Who is Tariq's from A Thousand Splendid Suns polar opposite in The Thorn Birds?

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The character of Tariq in A Thousand Splendid Suns is the polar opposite of Mary Carson in The Thorn Birds. His distinctions from Mary are strong in attitudes toward power, integrity, and parental status.

Tariq is not consistently present during the entire novel, but his initial separation from Laila occurred because of the war and his loyalty toward his parents. Tariq is proven to also be loyal to Laila because he returns to her. He does not seek to control her as Rasheed does. After Laila is freed by Rasheed’s death, in addition to accepting responsibility for his own child, Tariq also raises her other child, whose father was Rasheed. His warm heart is also revealed in their working together in the orphanage.

Mary Carson is very absorbed in controlling and manipulating other people, as well as using back channels to achieve institutional power. She was married, as is Tariq, but her marriage served to further her desire for wealth and power, not to express love. Although she supports the church, she has the ulterior motive of promoting Ralph through the hierarchy. In that way, she can further dominate him and exert more influence in the church.

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