Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Amir's Big Battle: October 20, 2015

Focus: Does Amir's battle with Assef make him "good again"?

Slightly shortened class

1. Warming up by finishing your hero's journey shapes: Where does Chapter 22 fit in? Is it a high or a low? Why?

With your partner, post a Level 3 question on the blog regarding the hero's journey.

Ex: What must all heroes endure a near-death experience? How does this help define them as heroes?

2. Entering Fishbowl #6: The Kite Runner, Chapters 21 and 22

3. Starting Chapter 23 together, if time allows.

P.S. If you're into Greek mythology, Odysseus' battle with the Cyclops bears some uncanny parallels to Amir's battle with Assef. Click here to read it (warning: it's gross).

HW:
1. Read Chapter 23 tonight (you don't need five annotations just for Chapter 23; you can combine them with the rest of the chapters). It's about 17 pages long. We will read Chapter 24 in class tomorrow and keep our warm-up to 5 minutes.

2. We will dedicate part of this Friday to working on your book talks; you have an optional outline and a rubric. We will review speech organization. Next week, we will review attention-grabbers and rhetoric (ethos, logos, pathos).

3. Vocabulary quiz this Friday on the next list of Kite Runner words: Chapters 7-10. I would suggest creating your flashcards by Thursday morning at the latest. 


166 comments:

  1. Why do people that suffer through guilt tend to believe they deserve harm, whether it be physical or mental?

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  2. Why do groups terrorize countries and people? What do they gain from it?

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  3. Can religion ever be used to justify a mistake?

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    1. I am not a religious person myself, but throughout history you see evidence of people using religion to prosecute others, control them, and call themselves the alpha. I don't think it can be used to justify a mistake because I don't believe in it but there are those that do and they believe for themselves.

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    2. I don't think it can because even though it might be for their religion it still doesn't mean it's morally right. Do you think the person would look at this mistake because it was for his/her religion?

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  4. Is it necessary to have death in a hero's journey? If not death, what other tragedies could be included in a hero's journey?

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    1. I think that it is important for a true hero to have a near death experience, because if a hero was to die then his journey is over. If he can fight through his death then he is a true hero. Thats why I now truly belieeeve that Amir beee one of the greatest heroes of all time.

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  5. Why do authors follow the hero's journey instead of coming up with a unique path for their hero.

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    1. I think authors follow the same generic path for most stories because it draws in the reader or viewer. The fact that we see the hero's adventure going up and down makes us more interested. In a way sometimes we almost feel like we are in the story.

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  6. If Hassan hadn't died, what would the future look like for Hassan and Amir? Could they be friends, or go their own separate ways?

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  8. Garret and Erker: Is there any reason the mother always seems to die in hero stories?

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    1. I think this is because in the heroes journey there is always a major tragedy and this is just another example of that.

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    2. I agree with Matt because without a mother figure, the character feels incomplete and compelled to do something great

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    3. I feel when the mother dies it forces the child to either grow up to become a hero or droop very low. This could also be part of what the hero is fighting for.

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    4. I think that since the mother plays a big role in almost everyone life, The hero needs to overcome some of the worst things, and having a mother being killed is one of the worst things.

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  9. Owen Edmonds and Andrei Desierdo: Do you think all of the events on our posters (good and bad) benefited Amir in the long run? Even at the worst of times?

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  10. Why does Amir feel at peace when he gets into the fight with Assef? Has he finally forgot the past or did the past fuel Amir to fight Assef?

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    1. In chapter 22, while Amir was talking about Assef, he stated that "My past was like that, always turning up. His name rose from the deep and I didn’t want to say it, as if uttering it might conjure him. But he was already here, in the flesh, sitting less than ten feet from me, after all these years. His name escaped my lips: “Assef.”. This quote confidently shows that throughout his life, he never forgot about his past and those memories fuel him to take action against Assef.

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  11. If Baba was still alive do you think Baba be proud of amir for what he has done?

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    1. I think Baba would be proud of Amir because he was able to overcome the past and was able to move on in his life. Amir was able to do what was right.

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    2. Yes because earlier in the book he asks his dad if they can get new servants and he didn't respect Hassan back then but he has shown his respect now because he adopted Hassan's child and it shows his love for Hassan and his family.

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    3. I think he would be proud he took it upon himself to go rescue Sohrab, but I think he would be ashamed how Amir didn't seem to fight back because he always thought Amir was in one way or another, weak.

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    4. I agree with Ethan. I do think that Baba would be proud of Amir because he was able to over come his past and take control and do something right.

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    5. I think that his dad has respected him for a long time. Earlier in the book, his dad bought him a new car, and gave permission to marry his wife. The respect if Baba was still alive would have kept growing if he was still alive now because of the things he overcame, and actions that he did.

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  12. When people usually go through redemption, it's usually because they go through a nemesis. But when Assef felt redemption, it was when he was doing what he calles "Justice." Why do some of us feel differently about redemption?

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    1. I believe redemption can be a good or bad thing depending on how you apply it. Redemption could be a way of revenge or it could also be defined as saving yourself from sin.

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  13. on page 289 Amir starts to laugh when fighting Assef, why was Amir laughing?

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    1. Maybe he is laughing because he wants to get revenge on Assef for what he did to Hassan which led to Ali and Hassan leaving.

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    2. I think he start laughing because Assef thinks he is badly hurting Amir but Amir has seen him do a lot worse and it isn't harming him at all so he thinks it is funny how he tries to hurt Amir but fails.

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    3. I think that he started to laugh because you see in some hero movies the hero tries to intimidate the villan by making him feel weak, and by laughing it makes Assef feel less powerful.

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    4. I think Amir is laughing because he almost wanted to get beat up by Assef. Amir wanted to feel punished or some redemption for what happened to Hassan and the reason I feell like Amir is laughing is because he achieved that when Assef was beating him up.

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  15. Chapter 22 states, "I laughed because I saw that, in some hidden nook in the corner of my mind, I’d even been looking forward to this… My body was broken – just how badly I wouldn’t find out until later – but I felt healed." Why did it take so much pain to "heal" Amir?

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    1. Amir felt that he had a debt to pay to both God and to Hassan and in his mind getting beat up by Assef finally made Amir and Hassan even.

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    2. I think this is what Amir wanted to happen ever since he saw Hassan get raped, thats why he wanted Hassan to throw the pomegranates at him so he would feel that he got punished for what he did.

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  16. How do Amir and Hassan represent the different parts of Afghan society?

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    1. Hassan was much calmer and obedient so Amir represents the higher classes or main society and Hassan represents the unwealthy or servant social class

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  17. During chapter 22 Assef talks about how his family is very rich and how his dad plays golf and his mom plays. Why do you think that he chose the Taliban life over the rich peaceful life?

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    1. Because he wants to feel power ad he is a bully and the Taliban are pretty much just bullies but way worse so the Taliban lifestyle fits him perfect.

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    2. Money makes the holder feel powerful, and when the Taliban took over no one felt power anymore. I think Assef missed that feeling of power, and I think that this made Assef join the Taliban. He also shared some of the same ideas, and his intensity and psychopathic methods helped him fit in more into the Taliban than a normal society

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    3. It's just in Assef's personality to feel in control of other people. The quiet life would never satisfy him.

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  18. "Every sinner must be punished in the matter of befitting this sin," (270). Why is Amir always reminded that he has done something wrong?

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    1. Amir's past will keep on coming up again and again until he finally finds a way to forgive himself. I think him finding and raising Sohrab will finally be what he needs to move on from his past mistakes.

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    2. This is just another way that the author brings back how "the past always claws its way out". Amir couldn't forgive himself for what he had done and the world around him wouldn't let it slide either.

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  19. On page 289, "What was so funny was that, for the first time since the winter of 1975, I felt at peace". Why does Amir feel peace during his confrontation with Assef? How does it release the guilt that he has felt ever since the winter of 1975?

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    1. I feel in most ways it is the idea that Amir got physically punished for what happened, because of the way he threw berries at Hassan and Hassan never hit back I feel this helped him.

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    2. He was plagued by the same nemesis as Hassan, Assef. There's a psychological aspect as well. Think about a time when you had that horrible feeling in your gut that you knew meant your actions were bad. This grief will fester and build up until it consumes you. The only relief is through pain because we learn to believe that we deserve it for what we did. The only way for redemption is through pain and suffering, the same we caused to others.

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    3. He feels peace after the fight because hes been holding in all that guilt for so long and it was finally released with the fight.

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  20. Like Alex said why would Assef take a different route then his parents and join the Taliban when he could live a life of luxury?

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    1. I think that he likes the feeling of power or dominance and the only way he could do what he wanted to and achieve that feeling of power by joining the Taliban

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    2. I agree with Michael. I think Assef is just searching for power and superiority and he would have both whether he lived in luxury or joining the Taliban. I don't think he wants to kill anybody, but he just wants to be a part of the movement. Assef is a thrill seeker

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  21. So far Amir has done everything that a Hero needs to accomplish (his dad died, he fought through a near death experience). What else does Amir need to accomplish to become a true hero?

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    1. Amir completed the task of getting Sohrab from Assef. Now all he has left to do it raise him and be the father that Sohrab doesn't have and he is the child Amir can't have with Soraya.

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  22. Would you consider this battle in chapter 22 as one of Amirs brother battles or one of his dragon battles?

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    1. I would consider it both. I think it could be a dragon battle because it's the battle he has to survive to win Sohrab back. But then it becomes a brother battle from the perspective of avenging Hassan.

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    2. I would categorize it as a dragon battle because he has always been an enemy of Amir and they have never been close to each other.

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    3. I would consider this fight the dragon battle because this could be Amir's way of being good again.

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  23. "You don't know the meaning of 'Liberating' until you have don that, stood in a roomful of targets, let the bullets fly, free of guilt and remorse, knowing you are virtuous, good and decent. Knowing you are doing the work of God. Breathtaking," (277). Why does Assef feel his is doing good by doing bad? In other words, what does he think is good and bad?

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    1. I think that in his mind it is alright because of his religious affiliation. He uses being a Pashtun as an excuse to murder Hazaras.

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  24. On page 289, "What was so funny was that, for the first time since the winter of 1975, I felt at peace". Why does Amir feel peace during his confrontation with Assef? How does it release the guilt that he has felt ever since the winter of 1975?

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  25. On page 282 Amir says, "I'll pay you for him."
    Amir has just faced his nemesis. Instead of fighting him out of rage, he instead focuses on saving Sohrab. If he would have had this much maturity as a child, what do you think he would have done in the alleyway?

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  26. can religion be connected, and justified as a problem or a mistake

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  27. Why do people that have a lot guilt tend to believe they deserve to be punished in some way for their actions.

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  28. Usually, in a hero's journey, are there more downs than ups? Do more bad things happen to the hero, rather than good things. Why is that?

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  29. Why does death usually lead to a hero's journey? can there be one where there is no death involved? If so what?

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  30. Why must heroes always have something tragic happen to them in the beginning of a story and how does it help them grow as a person?

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  31. Why do heroes blame themselves when they witness a bad event?

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  32. Do you think Amir would have had his "journey" if Hassan hadn't been attacked?

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  33. Why can religion be able to justify mistakes that people make?

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  34. Why do heroes, and most people, think that if they are hurt, their wrongs are forgiven? What makes them think the pain in penance for what they did wrong?

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  35. If there is no near death in a hero's journey, what could take place of that. Instead maybe a family member dies or something valuable it taken from them.

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  36. Why must all some heroes come from nothing?

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  37. Why must heroes always experience the feeling of loneliness when someone(s) significant in their life disappear? (dead, captured, etc.)

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  38. Is the call to adventure always a way of redemption? Why?

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  39. Why does death usually lead to a hero's journey? can there be one where there is no death involved? If so what?

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  40. What do groups gain from terrorizing different countries?

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  41. How does a near death experience help the character become a hero? What sort of mind set is the hero pursuing to become something they never were?

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  42. For Amir, how big is the difference between hero and villain?

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  43. If a hero was to actually die in the heroes journey what could that mean? can you think of a heroes journey where that happens? Has it ever happened?

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  44. If a person is raised thinking that doing the right thing involves harming others, at what age should they be expected to realize they were taught wrong?

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  45. Does the actual person or thing that calls the hero to adventure matter? Can a hero call him or herself to adventure?

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  46. After a heroes journey, do they always win? Or was the experience to traumatizing to continue to live a happy life? Also, would they lie to themselves into thinking they won, when they know they can never win.

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  47. What about a tragedy inspires a hero rise up?

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  48. Why do people have to suffer pain to become a hero? What happens when a hero dies?

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  49. Is Amir the villain, or the hero?

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  50. What in a hero's journey makes them a hero? What makes them a villain?

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    1. What makes a hero a hero is how they solve their problem. If they try to find a good resolution, then they are a hero. If the selfishly find the answer and hurt others along the way, then they are a villain.

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  51. why do you think the author used the same situation when amir talks to the officials. Bringin back the brass, having flashbacks, and sohrab shoots assef in the face.

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    1. I think the author was trying to show us the similarity between the two situations. He wanted to show how Amir is thinking about the past and how this is the way to make his wrongs, right.

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  52. Why does there have to be a tragedy for a hero to evolve into the hero's journey?

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    1. I believe there has to be a tragedy for two reasons. One, so the hero can have something to redeem. The hero needs some push to cause them to want to make things better. Two, so we can relate. The author of the story wants us be able to see ourselves in the character. The main goal of the author is to connect to us, and by causing the character to go through tragedy they do so.

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  53. I like how Amir was exploring places that meant a lot to him, but is this going to turn him back to his old ways?

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    1. I don't think so I think more so it opens his eyes to things that he didn't think of before (263) Amir yells to Farid "I don't want to forget anymore" I said "Give me ten minutes". I think that he is kinda seeing the reality and I don't think that he will turn back to his old ways

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  54. Why do you think Amir enjoyed getting beat up by asseif?

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    1. I think he enjoyed it because during the fight between the two, Amir finally felt free. He was being kicked to death yes, but I think he felt relieved that someone actually physically hurt him because it involved the day of the incident. Like when he wanted Hassan to hit him with pomegranates days after the incident, Hassan refused. So I think he enjoyed being kicked and beat to death by someone because of his wrongdoing in the alley.

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  55. On page 277, the author gives brief details about the Talib, gradually becoming excited when he talked about death. Do you think he wanted the audience to find this Talib similar to Assef?

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    1. I think he did because that was a way to link Amir to his past.

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    2. Yes. I think the author is making the story come full circle. This is Amir's chance to get rid of the guilt he has been carrying around his whole life. I think the author wants the reader to notice that and appreciate the true importance of what is about to happen.

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    3. I think that is one of the reasons why Assef was in the book in the first place. To show how some people are in this country and how it has changed overtime to a huge group of those type of people.

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  56. If the hero would have died in this near death experience instead would another hero rise up through another experience?

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    1. Maybe Hassan's son could grow up to be a "hero." He has lived through both parents dying, which is a common beginning to the hero's journey.

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    2. I agree. I think they hero's story would be passed down.

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  57. Regarding the hero's journey, would you consider Amir's battle with Assef to be a brother or dragon battle?

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    1. i think it would be a brother battle because they are sort of close and they know each other.

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    1. The Taliban seem to come off as very hypocritical. They seem to be high and mighty, but in reality aren't

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    2. I don't think there so high and mighty so much as worshiping god for the wrong reasons

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  59. Why did Amir's dark past come back to haunt him so quickly.

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    1. I think his guilt has been haunting him his whole life, this just is an actual person from his past which makes it maybe a little more real.

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    2. because it was a traumatic event in his life and significant event such as the one he went through.

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    3. It didn't necessarily come back that quick. It had always been there, and it always lingered. It progressively built up, until eventually it flooded and took Amir with it.

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  60. The Taliban are religious to a god but they each Taliban group has a leader so they listen to the leader and the leader is helping them get and do what gods wants in their religion but the Taliban leader is really just doing stuff he thinks is for the religion.

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    1. I agree. It seems that the leaders use the power that they receive for their benefit not for the benefit of everyone.

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  61. do you think Amir is selfishly battling Assef?

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    1. I think he is because he has always wanted someone to get him back. He wants to feel harm and discomfort. This is because everyone around him has been fake and never told him how it really is.

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    2. In the beginning he was fighting for Sohrab, but then, because he felt like he was being forgiven in some way, it gave him pleasure.

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  62. what is the reason for dressing Sohrab and putting makeup on him?

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    1. I think Sohrab was one of the little kids that got taken by the Talib and taught him to become a dancer/entertainer for them. Makeup and accessories would most likely make him more "in character" for it in the Talibs perspective.

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    2. I think that it is a way for Assef to show the control that he has over the boy.

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    3. I think that Assef is showing how like his father, Hassan, Assef will rule over with power on him and his family.

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  63. The battle of Amir and Assef was kind of like the lion king when Simba battles scar. In every heros journey there is going to be a fight to bring them back to the top. I think this was the rise of Amir.

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  64. In the hospital, Farhid gave him a letter from Rahim Khan. After all the things Rahim explained to him about the incident, that he was just a kid and didn't know better, do you think Amir will finally let go of his burdening regret that has been nagging at him since?

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    1. I don't know if it's possible for Amir to really "forget". Amir held onto his regret and sorrow from his past because the event that made his feel this way was something that decided how the next few years of his life would go. Amir's awful decision caused him to lose the most important person in his life.

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  65. Why did the author use someone like Assef to symbolize the bad?

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  66. Why does a heros journey require some kind of tragedy? I feel like a lot of people are heros. The kids that go through a lot and still find a way to rise up, they are heroes too then. They go through so much, fight there battles, and rise. Just like Amir does in the Kite Runner. Its an everyday battle for some people. We all have our own heroes journey I think.

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    1. I think heroes journeys require tragedy because it's a way for the story to build chracter and to show what's really inside.

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    2. I agree. I think a lot of it has to do with how someone can recover from going through a tragedy. Not everyone can pick themselves up after going through something so hard.

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    3. When there is a hero journey the tragedy makes the story much more interesting

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  67. How would this story go if Hassan is still alive? Is Hassan's death in the long run helping Amir change or did it ruin him even more?

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    1. Hassan's death probably helped Amir a little, now he is the only one who knows that he could've stopped what happened.

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    2. I think his death helped him realize how late he was and how important it is for him to try and right his wrongs.

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    3. I think that it would change it a lot because if Hassan was still alive it would be different because it would be Hassan holding the slingshot instead of Sorab holding it.

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  68. The fight scene made me realize that the child means a lot to him so that he would get a beating. Or did he do it for himself because he thought he deserved it?

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  70. I think this is Amirs way to be good again. He is saving Sohrab from the man who raped Hassan... Sohrab is a part of Hassan. And thats why he thinks he deserved the beating, because the entire time all he was thinking about was the rape.

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    1. I agree with you because on page 270 it exclaims, "Every sinner must be punished in the matter of befitting this sin". This shows that since Amir sinned in his past, in order to be forgiven he must take his punishment no matter how bad it is. This really shows in the fight because Amir truly gets whooped.

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  71. If Amir's fight with Assef was his Dragon battle then what were his brother battles? And how do you think they prepared Amir for his confrontation with Assef?

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  72. Does Amir deserve to be a hero in the eyes of Hassan's son?

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    1. I think he does. I think Amir realizes what he did wrong in the alley and so he went to Afghan to go rescue Sohrab. He was doing it for Hassan. So, his beard was violently ripped off, he was hit thousands of times by Assef, breaking bones even, all to get Sohrab. Therefore, I think Amir deserves to have the privilege of being seen as a hero in Sohrab's eyes.

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  73. When Assef explains his small anecdote of becoming a Talib, he mentioned that his parents were in another country living wealthy. Do you think they were okay with his decision becoming a Talib or do you think they let him because they were too afraid of him to voice their own opinions about his decision? Or another reason?

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  74. on page 267 Farid says "why are you here? i mean why are you really here?" Do you think Farid knows that Amir is a little selfish and is here to redeem himself because he wants to rid the guilt?

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    1. I feel like he's asking that because of the time and situation that this country is in right now he knows he wouldn't just come to visit. He is assuming there is a deeper reason.

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    2. Maybe he is trying to get Amir to think. Like deeper than just what event made you come. Maybe it's whether Amir is truly there for himself, there because Rahim Kahn told him to, or here because he really does wanna help Sohrab?

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  75. "What was so funny was that, for the first time since the winter of 1975, I felt at peace." Page 289. This doesn't make much sense to me. Why would he feel at peace?

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    1. Maybe he finally learned to forgive himself for all the things in his life that had gone wrong. He feels content with who he is as a person.

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    2. He feels at peace because someone finally physically beat him. Another reason why they were fighting was, not only because of Sohrab, but Assef was "finishing" his business with Amir in the alley way. So, Amir finally felt peace because the whole time of feeling guilty, he probably felt like he deserved what Hassan got. Now that they're older, they fought instead of (obviously) the option of intercourse.

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  76. Did Amir take the beating because the child has true meaning to him? Or because he thought he deserved to get the beating? Or maybe it's both

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  77. Did Amir have this battle between him and Assef coming to him since the alley way?

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    1. i think He needed a situation like this to happen to him so he can forgive himself. He wanted it to happen, thats why he was going through all these battles, he wanted something to happen so that he goes through pain.

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  78. I think Sohrab looks at him in a positive way right now because he saved him. But does he know what has happened with Hassan and Amir? I also think to answer one of the inside circles questions that Amir has changed over the story in a positive way... He is trying his best to be good and make up for what he did. But like asked above, I'm not sure if Amir is doing it because he thinks he deserves the beating or if he's doing it to really save Sohrab.

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    1. I think it might be a little bit of both. I think Amir sees Hassan in Sohrab and he wants to do what he didn't do in the ally. He wants to protect Sohrab and keep him safe unlike what he did to Hassan. So it can be for himself and Sohrab.

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  79. I think the child does have meaning to him because its basically his nephew because Hassan was his brother and by saving and helping Hassan child is his way of I guess paying back for everything that he had done in his past.

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  80. "No . . . What i mean to ask is why that boy? You come all the way from America for. . . a Shi'a?" Page 267.
    Why doesn't Amir tell him about Hassan? Is it some sort of secret? Obviously he wouldn't say anything about the night Hassan got raped, but why not anything else? Was it to hard? DId he have to much guilt? To much grief?

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    1. Amir has never really talked about Hassan to anyone.

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  81. "His hand was cocked above his shoulder , holding the cup of the slingshot at the of the elastic band which was pulled all the way back." (290) This scene is so similar to when Hassan saved Amir. What do you think the author was trying to symbolize when he included this detail?

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  82. My reply to Ms. Leclaire:
    I think that the slingshot symbolized his past with Hassan. I also just began to think that the slingshot represents hope. Once you get rid of the heavy load on your shoulder you keep moving forward.

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    1. I love that--very unique reading of a symbol.

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  83. Do you think it's fate or coincidence that Amir's wife couldn't get pregnant and then Amir goes to Afghanistan and finds Sorhab. Will Amir take Sorhab back to america?

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    1. I think it was just a coincidence. However, I see your curiosity about this. If she did get pregnant, he would have a little bit better time refusing Rahim Khan's order of getting Sohrab. But I think either way he would've gone to rescue Hassan's son because Amir does owe that much to Hassan (at least).

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  84. "The sound of my ribs snapping like tree branches Hassan and i used to break to sword fight..." page 288. All he was thinking about was Hassan when he was being beat up. Do you think he has always been looking for this to happen to him? Do you think he deserved it?

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  85. Amir had to go the the tree because its where he was mean to Hassan after the alley.

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  86. On page 289 "WHAT'S SO FUNNY?" "Assef bellowed. Another rib snapped, this time left lower. What was so funny was that, for the first time since the winter of 1975, felt at peace." I think that it means that he finally he has let go of guilt that he feels.

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  87. "What was so funny was that, for the first time since the winter of 1975, I felt at peace." Page 289.
    He finally got the beating he wanted Hassan to do back at the pomegranet tree. The deep sorrows that had filled his soul have finally got what they deserve and can leave. Why does, out of anything that could have happened, Assef beating him almost to death bring him peace? What was Assef think when Amir started laughing?

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