Study Guide for The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini Book Summary|
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Amir takes to driving the Ford everywhere where he contemplates the vastness that is America. It allows him to realize that America is a river unmindful of the past and it can carry him far, some place where there are “no ghosts, no memories, and no sins.” For that, he embraces America.
In the summer of 1984, Baba buys an old Volkswagon bus and he and Amir use it to scan garage sales. There, they buy many different kinds of goods and then resell them at the San Jose Flea Market to make money. Afghans who have come to America soon take up an entire section of the market and it becomes like a home away from home. One day, Baba introduces him to General Sahib, Mr. Iqbal Taheri, who was a decorated general in Kabul. Baba brags to him that Amir is going to be a great writer, a comment that makes Amir do a double-take. This is followed by the general’s observation that Baba is truly one of the great men of Afghanistan. Their conversation is finally interrupted by the voice of a young woman whose appearance makes Amir’s heart quicken. She is the general’s daughter, Soraya.
On the way home that day, Amir remembers that there was some gossip about the daughter of Taheri. Baba confirms that there had been a man once in her life and that things did not go well. She is a decent, hardworking girl, but no suitors have knocked on her door since the situation with the young man had occurred. Baba observes, “It may be unfair, but what happens in a single day, can change the course of a whole lifetime.” That night, Amir finds it hard to sleep, not because of his guilt over Hassan, but this time because of his thoughts about his “Swap Meet Princess.”
This chapter covers four years in the 1980’s after Amir and his father came to America. It is a difficult adjustment for Baba, but he is ready to sacrifice for his son. This is in direct contrast to Amir’s belief that his father holds him responsible for his mother’s death and that he sometimes thinks Amir is not his son at all. Amir’s love for America is significant, because it offers him a place to avoid his memories and his sins. He continues to hide from his past, but if the old saying is true, his past will eventually catch up to him, and he will have to face it then. The introduction of a love interest for Amir is interesting, because the young lady in question is “damaged goods,” which in some ways, is just like Amir. They have that in common already and so the match appears to have some potential.
Baba’s statement that what happens in a single day can change the course of a whole lifetime is ironic, because that is exactly true for Amir. It will also be true for Baba as we will see later in the story when his past is revealed.
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Clapsaddle, Diane. "TheBestNotes on The Kite Runner".
. 09 May 2017