Monday, 26 October 2009

chapter 16 + voice.

These have been my favourite chapters so far, but so much happens in them!
In chapter 16 we are reading the narrative of Rahim Khan. Hosseini does this to provide the reader with all the details of his visit to Hazarajat, which he travels to in order to find Hassan. Mainly because he claims he is lonely, but I believe he does this because he knows his time is short, and he wants someone to carry on the legacy of Baba and his house.
I quite like the fact that it is coming from Rahim Khans perspective because it is very wise and un-biased as opposed to Amir’s constant negative outlook and un-fair opinionated thoughts, especially when talking about Hassan or Baba. Rahim Khans story is also fairly reliable as it wasn’t more than two years ago that he visited Hassan whereas when Amir was telling us the story, we were aware of the huge time gap that was presented, which almost made it hard for me to trust Amir’s imagination. I think Hosseini uses this so we get a clear and reliable source of information and to obviously tell us about Hassan, who we had long assumed would not return in to Amir’s path.
We find out that Hassan has a wife, and a baby on the away. We find out that Ali died, stepping on a landmine, which Rahim Khan describes as betrayal from his twisted, polio right leg. Rahim describes the meal that Fazara (Hassan’s wife) cooks for him as ‘the best meal I’d had in months’. This makes us feel as if Hassan has found a wife who is equally as caring and un-selfish as he is, as well as both of them being extremely welcoming to Rahim. We also see that Hassan is the same devoted boy that we remember, but now a man. Rahim tells Amir that Hassan described Baba as his ‘second father’ and that in mourning for Baba, Hassan wore black clothes for forty days after finding out. We see the same kind, caring and loving Hassan that we remember, and it made me feel a sense of relief to know that the incident didn’t change Hassan and scar him as bad as we see it did Amir. However we do not know what goes on in Hassan’s head, but to the outside world it seems Hassan has been able to pull it together and get on with his life. He is not stuck in the past, staring down that alley way every day, as we know Amir is. We know this because he is quite oblivious to the fact that Amir accused him and Ali of stealing from him so many years ago, he asked eagerly how Amir is and what he is doing and how he is finding America. This shows us that as always, Hassan is willing to forgive and forget. Hassan is symbol of peace.
We also hear Rahim describe the re-united experience of Hassan and his long lost mother Sanuabar. How she knocked on the gate one day and was so hurt and hungry and weak she just collapsed. Rahim tells us how she used to be seen as a ‘vision’ but now was a scared bleeding mess, now only left with one operating eye. He tells us how she delivered Hassan’s baby boy; Sohrab. Most important of all he then tells Amir that Sanuabar passed away. But I think is so important about this is how he described her. He described her to Amir by saying ‘She lived to see him turn four, and then, one morning, she just did not wake up. She looked so calm, at peace, like she did not mind dying now’. This paragraph made me think that in fact Hosseini uses Rahim’s narrative aspect to finally persuade Amir to take control, to take action and to find clarity. I think he uses Rahim to bring out more guilt in Amir and to show him that ‘there is a way to be good again’. Rahim describes Sanuabar as ‘at peace, calm’ as if she has now completed what she wanted to. She is now ok to move on with her life, which in this case is dying, because she has redeemed her relationship with Hassan. Not only that but she has acquired a very story relationship with Hassan’s son. She was once more a part of her family, which she longer for and ‘dreamed of’ as she told Hassan. She has been forgiven, which is what she needed in order to cross over from her life and she achieved that. She made up for her sins of leaving Hassan as a child. She made up for leaving him all those years and she came back and got what she needed in this life to make her feel at peace.
I think this is a symbolic sign for Amir. If Sanuabar can redeem her sins then maybe Amir can too. He must confront his past and he must redeem himself in any way possible. He needs to be at peace as well, and he knows this.
I think the fact that it is in the voice of Rahim is also so important, because Rahim is the only one who truly ever believed in Amir, he held more trust in Amir that Amir did in himself. This is one of the factors that I think will convince Amir to make everything right and to convince him to take control and cleanse himself. The voice of Rahim is wise, and it supports Amir to do what is right.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Chapter 12

I really enjoyed this chapter because we were introduced to something different and exciting! Soraya! I also like how Amir is polite about his feelings towards her and thinks about more how she responded to him at the beggining than to how she looked or dressed.

I think Hosseini uses this chapter to give Amir a break, and to give him a different side, and a chance to redeem himself.
However saying that it could be said that Hosseini uses Soraya as a way of Amir to reflect back onto his youthful childhood and remember how cruel he was to Hassan and maybe present the fact that he could have changed.
On page 132 Soraya is telling Amir the story of how she taught a young girl to read and write, and when she wrote Soraya her first letter all she knew was that she wanted to be a teacher for sure. Amir's response is to recall when he used to tease Hassan about his knowledge. He thinks 'I thought of how i used my literacy to ridicule Hassan. How i had teased him about big words he didn't know'. This shows that Amir although having grown up not just to the reader so quickly but demonstrated in the passing years of the chapters, still thinks about Hassan. Amir still finds ways to make himself feel guilty towards his past and towards Hassans character. I noticed how Hassan is always presented in negative ways when Amir talks about him. He never recalls Hassan in positive ways or reflects back on his childhood as an acheivement getting so close to his father, which is what he seemed to long for the most before the incident in the alley way.

I also think its interesting how in chapter 12 Amir gains an aquaintance and loses Baba.

I'm also a little confused as to what Hosseini is trying to say about Baba's character. Especially when he is told he has cancer, can't cure it without chemo, he declines chemo with a firm hand and then once leaving the hospital 'he smoked all the way to the car, and all the way home'. ????
Defying the god he never beleive in???
Perhaps he feels his time is up and it's time for Amir to finally grow up and make it on his own?

I really liked the scene in which Baba and Amir are talking whilst Amir sits beside him at the hospital bed and Amir asks him to ask General Taheri for Soraya's hand. When they exchange muffled laughter and giggling it gives me a sence of releif and friendship. They way once someone picks up the phone Baba exchanges a glance to Amir reminds me of two young children getting exciting about the person on the other end of the phone. It remind me of something happy and of a connection between the two people. They neither share discumfort or embarassment. 'Baba laughed softly through his nose'. The word softly also gives me a sensation of hope for Baba and Amir, and implies that Baba is proud of Amir, willing to do what he wants, sharing a memory with him.

However dispite this i hate how the chapter ends. It ends with Hosseini offereing Amir a fresh opportunity. He can tell someone his secret, he can let it out, he can be free. But instead he choses to be selfish, to look better and to keep it inside of his mouth.

Monday, 12 October 2009

a thought

I think it could be said that Hosseini uses a time distance that is too large. as people naturally forget detail as they age, the fact that the book is based with such a range for precise recollection could make the reader feel suspicious. Amir is recalling a story from when he was just 12 years old, and i struggle as it is to remember distinct memories from that age and im only 16, Amir is telling the story when he is so much older than me!