And the Mountains Echoed

Baba Ayub Character Analysis

A character in the story Saboor tells his children, Baba Ayub is a simple farmer forced to make an impossible choice: he must sacrifice one of his own children to appease an evil creature, the div. Baba Ayub’s capacity to make agonizing decisions—and then live with these decisions—establishes memory, interconnectedness, and time as some of the most important themes of the novel.

Baba Ayub Quotes in And the Mountains Echoed

The And the Mountains Echoed quotes below are all either spoken by Baba Ayub or refer to Baba Ayub. 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 1 Quotes

Your son does not remember you, the div continued. This is his life now, and you saw for yourself his happiness. He is provided here with the finest food and clothes, with friendship and affection. He receives tutoring in the arts and languages and in the sciences, and in the ways of wisdom and charity. He wants for nothing. Someday, when he is a man, he may choose to leave, and he shall be free to do so. I suspect he will touch many lives with his kindness and bring happiness to those trapped in sorrow.

Related Characters: Baba Ayub (speaker), The div (speaker), Qais
Related Symbols: The Div
Page Number: 11-12
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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“You are a cruel beast,” Baba Ayub said.
When you have lived as long as I have, the div replied, you find that cruelty and benevolence are but shades of the same color.

Related Characters: Baba Ayub (speaker), The div (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Div
Page Number: 13
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt

He didn’t understand why he should hear such a noise, alone in the dark, all the sheep and goats sleeping. Sometimes he told himself he had heard no such thing, and sometimes he was so convinced to the contrary that he called out into the darkness, “Is someone out there? Who is there? Show yourself.” But no reply ever came. Baba Ayub didn’t understand. Just as he didn’t understand why a wave of something, something like the tail end of a sad dream, always swept through him whenever he heard the jingling, surprising him each time like an unexpected gust of wind. But then it passed, as all things do. It passed.

Related Characters: Baba Ayub (speaker), Qais
Page Number: 16
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Baba Ayub Character Timeline in And the Mountains Echoed

The timeline below shows where the character Baba Ayub appears in And the Mountains Echoed. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Interconnectedness Theme Icon
Compassion and Selfishness Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
...“Once upon a time,” he says, in a magical age, there was a farmer named Baba Ayub . Baba Ayub lived in a village called Maidan Sabz, and worked extremely hard to... (full context)
Interconnectedness Theme Icon
Compassion and Selfishness Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
Baba Ayub ’s fortunes change for the worse one day when a div, an evil monster, comes... (full context)
Compassion and Selfishness Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
One night, the div knocks at the house of Baba Ayub . Baba and his family are horrified—they know that one of them will be eaten... (full context)
Compassion and Selfishness Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
...takes Qais from the village, there is a forty-day mourning period. Everyone prepares food for Baba Ayub , telling him that they feel sorry for him. Baba Ayub begins to neglect his... (full context)
Time, Memory, Forgetting, and Art Theme Icon
Compassion and Selfishness Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
Baba Ayub decides to seek out the div and kill it as revenge for it taking Qais.... (full context)
Time, Memory, Forgetting, and Art Theme Icon
Compassion and Selfishness Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
The div tells Baba Ayub that he will gladly duel with him. Before the duel, however, the div suggests that... (full context)
Interconnectedness Theme Icon
Time, Memory, Forgetting, and Art Theme Icon
Compassion and Selfishness Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
Baba Ayub can’t understand what the div is telling him. The div explains that in his fortress,... (full context)
Interconnectedness Theme Icon
Time, Memory, Forgetting, and Art Theme Icon
Compassion and Selfishness Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
Baba Ayub thinks for a long time. On one hand, he’s desperate to see his favorite child... (full context)
Time, Memory, Forgetting, and Art Theme Icon
Compassion and Selfishness Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
After many days of travel, Baba Ayub returns to his home, where he finds his wife and family waiting for him. Baba... (full context)
Interconnectedness Theme Icon
Time, Memory, Forgetting, and Art Theme Icon
Compassion and Selfishness Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
In the years following Baba Ayub ’s return to the village, his fortunes turn yet again, and he becomes a hugely... (full context)