The Kite Runner

Amir Character Analysis

The protagonist and narrator of the novel, a wealthy boy who grows up in Kabul, Afghanistan along with his father, Baba. Amir abuses his privileges over his servant and loyal friend, Hassan, and then fails to come to his aid when Hassan is being raped by local bullies after a kite-fighting tournament. The rest of the novel deals with Amir’s guilt, his growing maturity (as he and Baba move to the U.S.), and his quest for redemption.

Amir Quotes in The Kite Runner

The The Kite Runner quotes below are all either spoken by Amir or refer to Amir. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Betrayal Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Riverhead Books edition of The Kite Runner published in 2013.
Chapter 1 Quotes

That was a long time ago, but it’s wrong what they say about the past, I’ve learned, about how you can bury it. Because the past claws its way out. Looking back now, I realize I have been peeking into that deserted alley for the last twenty-six years.

Related Characters: Amir (speaker)
Page Number: 1
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 3 Quotes

Because the truth of it was, I always felt like Baba hated me a little. And why not? After all, I had killed his beloved wife, his beautiful princess, hadn’t I? The least I could have done was to have had the decency to have turned out a little more like him. But I hadn’t turned out like him.

Related Characters: Amir (speaker), Baba, Sofia Akrami
Page Number: 19
Explanation and Analysis:

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“And where is he headed?” Baba said. “A boy who won’t stand up for himself becomes a man who can’t stand up to anything.”

Related Characters: Baba (speaker), Amir
Page Number: 22
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 4 Quotes

The curious thing was, I never thought of Hassan and me as friends either… Never mind that we spent entire winters flying kites, running kites. Never mind that to me, the face of Afghanistan is that of a boy with a thin-boned frame… a boy with Chinese doll face perpetually lit by a harelipped smile. Never mind any of these things. Because history isn’t easy to overcome. Neither is religion. In the end, I was a Pashtun and he was a Hazara, I was Sunni and he was Shi’a, and nothing was ever going to change that.

Related Characters: Amir (speaker), Hassan
Related Symbols: Kites, The Cleft Lip
Page Number: 25
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 6 Quotes

I was going to win, and I was going to run that last kite. Then I’d bring it home and show it to Baba. Show him once and for all that his son was worthy.

Related Characters: Amir (speaker), Baba
Related Symbols: Kites
Page Number: 56
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 7 Quotes

He stopped, turned. He cupped his hands around his mouth. “For you a thousand times over!” he said. Then he smiled his Hassan smile and disappeared around the corner. The next time I saw him smile unabashedly like that was twenty-six years later, in a faded Polaroid photograph.

Related Characters: Amir (speaker), Hassan (speaker)
Page Number: 67
Explanation and Analysis:

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“But before you sacrifice yourself for him, think about this: Would he do the same for you? Have you ever wondered why he never includes you in games when he has guests? Why he only plays with you when no one else is around? I’ll tell you why, Hazara. Because to him, you’re nothing but an ugly pet…”

“Amir agha and I are friends,” Hassan said.

Related Characters: Hassan (speaker), Assef (speaker), Amir
Page Number: 72
Explanation and Analysis:

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In the end, I ran.

I ran because I was a coward. I was afraid of Assef and what he would do to me… I actually aspired to cowardice, because the alternative, the real reason I was running, was that Assef was right: Nothing was free in this world. Maybe Hassan was the price I had to pay, the lamb I had to slay, to win Baba. Was it a fair price? The answer floated to my conscious mind before I could thwart it: He was just a Hazara, wasn’t he?

Related Characters: Amir (speaker), Baba, Hassan, Assef
Page Number: 77
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 8 Quotes

I thought about Hassan’s dream, the one about us swimming in the lake. There is no monster, he’d said, just water. Except he’d been wrong about that. There was a monster in the lake… I was that monster.

Related Characters: Amir (speaker), Hassan
Related Symbols: The Monster in the Lake
Page Number: 86
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 9 Quotes

I flinched, like I’d been slapped… Then I understood: This was Hassan’s final sacrifice for me… And that led to another understanding: Hassan knew. He knew I’d seen everything in that alley, that I’d stood there and done nothing. He knew I had betrayed him and yet he was rescuing me once again, maybe for the last time.

Related Characters: Amir (speaker), Hassan
Page Number: 105
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 10 Quotes

In the morning, Jalaluddin… would probably think we’d gone out for a stroll or a drive. We hadn’t told him. You couldn’t trust anyone in Kabul anymore – for a fee or under threat, people told on each other, neighbor on neighbor, child on parent, brother on brother, servant on master, friend on friend.

Related Characters: Amir (speaker)
Page Number: 112
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 11 Quotes

Long before the Roussi army marched into Afghanistan, long before villages were burned and schools destroyed… Kabul had become a city of ghosts for me. A city of harelipped ghosts.
America was different. America was a river, roaring along, unmindful of the past. I could wade into this river, let my sins drown to the bottom, let the waters carry me someplace far. Someplace with no ghosts, no memories, and no sins.

Related Characters: Amir (speaker), Hassan
Related Symbols: The Cleft Lip
Page Number: 136
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 12 Quotes

I envied her. Her secret was out. Spoken. Dealt with. I opened my mouth and almost told her how I’d betrayed Hassan, lied, driven him out, and destroyed a forty-year relationship between Baba and Ali. But I didn’t.

Related Characters: Amir (speaker), Baba, Hassan, Ali, Soraya
Page Number: 165
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 13 Quotes

Listening to them, I realized how much of who I was, what I was, had been defined by Baba and the marks he had left on people’s lives… Now he was gone. Baba couldn’t show me the way anymore; I’d have to find it on my own.

Related Characters: Amir (speaker), Baba
Page Number: 174
Explanation and Analysis:

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As I drove, I wondered why I was different. Maybe it was because I had been raised by men; I hadn’t grown up around women and had never been exposed firsthand to the double standard with which Afghan society sometimes treated them… But I think a big part of the reason I didn’t care about Soraya’s past was that I had one of my own. I knew all about regret.

Related Characters: Amir (speaker), Soraya
Page Number: 180
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 14 Quotes

My suspicions had been right all those years. He knew about Assef, the kite, the money, the watch with the lightning bolt hands. He had always known.

Come. There is a way to be good again, Rahim Khan had said on the phone just before hanging up.

Related Characters: Amir (speaker), Hassan, Assef, Rahim Khan
Related Symbols: Kites
Page Number: 192
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 17 Quotes

“You know, Rahim Khan said, “one time, when you weren’t around, your father and I were talking… I remember he said to me, ‘Rahim, a boy who won’t stand up for himself becomes a man who can’t stand up to anything.’ I wonder, is that what you’ve become?”

Related Characters: Rahim Khan (speaker), Amir, Baba
Page Number: 221
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 18 Quotes

As it turned out, Baba and I were more alike than I’d ever known. We had both betrayed the people who would have given their lives for us. And with that came this realization: that Rahim Khan had summoned me here to atone not just for my sins but for Baba’s too.

Related Characters: Amir (speaker), Amir, Baba, Hassan, Rahim Khan
Page Number: 226
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 19 Quotes

He pointed to an old man dressed in ragged clothes trudging down a dirt path, a large burlap sack filled with scrub grass tied to his back. “That’s the real Afghanistan, Agha sahib. That’s the Afghanistan I know. You? You’ve always been a tourist here, you just didn’t know it.”

Related Characters: Amir (speaker), Farid (speaker)
Page Number: 232
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 21 Quotes

“How much more do you need to see? Let me save you the trouble: Nothing that you remember has survived. Best to forget.”
“I don’t want to forget anymore,” I said.

Related Characters: Amir (speaker), Farid (speaker)
Page Number: 263
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 22 Quotes

What was the old saying about the bad penny? My past was like that, always turning up. His name rose from the deep and I didn’t want to say it, as if uttering it might conjure him. But he was already here, in the flesh, sitting less than ten feet from me, after all these years. His name escaped my lips: “Assef.”

Related Characters: Amir (speaker), Assef
Page Number: 281
Explanation and Analysis:

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Another rib snapped, this time lower. What was so funny was that, for the first time since the winter of 1975, I felt at peace. I laughed because I saw that, in some hidden nook in the corner of my mind, I’d even been looking forward to this… My body was broken – just how badly I wouldn’t find out until later – but I felt healed.

Related Characters: Amir (speaker)
Page Number: 289
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 23 Quotes

Your father, like you, was a tortured soul, Rahim Khan had written. Maybe so. We had both sinned and betrayed. But Baba had found a way to create good out of his remorse. What had I done, other than take my guilt out on the very same people I had betrayed, and then try to forget it all?

Related Characters: Amir (speaker), Baba, Rahim Khan
Page Number: 303
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 25 Quotes

“Sohrab, I can’t give you your old life back, I wish to God I could. But I can take you with me. That was what I was coming in the bathroom to tell you. You have a visa to go to America, to live with me and my wife. It’s true. I promise.”

Related Characters: Amir (speaker), Sohrab
Page Number: 355
Explanation and Analysis:

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If someone were to ask me today whether the story of Hassan, Sohrab, and me ends with happiness, I wouldn’t know what to say.

Does anybody’s?

Related Characters: Amir (speaker), Hassan, Sohrab
Page Number: 357
Explanation and Analysis:

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I looked at Hassan, showing those two missing teeth, sunlight slanting on his face. Baba’s other half. The unentitled, unprivileged half. The half who had inherited what had been pure and noble in Baba. The half that, maybe, in the most secret recesses of his heart, Baba had thought of as his true son… Then I realized something: That last thought had brought no sting with it… I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded, not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up, and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night.

Related Characters: Amir (speaker), Baba, Hassan
Page Number: 359
Explanation and Analysis:

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“Do you want me to run that kite for you?”
His Adam’s apple rose and fell as he swallowed… I thought I saw him nod.
“For you, a thousand times over,” I heard myself say.
Then I turned and ran.
It was only a smile, nothing more… A tiny thing… But I’ll take it. With open arms. Because when spring comes, it melts the snow one flake at a time, and maybe I just witnessed the first flake melting.

Related Characters: Amir (speaker), Sohrab
Related Symbols: Kites
Page Number: 371
Explanation and Analysis:

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Amir Character Timeline in The Kite Runner

The timeline below shows where the character Amir appears in The Kite Runner. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Betrayal Theme Icon
Redemption Theme Icon
Memory and the Past Theme Icon
The book opens in 2001, with the narrator (Amir) remembering something that happened in 1975, an unnamed event in an alley that “made him... (full context)
Betrayal Theme Icon
Redemption Theme Icon
Memory and the Past Theme Icon
Amir grew up in Kabul, Afghanistan, but he lives in San Francisco now. He walks around... (full context)
Chapter 2
Memory and the Past Theme Icon
As children in Afghanistan, Amir and Hassan would climb trees and reflect sunlight into their neighbors’ homes to annoy them,... (full context)
Fathers and Children Theme Icon
Memory and the Past Theme Icon
Politics and Society Theme Icon
Amir lives in a mansion in the wealthy Wazir Akbar Khan district of Kabul with his... (full context)
Fathers and Children Theme Icon
Politics and Society Theme Icon
Outside Amir’s house is a little mud hut where Hassan and his father Ali live. Though Amir... (full context)
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One day Hassan and Amir were out walking when a soldier confronted them and claimed to have had sex with... (full context)
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...Hazaras, an ethnic minority in Afghanistan that is looked down on by the Pashtun majority (Amir and Baba are Pashtuns). The Hazaras have more Asian features, while the Pashtuns appear more... (full context)
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Amir returns to describing Sanaubar, and he says that she mocked Ali’s appearance just as much... (full context)
Chapter 3
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Amir describes Baba and relates some memories of him. There was a legend that Baba had... (full context)
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...an architect, but he had designed and built an orphanage and paid for it himself. Amir describes how proud he was when the orphanage opened, and how he was jealous when... (full context)
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...men in Kabul. They also thought he could not marry well, but he had married Amir’s mother, Sofia Akrami, who was beautiful, well-educated, and of royal blood. Amir describes himself as... (full context)
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One day at school Mullah Fatiulla Khan, a religious teacher at Amir’s school, taught the children that drinking alcohol was a sin punishable by damnation. Amir tells... (full context)
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Amir constantly tries to please Baba, but usually feels like a failure. He can’t help but... (full context)
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Rahim Khan, Baba’s friend and business colleague, seems to understand Amir better than Baba. Amir overhears him encouraging Baba to respect Amir’s love of books, and... (full context)
Chapter 4
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...and high and killed a Hazara couple – Ali’s parents. The killers were brought before Amir’s grandfather, who was a respected judge, and he ordered them to enlist in the army.... (full context)
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They are still close, but Baba never calls Ali his friend and Amir never thinks of Hassan as his friend – their ethnic and religious divides seem too... (full context)
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Despite their closeness, Hassan spends the day cleaning the house and preparing food while Amir goes to school in Baba’s fancy American car. Hassan is illiterate because of his servant... (full context)
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...and then discovers it is his long-lost son Sohrab. It is a tragic story, but Amir feels that all fathers have a secret desire to kill their sons. (full context)
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One day under the pomegranate tree Amir begins to make up his own story while pretending he is still reading out loud.... (full context)
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Amir tries to show the story to Baba (who is talking with Rahim Khan), but Baba... (full context)
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Later that night Rahim Khan leaves Amir a note that says he has a “special talent,” and that the story has an... (full context)
Chapter 5
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That same night there is the sound of gunfire in the streets. Amir and Hassan are frightened, but Ali embraces them and says it is just people hunting... (full context)
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Amir and Hassan distract themselves from a political radio show by going off to climb a... (full context)
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Amir tries to defuse the situation but Assef takes out his brass knuckles and says that... (full context)
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...One winter (1974) Ali calls Hassan inside, saying that Baba wanted to speak with him. Amir describes how Baba got a present for Hassan’s birthday every year. With Baba is a... (full context)
Chapter 6
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...Kabul, as school is closed because of snow and everyone spends their time flying kites. Amir finds the icy city beautiful, and flying kites together is when he and Baba are... (full context)
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Amir says that Hassan is the best kite runner in Kabul – he always seems to... (full context)
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While they wait Amir tests Hassan’s loyalty by asking him if he would eat dirt for Amir, but as... (full context)
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One night soon before the big kite tournament of 1975 Baba and Amir are sitting by the fire, talking, when Baba casually says that he thinks Amir will... (full context)
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The night before the tournament Hassan and Amir are playing panjpar, a card game. In the other room the radio is on, with... (full context)
Chapter 7
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On the morning of the tournament, Hassan tells Amir about the dream he had the night before. In the dream the two of them... (full context)
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It is a clear, beautiful day as the boys gather in Amir’s neighborhood for the tournament. Baba and Rahim Khan sit on the roof to watch. Amir... (full context)
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The tournament lasts for hours, but Amir (and Hassan, who controls the spool of string) do well and keep flying. One blue... (full context)
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Amir prays that he might win and so redeem himself to Baba. Amir tricks the blue... (full context)
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Amir reels in his kite and accepts everyone’s praise, but he wants to wait until he... (full context)
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One old merchant seems suspicious that Amir is looking for a Hazara, but he finally tells Amir that he saw Hassan going... (full context)
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...blue kite. Hassan refuses, as he ran the kite fairly and must deliver it to Amir. Assef mocks him and says that Amir would not be so loyal to Hassan if... (full context)
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The older, narrator Amir suddenly remembers Ali talking about a Hazara woman called Sakina, who was the nursemaid of... (full context)
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...Hassan down. Assef raises Hassan’s hips in the air and takes off his own pants. Amir catches a glimpse of Hassan’s face, and it looks resigned to its fate, like a... (full context)
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Amir then describes the first day of Eid-e-Qorban, a Muslim celebration to honor Abraham’s almost-sacrifice of... (full context)
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Amir again returns to the memory of the alley. He realizes that he has been biting... (full context)
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Fifteen minutes later Amir sees Hassan walking slowly past, and Amir pretends he has been looking for him. He... (full context)
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When they arrive home, Amir’s reunion with Baba happens just as he imagined it would. Baba embraces him, and for... (full context)
Chapter 8
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For a week after the tournament, Amir hardly sees Hassan. He asks Ali where he is, and Ali says that Hassan just... (full context)
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By the time Baba and Amir actually leave for Jalalabad, Baba has invited many family members and friends to come along... (full context)
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That night all the men sleep in the same room, but Amir lies awake tossing and turning. He says out loud that he watched Hassan get raped,... (full context)
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When Amir and Baba return to Kabul, Hassan asks Amir to go up to their favorite hill.... (full context)
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The rest of the winter passes with Amir avoiding Hassan and pretending his new, close relationship with Baba will last forever, even though... (full context)
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One day while they are gardening, Amir asks Baba if he has ever thought about getting new servants. Baba is furious at... (full context)
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One afternoon after school Amir asks Hassan to walk up the hill with him so Amir can read a story... (full context)
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That summer (1976) Amir turns thirteen, and Baba decides to throw him a huge party, though their relationship is... (full context)
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When the party begins Baba makes Amir greet each guest personally. Assef arrives and jokes politely with Baba, and he gives Amir... (full context)
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As Amir sits alone in the dark, Rahim Khan approaches and starts to talk to him, saying... (full context)
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Rahim Khan then says that he is always there if Amir needs to tell him something. Amir almost confesses everything, but again he says nothing. Rahim... (full context)
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Suddenly fireworks start up and interrupt their conversation. Amir and Rahim Khan hurry back to the house. In the glow of the fireworks Amir... (full context)
Chapter 9
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The next morning Amir opens his birthday presents, but none of them give him any pleasure and he tosses... (full context)
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As Amir is leaving on his new bike, Ali stops him and gives him a present from... (full context)
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The next morning Amir waits for Ali and Hassan to go out grocery shopping, and then he hides some... (full context)
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...the study, and Baba asks Hassan directly if he stole the watch and money. To Amir’s surprise, Hassan says that he did. At that moment Amir understands that Hassan saw him... (full context)
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Baba forgives Ali and Hassan, which also surprises Amir – as Baba had considered theft the worst of sins – but Ali insists that... (full context)
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...rains in the summer in Kabul, but it rains the day Ali and Hassan leave. Amir watches from inside his bedroom as Baba tries one last time to convince them to... (full context)
Chapter 10
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The story jumps to March of 1981. Amir and Baba, along with several others, are in the back of a truck fleeing Afghanistan... (full context)
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...shame in war. Baba still won’t stand aside and the soldier threatens to shoot him. Amir tries to get Baba to sit down, but he pushes Amir away. Just before the... (full context)
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The group then joins a larger group of refugees who are staying in a basement. Amir recognizes Kamal among them, but he looks sickly and old. Amir overhears Kamal’s father explaining... (full context)
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...terrifyingly dark and the air is thick with fumes, which makes it hard to breathe. Amir is saved from his panic by the small light of Baba’s wristwatch. Baba whispers in... (full context)
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They arrive in Pakistan and unload the truck. Amir is saddened by the sight of Baba’s two suitcases – the result of all his... (full context)
Chapter 11
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The story skips forward in time, and Baba and Amir have been living in Fremont, California for almost two years. Baba likes the idea of... (full context)
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That night Amir asks if they should go back to Pakistan, where they had spent six months waiting... (full context)
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...six days a week. He was offered food stamps, but he rejected them with pride. Amir, meanwhile graduates high school at the age of twenty, and Baba is truly proud at... (full context)
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That night Baba takes Amir to an Afghan kabob house, where he buys drinks for everyone and starts an impromptu... (full context)
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The day after his graduation Amir tells Baba that he wants to study creative writing, knowing that Baba will disapprove. Baba... (full context)
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Amir likes to take long drives in his car alone, past rich neighborhoods and poor ones.... (full context)
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...going around filling it up with purchases from garage sales. Then on Sunday, he and Amir set up a booth at a flea market and sell everything for a profit. Soon... (full context)
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One Sunday Baba introduces Amir to a man named General Taheri, who is very traditional and formal in his appearance... (full context)
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On the way home Amir asks Baba about Soraya – he had heard rumors about her before. Baba is unwilling... (full context)
Chapter 12
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After meeting Soraya, Amir thinks about her constantly – he compares his every night to yelda, the Afghan first... (full context)
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Amir goes to the Taheris’ booth while the General is away and he greets Soraya, who... (full context)
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Soraya’s mother, Jamila, appears and interrupts the conversation. She offers Amir a seat but he does the polite thing and declines, referring to her formally as... (full context)
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For a few weeks after that, Amir goes over to her booth and talks to Soraya only when General Taheri is away.... (full context)
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Amir gives Soraya one of his stories, but suddenly General Taheri appears and Soray looks terrified.... (full context)
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At first Baba only has a bad cold, but then Amir catches him coughing up blood. Amir takes him to a hospital, and then to several... (full context)
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After Baba’s diagnosis, Amir breaks down and wonders aloud what he will do when Baba dies. Baba is ashamed... (full context)
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...Afghans fill the waiting room, wanting to visit Baba. The Taheris arrive and Soraya comforts Amir. Two days later Baba is discharged from the hospital, and that night Amir asks him... (full context)
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...the phone and says she is happy that her father approved, but she must tell Amir about her past, as she doesn’t want any secrets between them. When she was eighteen... (full context)
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Soraya asks if her story bothers Amir, and he admits it does a little bit, but he still wants to marry her.... (full context)
Chapter 13
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The next night Amir and Baba go to the Taheris’ house for the lafz, the ceremony of “giving word.”... (full context)
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...all of his life savings on the wedding, renting an Afghan banquet hall and buying Amir’s tuxedo and rings. (full context)
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The wedding is a happy blur for Amir – he and Soraya repeat their oaths and then walk through the hall as the... (full context)
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Soraya wants to move in with Baba immediately because he is so sick. One day Amir comes home and sees Soraya slipping Amir’s old leather-bound notebook – the one Rahim Khan... (full context)
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...many of them tell stories about how Baba helped them when no one else would. Amir thinks of the old story of Baba wrestling the black bear, and he thinks of... (full context)
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Listening to everyone’s stories of Baba, Amir realizes how his father has defined who he is all his life. Now Baba is... (full context)
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Because they had such a brief engagement, Amir is still learning about Soraya’s family after the wedding. General Taheri gets bad, week-long migraines... (full context)
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...not allowed her to sing in public since they were married. Jamila comes to adore Amir, as he listens to her complain about her health, and he has cured her of... (full context)
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...frustrated and enraged at the Afghan double standard for men and women’s promiscuity. She tells Amir more about what happened to her in Virginia – when General Taheri came to fetch... (full context)
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Soraya is still relieved that Amir didn’t reject her when he learned about her past, and she says that he is... (full context)
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After Baba’s death, Amir and Soraya get their own apartment in Fremont, close to the Taheris’ home. General Taheri... (full context)
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In the summer of 1988 Amir finishes his first novel, and eventually gets it published. All the Taheris celebrate his success,... (full context)
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The next year Amir’s novel is released and he becomes somewhat famous in the Afghan community. It is also... (full context)
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After a long time without being able to conceive, Amir and Soraya start going to see different specialists, but none of them can explain why... (full context)
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Amir wonders if his inability to have a child is his punishment for the things he... (full context)
Chapter 14
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The story moves ahead to June of 2001, and Amir has just gotten off the phone with Rahim Khan, who is in Pakistan and is... (full context)
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Amir decides to go to Pakistan, and General Taheri and Jamila agree to come stay with... (full context)
Chapter 15
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Amir lands in Peshawar, Pakistan. His cab driver talks about the terrible things happening in Afghanistan.... (full context)
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Amir thinks about the last time he saw Rahim Khan in 1981, the night Amir and... (full context)
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At first Amir tries to avoid talking about Rahim Khan’s appearance, and he tells him about his marriage... (full context)
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After Baba and Amir left Kabul, Rahim Khan lived in their house (Baba “sold” it to him) and tried... (full context)
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Amir finally asks Rahim Khan about his health, and Rahim Khan says that he is dying,... (full context)
Chapter 16
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...Hassan said that Hazarajat was his home now. Hassan asked Rahim Khan many questions about Amir – whether he was happy, if he thought he could write him a letter (Hassan... (full context)
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...big house. Hassan worked hard cleaning and preparing the house, as if readying it for Amir’s return. Farzana gave birth to a stillborn girl, who they buried in the yard. Outside... (full context)
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...that they named Sohrab after the character from “Rostam and Sohrab,” the story Hassan and Amir loved as children. Sanaubar loved and doted on the boy, and she lived until Sohrab... (full context)
Chapter 17
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The narrative returns to Amir’s perspective, as he sits with Rahim Khan thinking of the huge repercussions of his actions... (full context)
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Amir reads the letter, which is addressed to him from Hassan. Hassan says that the Afghanistan... (full context)
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...growing up in an Afghanistan that is safe and beautiful again. Hassan says that if Amir ever returns, he will be waiting for him as his faithful friend. (full context)
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Rahim Khan then answers Amir’s question – about a month after Rahim Khan came to Pakistan, he got a call... (full context)
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Amir cannot help imagining Hassan’s execution, and he is wracked with grief. Rahim Khan continues –... (full context)
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Amir protests that he cannot go to Kabul, but he is willing to pay someone to... (full context)
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Amir still considers refusing, but then Rahim Khan delivers one last piece of information – Ali... (full context)
Chapter 18
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Amir wanders aimlessly through the streets and stops in a small tea house. He feels that... (full context)
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Amir realizes that he and Baba are more similar than he had thought, as they both... (full context)
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Amir cannot help thinking that he is responsible for Hassan’s death. If he had not driven... (full context)
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Amir rides a rickshaw back to Rahim Khan’s apartment, and on the way he realizes that... (full context)
Chapter 19
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Rahim Khan arranges for a man named Farid to drive Amir to Kabul. As they drive past a bullet-riddled sign for the Khyber Pass, Amir starts... (full context)
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Amir is dressed like Farid, in an Afghan hat called a pakol (which he never wore... (full context)
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As they cross the border, Amir starts to see the poverty and damage of constant warfare. He says that he feels... (full context)
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Amir asks Farid to stop snickering, and Farid guesses that Amir grew up in a big... (full context)
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...house is small and bare, and though the family is clearly very poor, they treat Amir like a guest. Wahid is impressed that Amir is a writer, and he hopes that... (full context)
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Wahid asks Amir why he has returned to Afghanistan, but Farid interrupts and says scornfully that Amir is... (full context)
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Wahid’s wife serves dinner to Amir and Farid, and Wahid apologizes that there is no meat – only the Taliban have... (full context)
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As they prepare for bed (all in the same room), Farid apologizes to Amir and says he should not have assumed Amir’s reason for returning. He says he will... (full context)
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That night Amir dreams of Hassan’s execution, but in the dream the executioner is Amir himself. He wakes... (full context)
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While he is out, Amir overhears Wahid and his wife arguing about dinner – they gave all their food to... (full context)
Chapter 20
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On the drive to Kabul Amir is horrified by the results of two wars – old burned-out Soviet tanks, overturned Russian... (full context)
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...in a red pickup truck, with a few bearded men in the back with AK-47s. Amir can’t help staring at them in terror. Once they pass, Farid angrily warns Amir not... (full context)
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An old beggar agrees with Farid’s warning, and Amir starts to speak to him. The beggar talks about how the Taliban were first welcomed... (full context)
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Amir and Farid find the new orphanage (which replaced Baba’s, which was destroyed) where Sohrab is... (full context)
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Zaman takes Amir and Farid to his office and says he has bad news – Sohrab is no... (full context)
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...feed the children – he has already spent all his life savings on the orphanage. Amir asks how to find the official, and Zaman says he will be at the soccer... (full context)
Chapter 21
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Farid and Amir drive through Kabul on the way to Amir’s old neighborhood. They pass a dead body... (full context)
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Amir sees Baba’s old house, and then the narrative slips into Amir’s memory of him and... (full context)
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Farid warns Amir that they shouldn’t linger, and he says that it is best to just forget the... (full context)
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They stay in a run-down, overpriced hotel that night, and Farid asks Amir about America. Amir talks about the overabundance of food and television, and then he and... (full context)
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...from each truck. They bury them both up to their chest, the woman screaming wildly. Amir wants to leave, but he feels he must watch. An old cleric recites a prayer,... (full context)
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...they must throw stones back. Then another Taliban official steps out of the truck, and Amir and Farid recognize him as the man they are looking for – he is wearing... (full context)
Chapter 22
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Amir and Farid return to the Wazir Akbar Khan neighborhood and arrive at the big house... (full context)
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...Taliban official enters, still wearing his sunglasses, with the two guards. He sits down and Amir notices that his shirt is still stained with blood from the execution at the soccer... (full context)
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The official asks Amir about America, but Amir only says that he is looking for Sohrab. The official says... (full context)
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...and orders the guards to leave the room. The official rubs Sohrab’s stomach and asks Amir whatever happened to Babalu – the name Assef used to call Ali. Amir realizes with... (full context)
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Amir says he will pay Assef for the boy, but Assef replies that he does not... (full context)
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...out the garbage” in Afghanistan – which is what he was doing by massacring Hazaras. Amir says that this is called ethnic cleansing, and Assef seems to enjoy the term. Amir... (full context)
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...and tells them not to come in, no matter they might hear, and that if Amir leaves the room alive they are to let him pass. He wants Sohrab to stay... (full context)
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Amir then describes the fight in flashes of swallowing teeth and blood, Assef throwing him against... (full context)
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Sohrab cries and asks Assef to stop hurting Amir, and Assef warns him to put down the slingshot or terrible things will happen to... (full context)
Chapter 23
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The narrative continues with a blur of Amir’s memories. Time seems out of order, and he sees a nurse named Aisha leaning over... (full context)
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Amir wakes up and learns that he is in a hospital in Peshawar, and the man... (full context)
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Farid and Sohrab visit Amir the next day, and Amir thanks them and properly introduces himself to Sohrab, who barely... (full context)
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That night Amir reads Rahim Khan’s note. Rahim Khan says that he knew what happened with Amir and... (full context)
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Rahim Khan then says that he knows Baba was hard on Amir, but part of the reason for this was Baba’s own guilt. He could not love... (full context)
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With the letter, Rahim Khan leaves Amir a key to his safe-deposit box, where there is money to cover Amir’s expenses in... (full context)
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The next morning Amir looks at himself in the mirror, and sees all the damage to his face. Farid... (full context)
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Amir spends the rest of the day playing a card game, panjpar, with Sohrab, who still... (full context)
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For the next two days, Sohrab and Amir play panjpar in silence. The next day Amir decides that he must leave, and he... (full context)
Chapter 24
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Amir, Farid, and Sohrab arrive in Islamabad, and Amir is impressed with its size and cleanliness... (full context)
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Amir takes a pain pill and falls asleep, and when he wakes up Sohrab is gone.... (full context)
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...softly and asks if he will go to hell for what he did to Assef. Amir says that Assef deserved it and more, and explains that Assef had hurt Hassan very... (full context)
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For a week afterward, neither Amir nor Sohrab mentions America, but one day they are playing cards and Sohrab asks about... (full context)
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Later that day Sohrab asks about San Francisco again, and Amir describes the fog. Sohrab worries that Amir or his wife will get tired of him... (full context)
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The next day Amir goes with Sohrab to the American embassy. They meet with a man named Raymond Andrews,... (full context)
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Amir asks if Andrews has any children, and Andrews says no. Amir then leaves angrily with... (full context)
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They return to the hotel and Sohrab takes a long bath. Amir wonders when he will begin to feel cleaned of the sexual abuse. Amir calls Soraya,... (full context)
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That night, Amir tells Sohrab that he thinks he will be able to come to America, but first... (full context)
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When Amir wakes up, Sohrab is in the bath, and Soraya calls. She says that her family... (full context)
Chapter 25
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Sohrab is taken to the emergency room, and Amir is not allowed to go in with him. Amir takes a sheet from a supply... (full context)
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Amir realizes then that he does believe in a God, and he asks God to forgive... (full context)
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After a while Amir falls asleep on the floor, and he dreams of Sohrab in the bloody bathtub and... (full context)
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Several days pass with Amir sleeping on a hospital couch and Sohrab sleeping with a ventilator. Eventually Amir returns to... (full context)
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Amir reads from the story of “Rostam and Sohrab,” but Sohrab shakes his head when Amir... (full context)
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Eventually Amir takes Sohrab’s silence as an acceptance, and a week later they arrive in America. Amir... (full context)
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Amir returns to the narrative, as he and Sohrab arrive in San Francisco in August of... (full context)
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That night Amir finds the photo of Hassan under Sohrab’s pillow. Looking at Hassan’s face, Amir realizes how... (full context)
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...Taheri and Jamila come over for dinner. While Soraya and her mother set the table, Amir tells the General about Kabul and the Taliban. General Taheri skirts the subject of Sohrab... (full context)
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Amir describes the nature of Sohrab’s silence – it is not just quietness, but as if... (full context)
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While the family lives quietly, great movements shake America and Afghanistan. Amir describes the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the American bombing of Afghanistan... (full context)
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Feeling helpless in the face of Sohrab’s silence and the new war in Afghanistan, Amir and Soraya get jobs with a hospital project where they help fund and run a... (full context)
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Amir describes a “small miracle” that takes place on a rainy day in March of 2002.... (full context)
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Soraya interrupts Amir’s conversation and points out some kites flying in the sky over the park. Amir finds... (full context)
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Amir offers again, and Sohrab hesitantly takes the kite string. Amir wishes time would stand still.... (full context)
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Behind them people cheer for their victory, and the tiniest smile appears on Sohrab’s face. Amir knows it is only a little thing, but it is perhaps a sign of better... (full context)