And the Mountains Echoed

The Div Symbol Icon

In the fairy tale Saboor tells his children, an evil demon—a div—orders a farmer, Baba Ayub, to sacrifice one of his children. Baba Ayub is then forced to make the agonizing choice to give away his favorite son, Qais. In a sense, the div symbolizes the cruel, uncaring universe—the thing that forces human beings to make difficult choices, some of which are impossible to live with. If the “universe” in And the Mountains Echoed is a character, it is a volatile, cruel, unpredictable, and ultimately indifferent character—and the presence of the div is the first sign that this is the case.

The Div Quotes in And the Mountains Echoed

The And the Mountains Echoed quotes below all refer to the symbol of The Div. 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 numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer 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

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The Div Symbol Timeline in And the Mountains Echoed

The timeline below shows where the symbol The Div 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
Baba Ayub’s fortunes change for the worse one day when a div, an evil monster, comes to his village. The div kills and eats anyone who dares... (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... (full context)
Compassion and Selfishness Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
After the div takes Qais from the village, there is a forty-day mourning period. Everyone prepares food for... (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. After many weeks of climbing and... (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... (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, Qais is provided with a... (full context)
Interconnectedness Theme Icon
Time, Memory, Forgetting, and Art Theme Icon
Compassion and Selfishness Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
...favorite child again. On the other, he recognizes that Qais’s life is better in the div’s home—Qais would surely be less happy in the village. After a long time, Baba Ayub... (full context)
Time, Memory, Forgetting, and Art Theme Icon
Compassion and Selfishness Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
...where he finds his wife and family waiting for him. Baba Ayub drinks from the div’s bottle, and immediately forgets about his visit to the div. He forgets that he saw... (full context)
Chapter 2
Time, Memory, Forgetting, and Art Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
Power and Wealth Theme Icon
...them before their trip—the story about the farmer who sacrifices his favorite child to the div. (full context)
Chapter 3
Interconnectedness Theme Icon
Time, Memory, Forgetting, and Art Theme Icon
Compassion and Selfishness Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
...family’s house. Saboor liked to entertain his friends by telling them stories about heroes and divs. One day while she is at a market with her mother, Parwana sees a beautiful... (full context)