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.