The Kite Runner
by Khaled Hosseini
Principles Quotes in The Kite Runner
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
[Soraya:] "Their sons go out to nightclubs looking for meat and get their girlfriends pregnant, they have kids out of wedlock and no one says a goddamn thing. Oh, they're just men having fun! I make one mistake and suddenly everyone is talking nang and namoos, and I have to have my face rubbed in it for the rest of my life." (13.86)
Soraya slams Afghan culture for its double-standard with men and women. Men can go out to the club and have sex; women can't even have sex with a long-term boyfriend. We would also like to point out that Baba has a double-standard. He criticizes Amir for not standing up to the neighborhood boys. Well, how did Hassan get into this world? Baba had an affair with Ali's wife. That doesn't really count as standing up for your friend.
"I didn't tell you," Soraya said, dabbing at her eyes, "but my father showed up with a gun that night. He told...him...that he had two bullets in the chamber, one for him and one for himself if I didn't come home. I was screaming, calling my father all kinds of names, saying he couldn't keep me locked up forever, that I wished he were dead." Fresh tears squeezed out between her lids. "I actually said that to him, that I wished he were dead." (13.88)
Wow. General Taheri shows up one night to his daughter's apartment because she's been living with an Afghan man. We guess it's obvious from this passage how important honor is to General Taheri. He's willing to kill both himself and Soraya's boyfriend to save not only her honor but his own.
"You know," Rahim Khan said, "one time, when you weren't around, your father and I were talking. And you know how he always worried about you in those days. I remember he said to me, 'Rahim, a boy who won't stand up for himself becomes a man who can't stand up to anything.' I wonder, is that what you've become?" (17.34)
Rahim Khan has just asked Amir to rescue Sohrab from Kabul. Amir is initially resistant, so Rahim Khan tries three times to convince Amir to undertake the task. (The task is obviously a redemptive quest because there's no reason Amir has to rescue Sohrab. Rahim Khan tells Amir he has enough money to get Sohrab, so it seems like anyone could have performed this task.) Anyway, Rahim Khan gives Amir three reasons why he should rescue Sohrab. One, because your father thought you couldn't stand up for anything and here's your chance to prove him wrong. Second, it's my dying wish that you rescue Sohrab. And third, Hassan was actually your half-brother, so you owe it to him. We think all these reasons add up and Amir agrees to rescue Sohrab. Of course, the third reason seals the deal, but they're all important and end up motivating Amir.