“The book said that my people had killed the Hazaras, driven them from their lands, burned their homes, and sold their women.”
Chpt. 2, p. 8.In childhood, Amir begins to learn of the division between him and Hassan by reading about it in a history book, for no one speaks of why the Hazara servants are scorned.
“Then he would remind us that there was a brotherhood between people who had fed from the same breast, a kinship not even time could break.”
Chpt. 2, p. 10.Ali tells Hassan and Amir that they are bound as brothers because they fed from the same nurse in their motherless infancies.
“God help us all if Afghanistan ever falls into their hands.” Chpt. 3, p. 15.Baba tells Amir that he does not trust the religious clergy in the country, such as the mullah who taught Amir in school. He prefers secular ideas of honor, more than the extremist religious fanaticism he sees that could destroy them.
“Most days I worshipped Baba with an intensity approaching the religious.”
Chpt. 4, p. 27.Amir admits his obsession with his father’s love and approval, the main motivation for both his good and bad behavior.
“If there was a God, He’d guide the winds, let them blow for me so that, with a tug of my string, I’d cut loose my pain, my longing.” Chpt. 7, p. 57During the kite fighting tournament, Amir prays God will help him gain the love of his father by making him a winner.
“’The man is a Pashtun to the root. He has nang and namoos.’ Nang. Namoos. Honor and pride.”
Chpt. 12, p. 126.Baba warns Amir not to offend General Taheri by courting his daughter the wrong way. Honor and Pride are the tenets of Pashtun men, especially concerning their women.
“ . . . you could have the face of Jesus, Elvis, Jim Morrison, or all three, pressed on a white nylon T-shirt.”
Chpt. 12, p. 127).In California, religion has become part of pop culture, not something to kill or die for, as in Afghanistan. In many Muslim countries, there is no idea of the separation of church and state as in the West. That is one reason Muslim countries fight westernization. Baba and Amir, however, are comfortable with a secular life.
“Every woman needed a husband. Even if he did silence the song in her.”
Chpt. 13, p. 155.Amir realizes there is a double standard in Afghan culture, and women must give up their own desires to serve men, as Jamila Taheri had given up her singing career. Still, Jamila fears that Soraya will not get a husband because she has been impure before marriage.
“We’re a melancholic people, we Afghans, aren’t we? . . . We give in to loss, to suffering, accept it as a fact of life, even see it as necessary.”
Chpt. 15, p. 176.Rahim Khan refuses to try more doctors because he accepts he is dying. That is the Afghan way, he says, whereas Amir has American optimism that things can be fixed.
“The thing about you Afghanis is that . . . well, you people are a little reckless.”
Chpt. 24, p. 275.Mr. Fayyaz, the hotel manager in Islamabad, Pakistan, is impatient with all the drama Amir and Sohrab bring into his hotel. First Sohrab runs away, and they have to look for him. Next, Sohrab tries to commit suicide in the bathtub.