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And the Mountains Echoed

Presentation of the book

Bianca Guerrero

on 8 May 2014

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Transcript of And the Mountains Echoed

"I think at the core, all three of my books have been love stories — and they haven't been traditional love stories in the sense that a romantic love story between a man and a woman, you know, they've been stories of love between characters where you would not expect love to be found.” -Khaled Hosseini

Hosseini expresses love and it's impact on each character's life. He has chosen stories that enhances the significance of love. Although it comes in various forms, the overall message still represented by the connections made through the relationships between each of the characters. For example, showing the love for Pari towards Abdullah and the love that of Abdullah towards Pari tells us that love is affects us in the most happiest ways but also in the saddest ways when we have to overcome that love to grow and move on with our lives. In Nabi’s story, the theme of love is represented by the relationship between Nabi and Suleiman. After Nila left, Nabi was aware of Suleiman’s feelings for him, and because of their past he was unable to leave him to himself as he was ill. Although the love Nabi had for Suleiman was not one of romantic feelings, he felt obligated to stay with Suleiman through his final years, and they ended up growing old together. This story of love is one unexpected and one in which it is unclear how Nabi felt after the passing of Suleiman; whether or not he came to love him as Suleiman did, the theme of love is still preeminent.
"For courage, there must be something at stake." p.9

The significance of this quote is that one’s courage stems from their need to protect something. To have courage means to risk everything for a purpose. This is said by a father in an Afghan folklore who gives up his favorite child to a div, or demon monster, in order to save the rest of his family. He becomes so distraught that he finally decides to journey to the div’s lair to get back his son without telling anyone. Once he arrives, he challenges the div, and the div says that he has a lot of courage to stand up to him; this was the father’s response. Basically, he had nothing because the div had taken away his everything. He would rather die fighting for his song back, than to live without him. It wasn’t courage that he believed he had; he simply couldn’t let his son go. He was fueled by his love for his son. It draws depth into the emotions of the reader and enhances the character and theme. This folklore that was being told by the father provides an insight to the whole plot of the story and the courage that would support the characters.
And the Mountains Echoed
by Khaled Hosseini
Bianca Guerrero and Senah Lee

The novel begins with an Afghan folklore being told by a father. Two siblings, Abdullah and Pari are listening as their father tells them a bedtime story about a div. Abdullah and Pari are brother and sister that cannot be without each other. They both care and love each other so much that they are viewed as a father and daughter. But because of their lifestyle in poverty, they were separated by the Watarari family adopting Pari. The two siblings live their lives growing apart from each other in two very different lifestyles. Pari being wealthy and living without remembering her times in Kabul and Abdullah living in poverty being stuck in the past with his memories of Pari. The book progresses with each chapter being a new character that somehow relates to Pari or Abdullah and the central themes. The story is transformed through the perspectives of each character given, and in each chapter we learn more, in depth, about the characters. As we travel with the characters across the globe, we learn about their experiences and struggles in relation to the theme.
“And so I think the characters in this book operate from more mysterious places and have conflicting realities regarding within them” -Khaled Hosseini

Because the novel is set to provide perspectives of each of the characters, we are able to hear the thoughts that go through their minds and how conflicted they are at times. The theme of discovering yourself is shown as the characters progress through the novel. Many of the characters searched for the cause of their unhappiness and hardships, and tried to escape from it. Also, the contradictions made with the characters personalities are representative of these conflicts. The characters live within their own fantasy world, driven by selfish desires, which influence their choices. Each character has a conflict within themselves that drives them to take actions and this leads to the dependence on others to fix it. For example, Pari even states that her mother Nila was holding on to her, telling her to in fill the holes inside of her (p.382). Her mother suffered from sadness and loneliness for most of her life, and in the beginning, Nabi realized this, which is why he brought Pari into her life. However, as Pari grew, Nila reverted back to her old habits. Nila depended on Pari to bring happiness to her life and end her struggles, which is why she was constantly seeking her attention, even to go as far as to attempt suicide, going in and out of the hospital.
“And as I wrote the book, I began to see that that’s one of the things that’s recurring again and again is the idea of the passage of time and all of us, in some form, being victims of the fact that time is passing and how we measure that is through memory and the complicated role that memory plays and the way that we understand ourselves and how we forge a narrative of our life through it.” -Khaled Hosseini

Memory is a recurring theme within the novel. Hosseini addresses the role of memory as something that not only gives us comfort, but is also the source of our struggles. The significance of this quote lies within the context that shows the blessing and the curse the characters portray towards their memories throughout the chapters. Remembering the guilt, the betrayal, the love and care, many of the characters show certain aspects of how their memories have impacted their lives. It reflects how aging and memories allow us to discover ourselves through our experiences. As shown in the novel, Pari is able to move on with her life because of her age at the time of adoption, she was so young that she would eventually forget everything but fragments of Kabul. Although Pari is able to live her life without anything holding her down from the past, Abdullah is forced to live in the past because of the memories of Pari. As time moves on for everyone, Abdullah is unable to let go of his previous life and even naming his daughter to Pari in remembrance of her life. Thinking about the past lives that haunt us or give us comfort, the role of memory is something to be left in the past so that we are able to grow and accept the hardships that occurred to us.
“I mean, often it had to do with loss — of memory, of faculty, of love…" -Khaled Hosseini

This quote is significant because within the novel, each character has experienced a loss of some sort; whether it is loss of memory, love, or people. This loss contributed to the development of each character as they progress through their lives. Through the perspectives that are revealed of the particular character’s lives, we see how loss has impacted their decisions, actions, and futures. Hosseini addresses different forms of loss to connect with readers, stories that the audience can somewhat relate to. He goes into detail by connecting all of these themes like a chain reaction- one sets off the other. From the perspective of Nila, she had lost the ability to carry a child in her womb. Not only did she lose that, she also lost her husband by her chauffeur. Because of this, Nila adopted a little girl Pari and raised her as her own. During this point, her husband, Suleiman Watarari, was in love with another person, Nabi the chauffeur. Since she found out, she had become distant from her husband because of his feelings towards another man. After time had passed, Suleiman suffered from a stroke and became weaker. This lead to Nila making the decision on leaving him and taking Pari to live in France with her, leaving Nabi to look after Suleiman in her place. As the lost of her own husband and a child of her own, Nila’s pain and suffering lead her to the decisions that she made and how her life had developed in the later chapters.

Author Quotes
"I've thought about how one responds to a tragedy like that, how one approaches something like that in a respectful human way. And it made for an interesting story about kindness about finding in yourself a way to help other people and what it takes to do that"

Courage is reflected through the actions of the characters and their reactions to events and struggles in their life. The decisions we make impact not only our lives, but the lives around us, and if it has a direct impact on another individual based on what kind of decision you make, then you are left with the feelings of the aftermath. Courage is the basis of our decisions and Hosseini addresses this; he knows that because of our pride, or whatever we have at stake, we base our decisions on that. The theme of courage and how decisions impact the future are thus portrayed through the experiences of the characters. For the story of Idris, when he and his brother returned to Kabul, he found himself in a hospital where he meets a little girl who is in need of surgery. He finds it in himself to visit her often, and eventually starts to bond with her, but as he is preparing to return to California, he is stuck with the choice of providing her with the funding that she needs along with the proper surgical care. However, when he returns, he finds himself with a workload and the thoughts of her slowly push out of his mind. He occasionally thought about her, yet he couldn’t find it in himself to get in contact, and soon after he found that his cousin Timur had done the job for him.
“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. And now that I have fulfilled mine, I felt aimless and adrift" p.127

The significance of this quote is that Nabi realized only after Suleiman’s death that his purpose had been to be with him, and accompany him. It refers to the thought that sometimes we struggle to find the purpose of our lives, and it is only after we have lived, and discovered ourselves, that we realize what our purpose was. The quote addresses the lack of power we hold in controlling our lives; sometimes we don’t have control over what we live for, and his is best represented by Suleiman and Nabi’s relationship. In Nabi’s perspective he felt that he was in love with Mrs. Watarari, Nila instead of Suleiman, after arranging Pari’s adoption for Nila, he felt as if he had a chance to be with Nila and waited. However, when Suleiman got a stroke, Nila left Suleiman and Nabi to France along with Pari, Nabi felt confused and abandoned that the person that he loved was gone to take care of Suleiman by himself. Nila leaves Suleiman in the hands of Nabi and tells him about his feelings towards Nabi, however, Nabi continues to take care of him despite his feelings. After the death of Suleiman, he left in his will all his possessions to Nabi. However, Nabi didn’t know what to do with the possessions of Suleiman. During this time, Nabi felt an empty void in his life as he began to realize that the purpose of his life was to serve Suleiman and now that he had passed, Nabi only felt empty inside.
Book Quotes
“If culture was a house, then language was the key to the front door, to all the rooms inside.” p.362

The importance of embracing culture is addressed within this quote. In the novel, Pari’s father, Abdullah sent his daughter to Farsi classes, which is the language that they spoke, and she always hated going. Abdullah’s reasoning was that embracing your culture was the key to a “proper home,[and] a legitimate identity” (p.362). It addresses the fact that even though they’re in America now, Abdullah still wishes to embrace his culture in order to have his Afghani identity remain in tact. Culture and language go hand in hand. In order to understand yourself more and discovering yourself, you need to seek knowledge about your culture. Culture and language shape your identity; they are intended to shape your personality and serve as the foundation of your life. Within the novel, culture does play a significant role because the more in tune you are with it, the more distinct identity you have; this can be seen with Nila and Pari, who spent most of their lives in France in which they became accustomed to the ways of a French person.
“But time is like a charm, you never have as much as you think" p.382

Time: the measurement of the continued progress of existence. Time is too precious to be wasted. This quote addresses the importance of the value of time and how we spend it, and that if you live your life for the future, you’ll miss out on the present moment. The loss of time, signs of ageing, and choices made because of time are all evident within the novel. The presence of time as it pertains to each of the themes shows that because of the time one has within their lifetime, experiences and chances are limited. Time is restricted, and is an indicator that the amount of time an individual THINKS they have, is, in actuality, not controllable. In this instance, Pari explains to Abdullah’s daughter that planning for the future is futile sometimes because you never know what is going to happen that could disrupt your plans. She knows what it’s like because she met a man whom she loved, and she dreamed of their lives 30,40 years into the future; however, soon after she got married to him and had kids, her husband died.
Vocabulary Butterfly Collection
-Growing up- Run River North

Run River North, Growing up, speaks about growing up and how it’s only a matter of time before life ends. The song relates to ageing and how to live the life to the fullest. Although in our lives we hear the whispers about our lies and sins we can still grow and become stronger. In the book, they talk about how Pari and Abdullah lived out their lives until their final days. Pari, forgetting about Abdullah, lived her life to the fullest when she was able to finally meet Abdullah even though Abdullah had forgotten about her due to Alzheimer. From Abdullah’s point, he had to live with the life that he never wanted when he got separated from her but still grew up and accepted that Pari was gone; still the memories of Pari still haunted him. In the lyrics that read “Growing old feels like you’re giving up your soul” relates to Abdullah because he had to grow older and felt it felt as if he gave away his soul to the past. Having to live his life without Pari and having the curse of remembering her pained his way of living thus creating him to live in a life in which he lives in the past until he was able to accept that she was gone to live in another life.
-Photograph- Nickelback

In Photograph by Nickelback the lyrics talk about how we look back to our memories and try to look for something that would fill that void of emptiness as we grow up. It reflects the time from now and our past. This relates to the theme of memories and ageing. As they grow older, they reflect upon their times spent in their past lives and remembering the pain, suffering, and joy of their youths. This constantly brought up by the main characters, Pari and Abdullah, who suffered a painful past being torn apart from each other and forced to live in a world without their beloved sister and brother. Although the time spent with Abdullah is forgotten, Pari vaguely remembers her father being there. Sadly enough, Abdullah still remembers everything about Pari and always seems to be thinking about her. The power of memories is the source of growing up and something to learn and accept and move on with our lives knowing that what’s in the past is in the past.
-The Background - Third Eye Blind

This song conveys the feelings of losing someone you loved and cared for. The song relates to one of the theme of losing someone and how it affects your life thinking about theme constantly. In And the Mountains Echoed, it relates to Abdullah and how he couldn’t forget about Pari even when he grows older. Although Abdullah tries to have his life go back to normal, he always thinks of Pari in his heart and mind. After moving to California, because of the war, Abdullah then names his daughter Pari to care and love. This shows just how much it is to lose and accept that the one you used to have is gone from you forever. Even in the end when Pari found him, Abdullah had developed Alzheimer and forgot everything about her and everything they used to do together. Because of this they never got to reunite together and had to part ways a second time.
-Daughter - Dion Roy

In Daughter by Dion Roy, it talks about how a father loves and cares for his daughter and to what extent he would sacrifice himself to support his daughter. It relates to the theme of love in our book and particularly a daughter and father family love. In And the Mountains Echoed, the father or Saboor did anything for his little daughter, Pari, and how much he sacrificed himself to give her a life that he never had to be wealthy and live comfortably. Since they were living in poverty in Kabul having to support himself, Abdullah, Parwana (wife). Iqbal, and Pari, life was hard and couldn’t afford to have much, Saboor agreed to let a wealthy family, the Watarari, adopt her. Because of this, he gave away his love to allow her to live a comfortable life instead of one with struggles. Although Mr. Watarari offered Saboor money, he declined it showing the significance of only wanting his daughter to be happier and not for money of his own selfishness.
-Attan Traditional Melody

This song correlates to the country of origin in which Khaled Hosseini and the book came from, Afghanistan. Afghanistan are traditionally involved in many styles of music that include singing, playing instruments, and dancing. This song relates to the national dance of Afghanistan called the Attan. Afghanistan music typically revolves around folk songs or ballads that has been around for many years. Instruments in traditional music mainly uses Harmonium, Santur, chang, Robab, Tabla, Settar, Dil Rubah, and Tanbur. In this traditional song the Rubab and Tabla instruments are used. The Rubab is an afghan instrument that’s used primarily for classical and folkloric music. It is used like a guitar and sounds like a guitar that has 6 strings that can be adjusted for a higher pitch. The Tabla is also known as the “laya” and is a drum. The Tabla is used by hitting it with wooden sticks that can also change its pitch.
“You will never say to yourself when you are old, Ah, I wish I was not good to that person." p.383

As time passes, age makes you realize that when you think back on your life, you don’t wish that you had been negative or hurtful towards someone, but rather that you had treated them better. In old age, you will never regret showing kindness over hatred. As you age, what you will remember most of all, are the things that you regret. I believe the significance of this quote is that it teaches us to learn how to accept others, and show them kindness because in the future, you would regret not doing so. In order to live a life with no regrets, we have to make the right decisions not based on our emotions at the spur of the moment, but rationally thinking it through. Constantly showing kindness and loving others will prevent having regrets on how you treated a person. The importance of this quote is the impact it has on Pari’s view of memories as she aged. Through Pari’s conversation with Abdullah’s daughter, she reveals her thoughts about her mother Nila, and reflects on how she had treated her during her early adulthood. This is significant because as Pari aged, she realized that kindness and the time you have with someone, is something that shouldn’t be taken for granted.
“ When you have lived as long as I have, you find that cruelty and benevolence are but shades of the same color.” p.12

his quote is significant in respect to the context of the novel. Although one perspective may see something as cruel, that view of cruelty is drawn from the opposition of your own selfish desires. Although it may cause suffering, it may be an act of kindness if seen from a broader perspective. Benevolence does not necessarily always mean that the kindness shown comes without consequence. These are the words of the div as the father is speaking to him and accusing him of being cruel because he was faced with the choice of giving his son a better life without his family, or taking him back to a life of poverty.The importance of this quote comes from the fact that the div’s act of cruelty is actually a benevolent gesture that is one to be blessed by. The comparison of benevolence and cruelty emphasizes the theme of the folklore, and that the div’s story from the beginning was based on the people’s perspective, but when his point of view is revealed, you realize that he’s not actually what stories make him out to be.
p. 104 “I suspect the truth is that we are waiting, all of us, against insurmountable odds, for something extraordinary to happen to us.”

This quote addresses the theme of searching for what is missing in our lives. It’s significance to Nabi’s story is that he himself had hoped that by solving Nila’s unhappiness, he would somehow gain her love. In the context of the novel, it seems that many of the characters are searching for these extraordinary things to happen in their lives, to relieve them of the normalcy and hardships. With the case of Markos, he lived with his mother on the greek island of Tinos, and he believed that what was holding him back from leaving was his mother, but after the arrival of Thalia, he was able to escape and pursue his dreams. The characters of the story each observe changes within their lives in which they use as a means of justifying their actions because they cannot endure the wait for these things to happen. We don’t realize it, but we’re all searching for something to make our lives more interesting.
“ All good things in life are fragile and easily lost.” p.345

This quote is a clear representation of how good things in life manage to slip away. Within the novel, the sense of losing things is emphasized. Loss plays a central role as a theme, and Hosseini is able to effectively capture our hearts through the stories of the characters. It addresses the loss of loved ones, not necessarily through death, but rather an absence from one’s life. The significance of this quote is to stress that the good things in life are things that should be cherished because you never know when they’ll suddenly be gone. Because these things are “fragile”, they need to be held on to. In the context of this quote, a father is tucking his daughter into bed and casts away all of the bad dreams, leaving only good ones. This is his response as she is falling asleep; he is cautioning her about life. The novel is centered around the central theme of loss, and with Pari being the loss in Abdullah’s life. What to learn from this quote is that the characters in the novel lose the things most precious to them.
p. 25 “His love for her was vast and unclouded. She was his universe.”

The significance of this quote is that it represents a life that has been touched by love. It portrays the importance of love in one’s life; no matter how much a struggle your life is, as long as you have something or someone in your life that is precious to you, you can pull through. Love that is clear and never ending, a love with purpose and meaning. To have this kind of love for another is represented through the words “vast and unclouded”. The story behind this quote is of a being who suffered through a life of being unwanted, yet he found someone that blessed his life with kindness. Although he had dealt with tragic accidents that left him physically injured, his mentality remained innocent, and this never hindered him from being able to show his affections. Through their encounter, they formed a bond in which he became attached to her, but after an incident he was left separated from the only one who truly cared for him. Love of this kind is not only portrayed through this individual’s story, but throughout the whole story; love plays the central role within the plot of the novel. This quote addresses the need and impact of love of all forms in life; love that knows no boundaries is symbolized.
Pg. 218
This paragraph shows how the author, Khaled Hosseini, used a narrative style in the use of italics. The italics are used in the book constantly and are used differently at certain time. In this example, the uses of italics in this paragraph are used to show someone speaking. There is a significant difference from the dialogue because the italics are used to show the past speeches. In this case, it shows how Pari used to ask about her father and how he was or if she had any relatives. This is a significant importance of how the author used a certain writing style for this book.

pg. 220-221
Because Khaled Hosseini uses the italics to show different aspects of the books, you would have to look for context clues in order to know how he is using the italics. In this case, Hosseini uses the italics to show someone’s thoughts. Pari is thinking about for what she was born for or if she was just a burden that her mother had to hold. The uses of italics here are very significant because it distinguishes a person’s dialogue to a person’s thought. Hosseini is then also able to capture the significance of someone’s thoughts by placing the italics present. In many cases, there are important aspects of someone’s thoughts and in what way the italics are used.
pg. 382
As shown in the previous passages, the uses of italics are used to show certain thoughts, key points, the past, and certain gestures that are significant to the character’s movements. In this paragraph it is shown to the uses of different languages. In this example it is used to show the language of French. Although if you were to see other languages such as Arabic words in other paragraphs, the uses of italics would still be the same. The uses of italics are used in different ways to point out its significance in the book. The different languages suggest that the characters are diverse and the settings tend to vary such as France, Afghanistan, Greece, and California.
When she was young, Pari remembers, she had been all questions,
Do I have cousins in Kabul, Maman? Do i have aunts and uncles? And grandparents, do I have a
and a
How come they never visit? Can we write them a letter? Please, can we visit them?
What was I, Maman?
Pari, thinks.
What was I supposed to be, growing in your womb- assuming it was even in your womb that I was conceived? A seed of hope? A ticket purchased to ferry you from the dark? A patch for that hole you carried in your heart? If so, then I wasn't enough. I wasn't nearly enough. I wasn't balm to you pain, only another dead end, another burden, and you must have seen that early on. You must have realized it. But what could you do? You couldn't go down to the pawnshop and sell me.
Divs- A giant demon monster in Afghan folklore
tandoor- a cylindrical clay oven, fired to a high heat by wood or charcoal, in which foods, especially meats, are cooked and bread is baked.
...She considers for a minute before saying, "'
Jaurais du etre plus gentille-
nang, namoos- Honor & Pride
Primordial- constituting a beginning; giving origin to something derived or developed; original; elementary: primordial forms of life.
Innocuous- not harmful or injurious; harmless
Frivolous- self-indulgently carefree; unconcerned about or lacking any serious purpose.
keffiyeh- A cotton headdress worn by Arabs
Austere- Severe or strict in manner, attitude, or appearance.
Bismillahs- “in the name of Allah” It is said before eating food and other actions that are worthy of giving thanks to Allah or asking of his support
Histrionics- Overly theatrical or melodramatic in character or style
insurmountable- incapable of being surmounted, passed over, or overcome; insuperable:
Gift Shop
Shuja the dog
Perfume: Betrayal
“You say you felt a presence, but I sensed only an absence. A vague pain without a source. I was like the patient who cannot explain to the doctor where it hurts, only that it does.” p.391

The main plot of the story is the separation of Abdullah and Pari. As the story progresses, years go by and we see how the siblings age. The significance of this quote is that it shows the relationship between Pari, Abdullah’s sister, and Pari, his daughter. After Pari discovers from the letter her uncle Nabi left her, that she originally had another family, she sought out Abdullah. She meets up with Pari and finally reunites with Abdullah, yet during this time, they are elderly and he doesn’t remember her due to Alzheimers. Pari and Pari connect on deeper levels, because as Pari grew up, she was always told about her father’s sister, and imagined her as her own sister whom she would seek comfort and share her experiences with. However, because Pari was separated from Abdullah at such a young age, her memories of her past family became clouded; she sensed something was missing in her life, but she didn’t know exactly what. It shows a contrast between the two, and the difference in the way they grew up; a daughter with an imaginary friend, and the sister who felt an absence in her life although she was raised more opportunities and privileges.
Time Capsule
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