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The Kite Runner

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by

Mira Refvik

on 24 October 2012

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Transcript of The Kite Runner

By
Alia, Micky, Sami, Sari and Mira The Kite Runner:
Chapters 11 & 12 What Occured in Chapter 11? Baba and Amir are now in Fremont, California. They have been living there for almost two years already and are still adjusting, Baba is now working at a gas station. They moved so that life would be easier for Amir, but Baba is having a hard time adjusting. In a convenient store one day, the manager asks Baba for ID when he is trying to pay with a check. He reacted by this because he was used to in Afghanistan where everyone trusts each other to pay. Amir understood this but Baba didn’t. Analyzing Chapter 11: With Amir’s reaction towards Baba’s mention of Hassan, this implies that Amir is mad at himself for his selfish actions he previously committed which resulted in the ending of his and Hassan’s friendship and Baba and Ali’s friendship. As well, Amir is jealous that, at a joyous occasion circulating around Amir’s achievements, his father only thinks of Hassan; it’s a slap in the face. What Occured in Chapter 12? -Amir quickly falls in love with soraya from a fat
-At first too afraid to talk to her, made excuses to walk by her
-Finally they had their first conversation
-Both want to be a teacher, Amir gave her a story he wrote
-Her father (general) threw it in the garbage
-Baba caught "cold", no time to worry about general
-Turned into lung cancer, baba then had a seizure
-Soraya and family visited baba in hospital, soraya comforted Amir
-Baba asked for sorayas hand in marriage for amir, general said yes
-Soraya had no secrets, Amir hides a lot. Analyzing Chapter 12: In chapter eleven, there are many messages subtly hidden beneath the dialogue, which allowed readers to truly be immersed in the mysterious personalities of the characters. For instance, Baba curtly spits at the offering of ESL classes and food stamps. This implies that, after one and a half years, Baba still hasn’t smoothly adapted to the leap from Pakistan to the United States. He was a wealthy Pashtun in Afghanistan, and now he’s been demoted into a convenience store worker; a King in one country is a beggar in another. Baba’s undying pride shined especially during his raging episode at the convenience store when identification was demanded of him. He still hadn’t grown used to this new custom, whereas in Afghanistan, a notch was carved into a stick to record your purchases. By Baba declining Amir’s offer of taking a year off university to get a job to help with the finances, this implies that despite Baba’s social class and confidence being crippled from the transitional period from Pakistan to the United States, it only sets in stone how undying is pride is. He greatly values his son’s education and won’t accept his charity. With Amir eagerly melting into his new society by adapting to the new lifestyle and neglecting his past life in Afghanistan, this suggests that Amir is seizing America as an excuse to start on a new slate and to run away from his problems. After his actions in Afghanistan, he’s using America as the opportunity to rebuild himself and forget his old self which he left behind in Afghanistan; he’s doing this all in the vain effort to forget the memories of how he viciously treated Hassan. A reoccurring motif is Baba’s gift giving, which was primarily the graduation present of a car and staying in America. However more importantly, the most sentimental gift Amir received was Baba’s approval and pride. After Baba told Amir of Soraya’s previous relationship that faltered with a young man, Baba stated: “It may be unfair, but what happens in a single day, can change the course of a whole lifetime”. (150). This initiates a similarity between Amir’s and Soraya’s previous actions; both had a generic life, but after a day full of regrets, their life would no longer coast on normalcy. For Soraya, it was her failing relationship which tainted her reputation throughout the Afghan community. For Amir, it was his role as a bystander as he witnessed the rape of his previous best friend, which left a pit of regret. Before coming to California, Amir and Baba spend six months in Pakistan waiting for their visas so they could enter the US. Amir asks his father whether it would be best to go back to Pakistan because that’s what Baba is used to. Baba makes it clear that they are now in the US for Amir and so he could finish high school and go off to college. Amir graduates for high school and then that night he and Baba go for dinner and to a bar. Amir decides he wants to be a writer but Baba disapproves and thinks that degree will be useless. Amir goes through drives in his car and admires the neighborhood, he also sees the ocean for the first time. Amir and Baba go to garage sells together and load everything up in and old van that they bought. Baba speaks with a man named General Taheri. He has a daughter named Soraya, Amir keeps asking about her and that night he fell asleep thinking of her. In chapter twelve, a distinct, reoccurring pattern is Amir's belief of his undeserved happiness. Another greatly reoccurring theme is tradition. Traditions play a big role in Amir's belief of him not deserving the happiness he has gained from the loss of happiness of his loved ones. Forgiveness is also something that Amir has never been able to do for the good of him. Amir has never given himself the chance to be happy because he was incapable of feeling a true sense of happiness due to his guilt. This is brightly shown on the day of his wedding. One thing he has said to prove this is "I opened my mouth and almost told her how I had betrayed Hassan, lied, driven hi out, and destroyed a forty-year relationship between Baba and Ali. But I didn't. I suspected there were many ways in which Soraya Taheri was a better person than me. Courage was just one of them" (174). On the night of his engagement to the most beautiful girl in the world, he was unable to be honest or happy because of his culpable past. Tradition plays a large role is Amir's self esteem. Tradition is what drove Amir to betray his best friend so he could earn the respect of his father, just like any good Afghan should earn. His priorities as an Afghani man living in America are to keep his culture alive and apparent; to never lose sight of your past beliefs. Tradition is the very thing keeping Amir from looking towards his future because he is scared to lose his past. The thought of Hassan opens old wounds that will not be able to heal until Amir learns to put his past life behind him, and move forward with his life, while still carrying the responsibilities of a true Afghan American. Amir has developed in such a way that he is able to admit his past to himself, but he still lets it affect his life. He compares his current life, to the life had a kid and he embraces his ability to constantly run away from him problems. Like when Baba first got sick, and he refused to do chemo, Amir did not challenge his fathers' authority in front of the doctors because that was not the polite thing to do. Amir also didn't do it because he was scared that is the chemo failed it would be his fault for getting his hopes up, so if his dad refused to do chemotherapy, this illness becomes his dads problem. Naan is a traditional bread in Afghanistan, and surprisingly it's quite similar to the novel. The naan reprsents the two motifs reoccuring throughout the chapters. One is the whole aspect of tradition; tradition has been the whole motive behind everything in this story, especially the descrimination towards the Hazara. There was also the whole aspect of traditions being shattered upon entering America, and the elimination of the Pushtun and Hazara classes, as well as Amir and Baba no longer being as wealthy has they had been in Afghanistan. As well, naan represents Baba's constant gift giving towards Amir. In this case, it was the car, moving to America and Baba's pride. Naan:
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