The Kite Runner (warfare/religion/race/innocence/betrayal quotes) Flashcard Example #4686

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Warfare.

“Bloodletting”

The generation of Afghan children whose ears would know nothing but the sounds of bombs and gunfire was not yet born. … December 1979, when Russian tanks would roll into the very same streets where Hassan and I played, bringing the death of the Afghanistan I knew and marking the start of a still ongoing era of bloodletting.

CHAPTER 5; PARAGRAPH 5.
In this passage, Amir documents the sea change the country undergoes in the late ’70s. A way of life ends ; Hosseini places Afghanistan’s loss of innocence right next to Amir’s and Hassan’s.

Warfare.

“Proverbial hell”

… the sight of men digging bodies out of piles of rubble. Kabul in those days, Amir jan, was as close as you could get to that proverbial hell on earth. Allah was kind to us, though. The Wazir Akbar Khan area was not attacked as much.

CHAPTER 16; PARAGRAPH 41
Hosseini uses of contrast of living men and hell, inferring the former is the current state of Kabul; relation to hell.

Religion.

“Bearded idiots”

Hassan: When I was in fifth grade, we had a mullah who taught us about Islam. …
Baba: You’ll never learn anything of value from those bearded idiots.” … “They do nothing but thumb their prayer beads and recite a book written in a tongue they don’t even understand.” He Baba took a sip. “God help us all if Afghanistan ever falls into their hands.”

CHAPTER 3; PARAGRAPH 13-25
Hosseini depicts a liberal, Westernized Afghanistan through the character of Baba; We can place Baba against the more extreme Taliban-ruled era

Religion.

“Some kind of disease”

The following week, after class, I showed the book to my teacher and pointed to the chapter on the Hazaras. He wrinkled his nose when he said the word Shi’a, like it was some kind of disease.

CHAPTER 2; PARAGRAPH 24.
hen there’s Baba who loves and respects Ali (also a Shi’a Muslim), but who doesn’t refer to Ali as his friend. And at the other extreme: Amir’s teacher, the soldiers, and Sunni society in general which consistently discriminates against Shi’a Muslims.

Race.

“The curious thing”

The curious thing was, I never thought of Hassan and me as friends either. Not in the usual sense, anyhow. Never mind…

CHAPTER 4; PARAGRAPH 4/5.
Amir contradicts himself here but it could more so be argued that this passage is directly channeled from Hosseini, just through the mouth of Amir.

Race.

“The true Afghans”

His Assef’s blue eyes flicked to Hassan. “Afghanistan is the land of Pashtuns. It always has been, always will be. We are the true Afghans, the pure Afghans

CHAPTER 5; PARAGRAPH 44.
Irony of ‘innocence’ being quoted by Assef when he, as a Pashtun, is the one to strip Hassan of it; sheds social light on current status of Hazaras/Pashtuns.

Innocence.

“Sultans”

“The Sultans of Kabul” /pomegranate scene.

CHAPTER 8
The loss of innocence from the rape causes Amir/Hassan and their friendship to deteriorate; later on in the novel, the loss of the pomegranate tree reflects the loss of innocence not only within ‘the sultans of Kabul’, but also within Kabul itself.

Innocence.

“Lamb”

Assef knelt behind Hassan, put his hands on Hassan’s hips and lifted his bare buttocks. … caught a glimpse of his face. Saw the resignation in it. It was a look I had seen before. It was the look of the lamb.

CHAPTER 7; PARAGRAPH 133
Relate the look of the lamb to any religious connotations; lamb a frequently used symbol of young innocence; criticism of religion?

Innocence.

“Dirty”

“Because – ” he Sohrab said, gasping and hitching between sobs, “because I don’t want them to see me…I’m so dirty.”

CHAPTER 24; PARAGRAPH 87-92
Continuation of a loss of innocence throughout the novel which illustrates the continuation of the atrocities in Afghanistan.

Betrayal.

“I ran”

I had one last chance to make a decision. One final opportunity to decide who I was going to be. … In the end, I ran.

CHAPTER 7; PARAGRAPH 137-139
Amir’s ultimate betrayal is at it’s peak here throughout this chapter; the difference in response when faced with Assef’s gang from Amir and Hassan illustrates their differing views of eachother, despite their deep-routed friendship.

Betrayal.

“Good again”

Come. There is a way to be good again, Rahim Khan had said on the phone just before hanging up. Said it in passing, almost as an afterthought.

CHAPTER 14; PARAGRAPH 18-19
Relates to innocence also; “again” implies that Amir’s betrayal of Hassan has stretched throughout the entirety of his life.

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