Who is similar to and who is the polar opposite of Meggie Cleary in The Thorn Birds among the female characters in The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns?

In A Thousand Splendid Suns, Laila is the character who is most similar to Meggie Cleary in The Thorn Birds, while Nana is her polar opposite. In The Kite Runner, Sanaubar is the closest character to Meggie, while Soraya is her polar opposite. The parallels and differences are less clear in The Kite Runner, partly because the novel has so few female characters.

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The Thorn Birds follows Meggie Cleary from youth to old age, and she is a dynamic character who grows through suffering, being disappointed in her expectations for romantic love and becoming more complex and determined through her experience of motherhood. When she is young, she is remarkable mainly for her beauty and naivety.

In A Thousand Splendid Suns, Laila is the character who is most similar to Meggie. She too is a beautiful, naïve, and rather self-centered girl who grows into a stronger character through suffering and, like Meggie, through marriage to an abusive husband. The character who comes closest to being Meggie's polar opposite is Nana, who never achieves resilience and is overwhelmed by the bitterness of her life.

There are not many female characters to choose from in The Kite Runner, and the parallels are not so clear. The character who is most similar to Meggie is Sanaubar, but, while she is certainly beautiful when young, she is far from naïve or innocent. She does, however, grow through experience to become less selfish and more maternal, finally forming a close bond with Sohrab, her grandson.

The female character who is least like Meggie is Soraya. Although Soraya is well-balanced and copes admirably with the difficulties of her life, making her quite unlike Nana in A Thousand Splendid Suns, she does resemble Nana in being a relatively static character who does not grow through suffering and experience, as Meggie and Sanaubar do.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on February 22, 2021
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