for others’ feelings. By the end of the respective novels, however, Amir has grown considerably and sincerely regrets the harm he caused with his lies. He realizes that this behavior damaged him as well as Hassan, the friend he betrayed. Luke O’Neill, unlike Amir, continues to behave selfishly. He is totally focused on succeeding in ranching and pays little heed to his wife and children. Luke does not take any concrete actions or express any internal epiphanies that indicate he has changed. Although not a fundamentally evil person, he is a static character.

Because of the steps that Amir takes near the novel’s end, the reader can consider him a heroic figure. After the deaths of two of the people closest to him, his father and Hassan, Amir has the opportunity to redeem himself. He shows both wisdom and courage in listening to Rahim Khan’s story and acting according to Rahim’s advice on how to “be good again.” When Amir learns that Hassan is actually his brother, his initial anger at his father gives way to forgiveness of Baba, and in turn of himself. Another aspect of Amir’s growth comes about through the healthy relationship he enjoys with his wife, Soraya, who agrees that they should adopt Hassan’s son.

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