The kite runner

The Kite Runner - Chapters 15-22

  • 1) Amir flies to Pakistan to meet with Rahim Khan - (Chapter 15)

    Rahim Khan's phonecall inspires Amir to fly to Pakistan to meet with him one last time. It is emotional reunion, one in which Rahim Khan reveals bad news. Afghanistan is a shadow of her former self, and Rahim Khan is close to death. "...a thing made of skin and bones pretending to be Rahim Khan opened the door."
  • 2) Rahim Khan tells Amir the story of Hassan - (Chapter 16)

    Rahim Khan tells Amir of Hassan's adult life, and how he came back to the home where he was born with his wife to take care of the house for the day Amir returned. Shortly after arriving, Hassans wife gave birth to a stillborn baby. Years later, Farzana became pregnant, and Hassan's son was born, named Sohrab. During this time, Hassan had taught himself to read and write. 6 months before the present day, Hassan and his wife met a tragic fate. "'...and shot him in the back of the head.'"
  • 3) Rahim Khan asks Amir to rescue Sohrab from an orphanage in Kabul - (Chapter 17)

    Rahim Khan pleads with Amir to travel to Kabul to rescue Sohrab from the wartorn city. Once again, Amir is faced with the choice of doing what is easy, or doing what is right. "I said nothing. I think I already knew what he was going to say. 'I want you to go to Kabul. I want you to bring Sohrab here..'"
  • 4) Amir discovers that Hassan was his half-brother - (Chapter 17)

    Already shocked with the news of Hassan's death, Amir is rocked with another piece of news. Rahim Khan tells Amir that Ali was sterile, and therefore could not be Hassan's true father. Amir is left to conclude that this meant that they shared the same father. "'..I'm thirty-eight years old and I've just found out my whole life is one big fucking lie! What can you possibly say to make things better? Nothing.'"
  • 5) Amir returns to Kabul - (Chapter 20)

    Amir returns to Kabul to search for Sohrab, and finds the city of his childhood in ruin, controlled by the Taliban, and decimated by years of warfare. "...I was certain, absolutely certain, that he had taken a wrong turn somewhere. Farid must have seen my stupefied expression; shuttling people back and forth to Kabul, he would have become familiar with that expression on the faces of those who hadn't seen Kabul for a long time."
  • Metaphor

    While driving through the ruins of Kabul, Amir passes the crumbled remains of a village that was destroyed by the Taliban. Amir sees a dog sleeping along one of the walls. As he passes by, the dog doesn't move. In my opinion, the dog represents the spirits of the Afghan people. Usually vibrant, alive, and full of energy, it is now defeated.
  • Imagery

    Upon his return to Kabul, Amir is shocked to discover the city of his childhood is now merely a shadow of its former self. The author paints a vivid picture of what this decrepit city would look like.
  • 6) Amir visits the orphanage searching for Sohrab - (Chapter 20)

    Amir arrives at the orphanage, and demands to know Sohrab's whereabouts. After a minor ordeal, the man in charge of the orphanage reveals to Amir that he is not there anymore. Once a month, a member of the Taliban comes, and takes a child in exchange for money. "'He took Sohrab a month ago,'"
  • 7) Amir returns to his old house - (Chapter 21)

    Driving through Kabul, Amir decides to stop at his old house. "The house itself was far from the sprawling white mansion I remembered from my childhood. It looked smaler. The roof sagged and the plaster was cracked. The windows to the living room, the foyer, and the upstairs guest bathroom were broken, patched haphazardly with sheets of clear plastic or wooden boards nailed across the frame. The paint, once sparkling white, had faded to a ghostly gray..."
  • 8) Amir goes to find Sohrab - (Chapter 22)

    Amir goes to the soccer game execution, and sets up a meeting with the Talib who took Sohrab. Later that day, Amir goes to the house of the Talib official. Amir demands Sohrab, and he is brought out. Then, the Talib reveals himself to be an old enemy. "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.'"
  • Foreshadowing

    While Amir is sitting and waiting for Sohrab, he eats a grape, and the author gives us a clue of what is to come. "The grape was sweet. I popped another one in, unaware that it would be the last bit of solid food I would eat for a long time."
  • 9) Assef tells Amir he can take Sohrab, but at a price. - (Chpater 22)

    Assef says Amir can take Sohrab, but at a terrible price. He believes that he and Amir still have unfinished business. He tells his gaurds to only let one of them leave the room, whoever has 'earned' their freedom. "The guards left. Assef put down his prayer beads. Reached in the breast pocket of his black vest. What he fished out of that pocket didn't surprise me one bit: stainless-steel brass knuckles."
  • 10) Sohrab shoots Assef in the eye, he and Amir escape - (Chapter 22)

    Amir is beaten close to death by Assef. Finally, Sohrab decides to stand up, and tells Assef to stop. When he refuses, Sohrab shoots him in the eye. "The slingshot made a thwiiiiit sound when Sohrab released the cup. Then Assef was screaming. He put his hand where his left eye had been just a moment ago. Blood oozed between his fingers."
  • Irony

    Back in Kabul, when Hassan and Amir first run into Assef, Hassan threatens to shoot him in the eye with the slingshot, and makes a joke about 'One-Eyed Assef'. Many years later, Hassan's son Sohrab shoots Assef in the eye, completely decimating it, and literally making him 'One-Eyed Assef'. In both cases, Amir is saved from (serious) harm.
  • Thoughts..

    In this section of the novel, the reader is bludgeoned with a menagerie of heavy blows. First Amir discovers that Hassan has died, a thought that has probably been bothering him for many years. Second, he discovers that he and Hassan were brothers. Personally, I think a part of him always knew this to be true. He is then given the information on Sohrab, and presented with a chance to repent for his sins, to be good again, something he has been dying to receive.