And the Mountains Echoed

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Pari II (daughter) Character Analysis

The narrator of the final chapter of And the Mountains Echoed, Pari II (called Pari in the novel), is the devoted daughter of Abdullah and Sultana, and a resident of the state of California. Although Pari II excels as an artist, she makes the difficult decision to remain in California and care for her elderly parents instead of pursuing her career elsewhere. When Pari—Abdullah’s sister, and Pari II’s aunt and namesake—learns that Abdullah is still alive, Pari II plays an important role in reuniting her father and aunt. In the final pages of the novel, Pari II has the painful role of witnessing her father succumb to dementia before he can truly appreciate seeing his sister again.

Pari II (daughter) Quotes in And the Mountains Echoed

The And the Mountains Echoed quotes below are all either spoken by Pari II (daughter) or refer to Pari II (daughter) . For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Interconnectedness Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Riverhead Books edition of And the Mountains Echoed published in 2014.
Chapter 9 Quotes

And so Baba’s little sister, Pari, was my secret companion, invisible to everyone but me. She was my sister, the one I’d always wished my parents had given me. I saw her in the bathroom mirror when we brushed our teeth side by side in the morning. We dressed together. She followed me to school and sat close to me in class—looking straight ahead at the board, I could always spot the black of her hair and the white of her profile out of the corner of my eye.

Related Characters: Pari II (daughter) (speaker), Abdullah , Pari Wahdati
Page Number: 362
Explanation and Analysis:

In this section, we meet Pari II, the daughter of Abdullah (whom we first met at the very beginning of the book). Pari II has never met Pari, her namesake, before, but she's grown up hearing about her from Abdullah, her father. Strangely, the memory of Pari is so powerful that Pari II comes to think of Pari as her own imaginary friend--a constant companion when Pari II brushes her teeth, gets ready for school, etc.

The fact that Pari's memory lives on in Abdullah's children suggests, optimistically, that love and compassion can continue on even after memory and people themselves are gone. No matter whether or not Abdullah and Pari themselves reunite (and they will, as we'll see), the memory of their tender love lives on in Abdullah's family. By the same token, we could argue that the "memory" of the characters in And the Mountains Echoed lives on in readers' minds--even though we've never met these people before (and even though they're presumably not real), they attain a certain measure of reality because of their emotional impact.

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I hold the note tightly against the blustering wind. I read for Pari the three scribbled sentences. They tell me I must wade into waters, where I will soon drown. Before I march in, I leave this on the shore for you. I pray you find it, sister, so you will know what was in my heart as I went under. There is a date too. August 2007.
“August of 2007,” I say. “That’s when he was first diagnosed.” Three years before I had even heard from Pari.

Related Characters: Pari II (daughter) (speaker), Abdullah , Pari Wahdati
Related Symbols: The Yellow Feather
Page Number: 418
Explanation and Analysis:

Pari II discovers a note that her father, Abdullah, left immediately after being diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. Knowing that his disease would destroy his memory--and therefore his ability to remember his beloved sister, Pari--Abdullah wrote Pari a short letter, in which he bid her a touching goodbye. (As we'll see, the letter is attached to a box containing the one concrete reminder of Abdullah and Pari's love: the yellow feather).

The passage is important for a number of reasons. Above all, it reiterates that Abdullah continues to love his sister deeply, even after a long life spent apart. After decades of remembering his sister with nothing but love, Abdullah has finally hit against the finite limits of his own memory: his brain itself will soon deteriorate. And yet Abdullah doesn't give up hope entirely: he uses the power of writing and mnemonic aids (like the feather) to preserve some memory of his love for his sister. In a poignant irony, the memory of Pari will live on in Pari II and the yellow feather, even after Abdullah himself grows too old to remember Pari at all.

She turns her face to look at him, her big brother, her ally in all things, but his face is too close and she can’t see the whole of it. Only the dip of his brow, the rise of his nose, the curve of his eyelashes. But she doesn’t mind. She is happy enough to be near him, with him—her brother—and as a nap slowly steals her away, she feels herself engulfed in a wave of absolute calm.

Related Characters: Pari II (daughter) (speaker), Abdullah , Pari Wahdati
Page Number: 421
Explanation and Analysis:

In the final passage of the book, Pari II has a strange and vivid dream. In the dream, she imagines Pari reuniting with Abdullah. In real life, Pari tried to reunite with Abdullah, only to find that she was almost too late: Abdullah was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, meaning that soon after their reunion, he could no longer remember his beloved little sister. But if Pari and Abdullah can't reunite in reality, Pari II's dream allows them to reunite in her own mind.

Notably, Pari and Abdullah's reunion isn't perfect, even in Pari II's dream. Pari and Abdullah can't actually see eye-to-eye, symbolizing the fact that humans can never truly connect with or understand one another, except for a brief moment. And yet even if Pari and Abdullah's reunion is imperfect and fictional, it attains a kind of emotional truth in the minds of readers. And the Mountains Echoed is a work of fiction, obviously, but because it inspires such an intense emotional reaction in its audience, it itself exists like the yellow feather or Pari II's dream--a fragile reminder of interconnectedness, love, and the lost past.

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Pari II (daughter) Character Timeline in And the Mountains Echoed

The timeline below shows where the character Pari II (daughter) appears in And the Mountains Echoed. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 5
Interconnectedness Theme Icon
Time, Memory, Forgetting, and Art Theme Icon
Compassion and Selfishness Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
Power and Wealth Theme Icon
...Pakistan in the 70s, and moved to the U.S., where he has a daughter named Pari (II) . Abdullah greets Idris and asks him how Timur is doing. They banter briefly, and... (full context)
Chapter 9
Interconnectedness Theme Icon
Compassion and Selfishness Theme Icon
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The chapter cuts ahead several years. Pari II , now a young woman, is driving on the freeway. Her mother has passed away... (full context)
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Time, Memory, Forgetting, and Art Theme Icon
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The chapter cuts ahead several days. Pari II is reuniting with Pari, who has traveled to the United States. Pari II explains that... (full context)
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As Pari II approaches Abdullah’s house, Pari confesses that she’s very nervous—she hasn’t seen her brother in 58... (full context)
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Time, Memory, Forgetting, and Art Theme Icon
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Pari II thinks back to her youth. When she was 11, Abdullah drove her to the aquarium... (full context)
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In high school, Pari II developed considerable skills as a painter. She applied to go to a prestigious art school... (full context)
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Back in 2010, Pari II lets Pari into the house. She calls to Abdullah, and tells him he has a... (full context)
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Time, Memory, Forgetting, and Art Theme Icon
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...to Pari any further, he begins absent-mindedly singing a song—the nursery rhyme he sang to Pari II when she was a child. Slowly and quietly, Pari begins to sing the song as... (full context)
Interconnectedness Theme Icon
Time, Memory, Forgetting, and Art Theme Icon
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The chapter cuts back to Pari II ’s early twenties. Shortly before her mother (whose name, we know, was Sultana) died of... (full context)
Interconnectedness Theme Icon
Time, Memory, Forgetting, and Art Theme Icon
Compassion and Selfishness Theme Icon
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Power and Wealth Theme Icon
...in 2010, Abdullah has fallen sleep, with Pari sitting next to him. Pari turns to Pari II , and explains that she’s brought photographs. Some of the photographs show the town where... (full context)
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Pari stays with Abdullah and Pari II for the next month. They spend their time laughing and catching up. Pari also takes... (full context)
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Alone, Pari II and Pari talk about Abdullah’s deteriorating mental state. Pari suggests that Pari II find medical... (full context)
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A short time later, Pari and Pari II sit on a wooden park bench, exchanging poetry in French, English, and Farsi. They’re in... (full context)
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As they sit on the bench, Pari II gives Pari a package. Pari II found the package while she was packing for her... (full context)
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Pari finds another item inside the package—a small yellow feather. Pari II asks her if she knows what this item means, and Pari confesses that she doesn’t.... (full context)
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The night after Pari receives her package from Abdullah, Pari II finds it difficult to sleep. Eventually, she falls asleep, and has a strange, vivid dream.... (full context)