How does Baba view Amir’s episodes with car sickness?
Baba sees the sickness a weakness of Amir.
What does Karim do for a living?
He is in the business of smuggling people. He is in charge of driving people out of Shorawi-occupied Kabul to the relative safety of Pakistan.
Why are Amir and his father fleeing Afghanistan?
Once the Russians invaded, no one was safe in Afghanistan. There were spies everywhere, and no one could be trusted.
Baba says, “War doesn’t negate decency. It demands it, even more than in times of peace.” What does this mean?
Baba means that decency should always be shown. Everyone is human, and war is a time when people are vulnerable.
Baba stands up to the Russian officer and is nearly shot in the chest. A second Russian officer blames the other soldier’s behavior on what?
His behavior is blamed on drugs.
What is ironic about what Kamal’s father tells Baba about his son while Amir was eavesdropping?
Karmal’s father reveals that Kamal was raped. Kamal was one of the boys that help Assef rape Hassan. What goes around comes around: karma.
What happens to Karmal and his father?
Kamal dies in the fuel truck. The fumes are too much for his weak body. His father couldn’t accept it, and he committed suicide by shooting himself in the head.
What is the new setting in Chapter 11?
The story shifts to Fremont, California in the 1980s.
How does Amir use a twig of a tree branch as a credit card in Kabul?
The bread maker would cut notches in the stick for each loaf Amir took, and at the end of the month Baba would pay the bill for the loaves/notches.
How did Amir make Baba proud while in America? How does the celebration end?
Baba is pleased to see Amir graduate from high school. They celebrate at the bar by buying everyone rounds of drinks and listening to music. Amir drives home, and Baba surprises him with a Grand Torino car. Baba says he wishes Hassan was there with them, and it takes the special moment away from Amir. Amir feels as though “steel hands” are grabbing his neck.
“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.” Who is the speaker for this quote from Chapter 11? What does it reveal? What does this metaphor mean?
Amir compares America to his own rebirth. America is a place of hope and freedom, things Amir desperately needs. In America, Amir can be whomever, go wherever, and do whatever he wants.
Baba observes that “It may be unfair, but what happens in a single day can change the course of a whole lifetime.” Whom is he speaking about? Why? What else might be significant about that quote?
Soraya Taheri, the general’s daughter, had a man once; things did not go well. No one has knocked on the general’s door for his daughter since. Many things have already happened (in one day) that changed the course of their lives. Many more instances will happen.
How did the general react to Amir talking to his daughter and giving her a copy of his writing?
He was mad. The general threw the papers in the garbage and told Amir to give his father is respects, which meant to get lost.
Why did the visit with the pulmonologist become unsuccessful when Baba asked the doctor where he was from?
Baba learned the doctor is from Russia. He will not let the doctor touch him.
What is Baba diagnosed with? How does he decide to treat it?
Baba learns he has cancer, but he refuses to undergo chemotherapy.
What “firsts” take place for Baba after his diagnosis?
Baba moans in the bathroom, discovers blood on his pillow, and calls in sick to work.
Why does Amir ask Baba to meet with General Taheri? How does he respond?
Amir wants to have the general’s daughter’s hand in marriage. The general accepts the proposal.
Soraya has a “skeleton in her closet” that she must tell Amir about immediately after hearing about their fathers’ conversation. Why is this important for Amir and Soraya? Does it change Amir’s feelings about wanting to marry her?
Unbeknownst to her parents, she once ran away with a man and lived with him. She is not a virgin; Amir is. This bothers him but does not change his love for her.
What was the first novel about and when was it written?
The first novel was written in 1988 about 6 months before the Russians withdrew from Afghanistan. The book was about a father and son set in Kabul.