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

In The Thorn Birds, Meggie Cleary is a female character who is similar to Laila in A Thousand Splendid Suns and Mary Carson is Laila’s polar opposite. In The Kite Runner, Soraya is similar to Laila and Sanaubar is her opposite.

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The character of Laila in A Thousand Splendid Suns goes from being an innocent girl to an abused wife who tries to escape her horrible marriage. In the process, the abusive husband, Rasheed, is killed. Laila is able to reunite with her true love and rescue her children.

In The Thorn Birds, the female character who seems most similar to Laila is Meggie Cleary, later O’Neill. Both women enter marriages with men who do not love them and are obsessed with their own success or status. Like Laila, Meggie hides the secret that one of her children was fathered by a man who is not her husband. Both ultimately are free of their husbands.

Mary Carson is the polar opposite of Laila. She is a possessive, power-hungry, scheming woman who does not marry or have children of her own. Despite being rather fond of Meggie, her niece, she focuses her energy on influencing the church and helping Ralph.

In The Kite Runner, Soraya has many similarities to Laila. Both women are kind, nurturing, and loyal. Soraya had a romantic and sexual experience with a man who turned out not to be the right partner for her. Later, she found a happy marriage with Amir and became a devoted mother to Sohrab. Laila endured an unhappy marriage to Rasheed before ending up with a loving husband and raising her children with him. Sanaubar has the opposite characteristics. She is disloyal and a bad mother. After she cheated on her husband, she abandoned him and her son.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on February 22, 2021
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