So now Amir’s life has come back to the opening chapter and the telephone call from Rahim Khan. When Soraya sees how pale he looks and comments on it, he tells her must go to Pakistan. Rahim Khan is very sick and it’s time for Amir to be good again. He takes a walk in Golden Gate Park and thinks about what Rahim Khan knows. He realizes that he knows everything and that he must listen to his request to be good again.
It is decided that the general, who is recovering from a broken hip, and Jamila will stay with Soraya while Amir is gone. As for Amir, there are other words going around and around in his head: “For you, a thousand times over!” He can no longer ignore the call of Hassan and his boyhood mistakes. It is time to atone.
This chapter is devoted to Amir’s realization that he must face all the sins he committed in his childhood. It is almost a relief to him to have received the call and to know the Rahim Khan knows everything. Now he can face the past and perhaps expiate the sin.
When Amir arrives in Peshewar, Pakistan, he is reminded of the city of Kabul, especially the neighborhood of immigrants called “Afghan Town.” He finds Rahim Khan there, but he is nothing but skin and bones, obviously very ill. They have tea together and Rahim is amazed at the grown-up Amir. Their conversation inevitably turns to the Taliban. Rahim tells him, with many details and stories, how vicious they are. His stories are also full of the events of the civil war that he witnessed while living in Baba’s house. He remembers how happy the people were when the Taliban seized total power, because they were so tired of constant war and bloodshed. No one knew the price they would have to pay for welcoming this new government.
Rahim also tells Amir that he is dying and probably won’t see the end of the summer. Like Baba, he has accepted his fate as God’s will. But before he dies, he has a request for Amir and he wants to tell him everything about Hassan since Amir last saw him.
There is a direct comparison between the Afghan community in California and the one in Peshawar. They are both communities of immigrants and refugees and they both gather together for support until they can go home again. The fear that has been generated by the Taliban foreshadows all that Amir will face when he returns to his homeland. There is also a comparison between Rahim and Baba. They had been very close friends and business partners for many years and now Rahim seems to be dying the same way Baba did. His indication that he must tell Amir everything about Hassan is the opening step of the journey Amir will soon take to atone for his sins against his old friend.
Cite this page:
Clapsaddle, Diane. "TheBestNotes on The Kite Runner".
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