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And the Mountains Echoed
Transcript of And the Mountains Echoed
Significance of Author’s Background to Work
Khaled Hosseini was born on March 4, 1965 in Kabul Afghanistan. His father worked as a diplomat of foreign affairs. At age 11, he moved to France with his family. Four years later, he moved to America eventually becoming a citizen. He became a physician and a writer.
Khaled Hosseini proclaims that he is "lucky" to be able to avoid all the chaos in Afghanistan. However, he had many family members who were still there, and they suffered the political unrest. He uses their accounts to help write his stories.
He had memories of flying kites and telling stories with his friends, which easily relates to his stories.
The way that the novel is structured is that there are eight different chapters. Within each chapter is a different story, however it contributes to the main conflict in which Abdullah has lost his sister, Pari, unjustly. Within each chapter, there is a hidden lesson or moral. And if you become really attached to the story, then you will realize that each story has a different, but very deep meaning.
Chapter 1: A story told by Abdullah's father to his children about the meaning of sacrifice and love.
Chapter 2: This is the point in the story where all the action begins because Pari is taken away by Abdullah.
Chapter 3: This chapter talks about Abdullah's step mother's childhood and how her envy lead to the demise of her twin sister.
Chapter 4: This is in a format of a letter, written by Abdullah's step uncle, Nabi, who plans the entire "abduction" of Pari, and also his relationship with his boss.
Chapter 5: This is told from the point of view of the neighbors of Nabi, and how they return to Afghanistan.
Chapter 6: Pari's new life in Paris where she moves with her new mother.
Chapter 7: Two boys of different social classes meet and they discuss about secrets that should never be revealed.
Chapter 8: Reunification of Abdullah and Pari, but with an unexpected and extremely sad twist.
There are many themes that appear in this novel, and they each have a meaning that reflects back from Hosseini's other books.
Without parental guidance, sibling relationships are the closest kind of relationships that you can ever be involved.
Memories can either bring joy and happiness or complete desolation and remorse to your well-being.
Disconnecting from your past will ultimately awaken you to a big change.
The most devastating confrontation in life is the truth.
The hardest thing to put back together or to mend, is a broken promise.
By Khaled Hosseini
Importance of Setting
The story takes place in many different areas. There are locations in Afghanistan, France, Greece, and even the United States. It is important to note that Afghanistan is where everything started such as the Soviet occupation, the Taliban invading, and finally, America coming in to fight the war on terror. Afghanistan is also the place of conflict because this is where the youth is transitioning from the cultures of the old times to modernization and heavy influence from the West. As you can clearly see, the other countries have already been modernized. But you can definitely view Afghanistan as the barrier between the old and the new, especially when the younger generation is heavily influenced by the west, while the still living older generation does not want any influence from anything.
Abdullah- an Afghan boy who gets separated from Pari and has to live life without her, which destroys him mentally. He later on moves to America and opens up a restaurant and finally reunites with Pari.
Pari- the younger sister of Abduallah who gets separated from her real family. However, she lives a better life with a rich family and moves to France where she works as a writer and has a family of her own thus completely forgetting her past. She eventually reunites with Abdullah.
Parwana- step mother of Abdullah and Pari, whose envy leads to the demise of her twin sister and ultimately leads to the ultimate guilt towards herself.
Nabi- Parwana's older brother, who leaves Shadbagh to work in Kabul where he becomes a chauffeur and a cook for a household. He lives in the household long enough for him to inherit after the owner's death.
Nila- the wife of Nabi's boss, who is known for her attractiveness and modern standard of living. She is the main reason why Pari is taken away so that she can have a child of her own. She eventually moves to Paris with Pari and becomes a writer.
Idris- an Afghan-American doctor who comes back to Afghanistan to help the poor victims of Afghanistan where he eventually meets a little girl, with whom he forms a bond.
Adel- son of a wealthy war "hero" who is sheltered by the outside life of Afghanistan, but then realizes that his father is a war criminal.
The tone that Khaled Hosseini portrays has a fluctuating nature. The reason for that is because there are so many different kind of stories, that all have a different central meaning. The tone transitions from a somewhat enlightened atmosphere to a bitter and remorseful feeling. The ending in itself is a reunion which creates a feeling of relief, but due to the dramatic twist, it leads back to a bitter-sweet ending, like his other two books.
There are many symbols in the novel, but each symbol is related to each chapter in it's own way.
Chapter 1- black potion
Chapter 2- feathers, new shoes, and cookies
Chapter 4-house of Wahdati
Chapter 5- hospital
Chapter 6- letters
Chpater 7- Soccer Jersey
Chapter 8- box of feathers
There are two main motifs that constantly come up in the novel.
Mountains because it shows the intensity of human life as if it is an obstacle as seen from Chapter 1.
There is also a motif of echoes because the time that Pari and Abdullah seperated and other events in the book become something that has a long lasting ripple that echoes throughout the rest of the book.
"The finger cut, to save the hand" (48).
"They say, find a purpose in your life and live it. But, sometimes, it is only after you have lived that you recognize your life had a purpose, and likely one you never had in mind" (127).
"The rope that pulls you from the flood can become a noose around your neck" (302).
"The word senseless springs to mind, and Idris thwarts it. It’s what people always say. A senseless act of violence. A senseless murder. As if you could commit sensible murder" (150).