Who is Sanaubar? How is she contrasted to Amir's mother?  

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In The Kite Runner, Sanaubar is the wife of Ali and the mother of Hassan.  Amir's mother is Sofia Akrami.  Sofia makes no appearance in the story, since she died in childbirth with Amir, but Sanaubar does make a brief appearance toward the end of the story.  They are certainly in sharp contrast to one another but have a few things in common. 

Sofia was a Pashtun and a Sunni, a member of the ruling class in Afghanistan. She came from a royal family, and was,

...a highly educated woman universally regarded as one of Kabul's most respected, beautiful, and virtuous ladies (Hosseini 15).

Sanaubar, on the other hand, was a Hazara and a Shi'a, part of the underclass in Afghanistan.  While she was considered attractive, with "brilliant green eyes and impish face" (8), it appears that it was her sexiness that made her memorable, sending "men to reveries of infidelity" (8), which led her to have a very bad reputation.  When Hassan was born, with his harelip, she ran away, leaving Ali to raise Hassan on his own, eloping with "a band of singers and dancers" (210).  

She resurfaces after Hassan and his wife have settled in with Rahim Khan, sick, old, feeble, and regretful over all the years she has been gone.  Hassan and his wife nurse her back to health, and she lives long enough to deliver her grandchild, Sohrab, and to see him reach the age of four, when she dies quietly in her sleep.

So, we have two women, both beautiful in their own ways, from opposite ends of the socioeconomic spectrum. Both have had a relationship with Baba, one marital and one adulterous, and both die sadly, one's life cut off far too soon, while the other's life was clearly shortened by the life she has led. 

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