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The Kite Runner

The Kite Runner

by Khaled Hosseini

Principles Quotes

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Quote #10

How could he have lied to me all those years? To Hassan? He had sat me on his lap when I was little, looked me straight in the eyes, and said, There is only one sin. And that is theft... When you tell a lie, you steal someone's right to the truth. Hadn't he said those words to me? And now, fifteen years after I'd buried him, I was learning that Baba had been a thief. And a thief of the worst kind, because the things he'd stolen had been sacred: from me the right to know I had a brother, from Hassan his identity, and from Ali his honor. His nang. His namoos. (18.5)

This is a central moment in the novel because it revises our picture of Baba, and thus our picture of Amir. Amir's guilt, all these years, has partly resulted from Baba's very strict adherence to a personal code. Baba's set of principles include honor (nang), pride (namoos), and loyalty. Now Amir finds out the following: not only did Baba "steal" Ali's honor and pride, but he stole a sense of self from Hassan, and a brother from Amir. What are you supposed to do when you find out the single most important figure of authority and morality in your life strayed from his principles? That's right, go on a personal quest of redemption to rescue your half-nephew from a sadistic, Mein Kampf-toting member of the Taliban.

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