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The Kite Runner -Chapters 12-14 (Pages 151-204)

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Omar Shawaf

on 2 June 2010

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Transcript of The Kite Runner -Chapters 12-14 (Pages 151-204)

The Kite Runner
Chapters 12-14 (Pages 151-204) Recap Key Plot Points & Discussion: Chapter 12:
-Amir’s father is diagnosed with lung cancer but refuses to receive treatment
-Amir’s engagement to Soraya was Agha Sahib’s final gift to Amir
-Soraya exclaims to Amir that she had runaway when she was 18 y/o to live with a drug-addicted Afghan man for a month
Significant Quotes: “What about me, Baba? What am I supposed to do?” I said, my eyes welling up. A look of disgust swept across his rain-soaked face. It was the same look he’d give me when, as a kid, I’d fall, scrape my knees, and cry. It was the crying that brought it on then, the crying that brought it on now. “You’re twenty-two years old, Amir! A grown man! You…” he opened his mouth, closed it, opened it again, reconsidered. Above us, rain drummed on the canvas awning. “What’s going to happen to you, you say? All those years, that’s what I was trying to teach you, how to never have to ask that question (Page 165).” -Amir’s wedding takes place at his father’s expense of $35,000
-Agha Sahib (Amir’s father) dies of cancer
-As Amir listens to Afghans pay their respects, he realizes how Baba defined who he is
-Due to a brief engagement, Amir learns about Soraya’s family after the wedding
•General Taheri does not work; supports his family
on welfare
• Disallows Jamila to sing in public
Chapter 13 “She smiled and took my hand. “I’m so lucky to have found you. You’re so different from every Afghan guy I’ve met (Page 189).”

Why do you think Amir is so different in Soraya’s eyes?
-In 1988, Amir’s first novel is published
-Amir and Soraya move to San Francisco
-Amir and Soraya are unable to conceive a child and the doctor fails to provide a medical explanation
-Dr. Rosen suggest the idea of adoption to Amir and Soraya
“He sat across from us, tapped his desk with his fingers, and used the word “adoption” for the first time. Soraya cried all the way home (196).”

If you were in Amir and Soraya’s position, would you consider adoption? Why or why not?
Chapters 12 through to 13 illustrate the different event that results in Amir finally becoming a man. He marries for the first time and after losing his father, he is fully responsible for himself. He buys a house, becomes a published author and maintains his nang and namoos as his father had instructed him to. Amir realizes that his father had been trying to teach him is whole life. It becomes clear for the first time why his father had always treated him in the harsh way that he had. He was merely preparing Amir to become a responsible adult that would be able to take care of himself when he had passed and needed to live on and establish a family. When Soraya tells Amir about her hidden past when she ran away with another man, Amir feels jealously that she has revealed the dark secret of her past and Amir’s secret is remains hidden and feels that until he can atone for his treatment of Hassan, his memories will continues to haunt him. I particularly admired the way General Taheri exclaimed to Amir when he saw him speaking alone with Soraya, “You see, everyone here is a storyteller (Page 161).” A double standard exists in the way Afghan society treats men and women. Soraya complains that she lost her integrity forever when she ran away because she was no longer considered virtuous. Conversely, Men can go out clubbing, engage in sexual activity and remain to be viewed as guys who are merely having a little fun. Fortunately, Amir does not have these prejudices and believe it was due to his father’s liberal outlook and the fact that he grew up without the presence of any women, hence never being exposed to this double standard. “It’s so fucking unfair,” she barked…Their sons go out to nightclubs looking for meat and get their girlfriends pregnant, they have kids out of wedlock and no one says a goddamn thing. Oh, they’re just men having fun! I make one mistake and suddenly everyone is talking nang and namoos, and I have to have my face rubbed in it for the rest of my life (Page 188).”
Do you think that this double standard is only within the Afghan community or within our Canadian society as well? Explain.
Chapter 14
-In 2001 Amir received a call from a very ill Rahim Khan, and he leaves to Pakistan alone
“The general’s frailty—and time—had softened things between him and Soraya too. They took walks together, went to lunch on Saturdays, and, sometimes, the general sat in on some of her classes. He’d sit in the back of the room, dressed in his shiny old gray suit, wooden cane across his lap, smiling. Sometimes he even took notes (Page 203).”
It’s interesting how an individual’s health triggers the emotional output in their personality. We see this happen with Amir and his father and now General Taheri with his daughter and wife. Why do you think this is?
“At some point, maybe just before dawn, I drifted to sleep. And dreamed of Hassan running in the snow, the hem of his green chapan dragging behind him, snow crunching under his black rubber boots. He was yelling over his shoulder: For you, a thousand times over! (Page 204)”

What is the significance of this dream and what do you think it symbolizes? Themes
Search For Redemption
Amir’s single aspiration in the novel is to redeem himself. His redemption begins as early as redeeming himself through his father’s eyes for being the cause of his mother’s death. However, the core of his redemption lies in his guilt regarding Hassan. He desires to achieve closure from his t rip to Pakistan, which will trigger and entice Amir to experience even more pain, in order to find eternal comfort.
Father/Son Relationships
Amir and agha Sahib have a very complex relationship. Amir’s father raises him in a coarse manner that forces Amir’s motivation to permeate into his friendship with Hassan and various other individuals. Amir does not completely understand the wisdom behind his father’s sternness, until he has grown older and is presented with a final gift from him.
“I drove away. In the rearview mirror, Baba was hobbling up the Taheris’ driveway for one last fatherly duty (Page 172).”
The Past
The past is a reoccurring memory that haunts Amir and regulates the lives of all those around him. Amir feels that because of his shameful past he deserves endless suffering and the fact that he is showered with happiness is strange to him.
“There was so much goodness in my life. So much happiness. I wondered whether I deserved any of it (Page 193).”
The focal ironic event in the novel revolves around Amir searching for his father’s approval by bringing home the blue kite, which he brought home on the expense of allowing Hassan’s rape, when by not stopping Assef, he becomes the very coward agha Sahib worried Amir would become. Thus, this results in an overwhelming feeling of guilt towards Amir, when he believed that he would experience happiness for once in his life; having his father’s acceptance as a true son.

Eyes reveal the true nature of the individual, their inner thoughts, secrets and ambitions. They are a way of communication that utters what the tongue cannot.

“He looked at me for a long time, like he was waiting, his black bottomless eyes hinting at an unspoken secret between us (106).”

“His eyes gave me a hollow look and no recognition at all registered in them (Page 127).”

“Her eyes told me that was no way to start a marriage (Page 181).”

At Amir’s father’s funeral he leaves and finds comfort under a red maple. Trees represent hope, a sense of refuge, friendship, childhood innocence, and shelter.

“Then I left. Walked to the other side of the cemetery. Sat in the shade of a red maple (Page 184).”

Cleft Lip
The split in Hassan’s lip symbolizes Hassan’s status in society. It signifies his poverty, which is one of the things that separate him from Amir. It illustrates that Hassan’s family did not have the money to fix the defect.
Kites serve as a symbol of happiness as well as his guilt. Flying kites is the single connection Amir feels he shares with his father, however after Hassan’s rape, it represents a sign of his betrayal of Hassan.
The Lamb
In Islam and Christianity, the lamb signifies the sacrifice of innocence. Amir describes Hassan as looking like lambs waiting to be slaughtered and he was the slayer.

“Your khala’s medical charts are like the works of Rumi: They come in volumes (Page 187).”

“Just look at her. So maghbool, like the moon (Page 188).”

“But I was a man, and all I had risked was a bruised ego (Page 155).”
“In Baba’s bus, I counted the miles until I’d see her sitting barefoot, arranging cardboard boxes of yellowed encyclopedias, her heels white against the asphalt, silver bracelets jingling around her slender wrists. I’d think of the shadow her hair cast on the ground when it slid off her back and hung down like a velvet curtain (Page 151-152).”
Point of View
This point of view offers the emotions of confession, remorse and redemption. It allows Amir to recall all occurrences of his past sincerely, in search for a way to right his wrongs.
Hope you all enjoyed our presentation :-)! "And I could almost feel the emptiness in Soraya’s womb, like it was a living, breathing thing. It had seeped into our marriage, that emptiness, into our laughs, and our lovemaking. And late at night, in the darkness of our room, I’d feel it rising from Soraya and settling between us. Sleeping between us. Like a newborn child (Page 199)." What did Soraya's empty womb represent and why do you think it upset Amir in the magnitude that it had?
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