Which characters in A Thousand Splendid Suns and The Thorn Birds are most like Rahim Khan from The Kite Runner?

Quick answer:

Rahim Khan in The Kite Runner most resembles Hakim in A Thousand Splendid Suns and Archbishop Vittorio in The Thorn Birds, as a kindly, moral father figure.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

It is Rahim Khan who tells Amir at the beginning of The Kite Runner that "there is a way to be good again." Despite his relatively minor role, Rahim Khan is important for two reasons, both suggested by this initial telephone call. In the first place, he is one of the principal voices of sanity and decency in the novel, close to being its moral center. Second, he is a father figure to Amir, guiding and encouraging him in a way that his actual father, the forceful and demanding Baba, often does not.

We see Rahim Khan principally through the lens of his relationship to Amir and his effect on Amir's life. In the same way, Hakim (Babi) in A Thousand Splendid sons appears mainly as a father and a teacher. His relationship with Laila is the center of his life and, though he is a mild-mannered personality, he is fiercely protective of her and her education. He tells Laila that she can be any thing she wants and that she has a role to play in the future of her country. He encourages her with her studies in the same way that Rahim Khan encourages Amir's writing.

In The Thorn Birds, the character who most resembles Rahim Khan is Archbishop (later Cardinal) Vittorio di Contini Verchese. Vittorio is a kind, calm, reasonable figure of authority, who acts like a good father to Ralph, considering the ultimate welfare of the young priest over and above his religious vocation. Like Rahim, he he is a quiet, self-effacing character, whose strength of character is not immediately obvious but becomes apparent in the wisdom of his conduct and advice.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial