Thomas C. Foster tells us in How to Read Literature LIke a Professor that when a character has a physical deformity of any kind, that the author has differentiated them from other people for a specific reason. An example of this is the character Thalia in And the Mountains Echoed. Thalia is the victim of a terrible dog attack that took place when she was five years old. Her severe facial scarring is the result of the attack and the failed reconstruction surgery. Thalia's mother, Madeline, forces her to wear a mask to cover up her scars. While her scar makes Thalia a unique character, Khaled Hosseini had a completely different purpose when he wrote that detail into the novel. Like previously stated, Thalia wears a mask. Her mask separates her from other people. It enables her to sit back and observe other people. Because she is an observer, Thalia is able to perfectly analyze other people's actions and the reasons behind them. When her mother goes on a business trip, she sends a letter to Thalia. Thalia is able to deduce that her mother is never returning just by reading this letter. Thalia has a knowledge about human nature that the other characters in the novel do not. Khaled Hosseini wrote in her facial scarring to create a character that was not only physically unique, but a character who was somewhat all-knowing about the other characters and her environment. could explain some of the oner character's behavior.