Monday, December 15, 2008

The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini #8 105-120

The start of these 15 pages picks up where the last passage ended with Baba forgiving Hassan for supposedly stealing Amir’s watch and money. Baba is pleading for them to stay and has forgiven them, but Ali gives hints to Amir that he knows what happened to Hassan in the alley. Ali believes that it isn’t possible for them to be living with Baba and especially Amir. While Baba pleas he begins to cry. Amir has never seen Baba cry before. He believed grown men couldn’t cry and it was also the first time he had seen fear in Baba. Baba’s endless begging was at a loss; Hassan and Ali decided to leave. In the next chapter Baba and Amir are forced to leave their house because of the invading Russians. They are put on a refugee bus to leave Kabul. During the ride they are stopped at a checkpoint. A Russian solider lifts the covers from the truck and searches the passengers. He finds a young woman holding a baby with her husband. He asks for 30 minutes with her. She bursts into tears fearing the worst. All of a sudden Baba stands up in defense. He tells the solider that this is wrong and will tear him to pieces. Amir tries to sit him down but to no effect. This makes Baba even more disappointed in Amir because it shows that he hasn’t taught him anything about standing up for him self. The solider threatens to shoot him, but Baba replies that he would take a thousand bullets from him. Baba is saved when another Russian solider intervenes. As they drive along the husband comes over to Baba and kisses his hand. This is familiar to Amir, as he has seen this many times before. They arrive at a house to switch trucks. They are shocked to find that the truck would need repairs. Baba goes in a rage and begins to choke the driver, Karim. The woman with the baby calms Baba down saving the Karim’s life.
The traits of Amir are consistent throughout the book. He is portrayed to be a coward and it does not go unnoticed. Baba notices that Amir doesn’t stand up for him self and is somewhat disappointed in his only son. This is relevant when Baba is standing up for the woman with the baby and her husband. Amir tries to sit him down, but this only angers Baba because it embarrasses him making him feel like he had taught nothing to his son. This is not the only event, Amir also never stood up for Hassan numerous times including the alleyway. Overall, Amir made choices in the book which portrait him as a coward.
There were many words that I need to define. Tarpaulin is a protective covering of canvas or other material waterproofed with tar, paint, or wax. The definition of Precipitous is extremely steep. The definition of Retching is to try to vomit. The meaning of exasperated means to irritate or provoke to a high degree; annoy extremely. The meaning of Silhouettes is a drawing consisting of the outline of something, especially a human profile, filled in with a solid color. A carburetor is a device for mixing vaporized fuel with air to produce a combustible or explosive mixture, as for an internal-combustion engine.

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini #7 90-105

The start of these 15 pages reveal that school has provided a gate way for Amir to forget about what happened to Hassan in that alley but it would not prevent would ensue. One day, Amir asked Hassan if he would walk up the hill with him to read stories. Hassan eagerly joined him. They sat under the cool pomegranate tree, when Amir started to pick the fruits. He hurled one at Hassan, which left him in shock and pain. Amir urgered Hassan to throw one at him, but Hassan stood still. Amir began to pelt him with tons of pomegranates as he soon fell tired and dropped to the ground. Hassan walks over with a fruit in hand. To Amir’s surprise, Hassan cracks it on his own forehead, and walks down the hill in dismay. Amir finally knew what needed to be done with Hassan. The summer of 1976, Amir turned thirteen. Baba and Amir have grown apart again, and have gone back to their old habits. Insight of that, Baba decides to throw a big birthday party for Amir. At the party Assef confronts him. Assef charms Baba by talking about soccer, while Amir is annoyed by it. Amir sees straight through Assef’s fake smile and charm. Assef’s gift doesn’t please Amir either, as it is a book about Hitler. During the party Amir sneaks off and is found by Rahim. Rahim tells him of his only love and how she left him. The next day Amir carries through with his plan about Hassan. Amir plants money and a watch that he had received as gifts in Hassan’s bed and informs Baba that Hassan had stolen it. Hassan and Ali are left sadden and are asked if this is true. It ends with Hassan making yet another sacrifice for Amir by replying yes.
Why does Hassan always sacrifice for Amir when he knows he gets nothing in return? I believe this is because Hassan wants to show Amir that there is more to life than just your self and sometimes you have to make sacrifices for other people. Why is Amir such a selfish person? I believe it is because he was spoiled from birth. He comes from a rich family and gets waited on for his every need. He is used to people doing things for him and not doing things for other people. Why doesn’t Amir tell Rahim about Hassan’s raping? I believe that it is because Amir is afraid of the truth and is a coward. He should tell Rahim because Rahim would accept it and resolve the situation.
There was no vocabulary that needed defining.

The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini #6 75-90

At the start of these 15 pages Amir finds Hassan cornered by Assef and his two friends. They want to steal the prized blue kite that Hassan has so thoughtfully ran down. This encounter is different from the last. Hassan is found defenseless without his slingshot. Even with out the needed protection, Hassan thinks of the promise that he made to Amir, doing anything to keep the kite in his possession even if it means harm. Hassan is forced to strip down his pants and submit to Assef. Little resistance is giving as Assef proceeds to rape Hassan. While this horrible act is happening, Amir watches in shock and horror. He debates on whether to save he so called “friend” that stood up for him so many times before or cower in the street corner. He judges in favor of him self to run away and not halt Assef. He recalls the look on Hassan’s face before Assef took control. Amir describes it as a sacrificial sheep submitting to the inevitable fate for a high cause. Amir believes that the higher cause is him self-gaining the kite in order to win over Baba. Later, Hassan and Amir meet up. Nothing is said. Amir returns home with the kite to a picture perfect ending or so he thought. The sacrifice of Hassan paid off for Amir. Baba was finally accepting him as his son and paying attention to his interests. But it only made things worse for Hassan and Amir. They stopped seeing each other. Hassan tries to end the bitterness but he is put down for Amir’s guilt is to great for them to talk. In the end, Amir and Baba begin to plant tulips in the garden because spring is about to begin. Amir asks Baba if he will get new servants. He is met by the anger of Baba. Baba is in rage because he thinks of Hassan and Amir as family, and would never throw them out.
In Kite Runner, Amir is portrayed as a selfish person. His acts are based on his
well-being and which would benefit him. This trait is well defined in this passage. When Assef confronts Hassan, Amir had a choice to save his friend or flee. He chose to run. He ran because he thought of him self first and he didn’t want Assef to hurt him as well. Amir describes when they had to sacrifice a sheep for a high cause. In this case the sheep is Hassan and high cause is Amir. He was also glad when Hassan didn’t hang around because it gave him more time to spend with Baba, which is what he always wanted.
There were a few words that needed defining. Periphery means the external boundary of any surface or area. Guileless means sincere; honest; straightforward; frank.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Ritual Poem Lazy Saturday

1. Prying open your eyes to the intense morning sunlight that descends upon the swaying palm trees
2. You walk down the stairs to a aromatic kitchen with food spread across the counter
3. You search for the couch to rest your lazy body from your long night sleep
4. Stretching your lifeless arm for the distance remote
5. Sift through the hundreds of channels
6. Discovering an epic football game for a mellow Saturday
7. The thought of your team losing clenches your stomach into dozens of knots
8. You gorge on the scrumptious breakfast put before you
9. The memorizing taste of the bacon seduces you into a daze
10. Falling deeper into the comforting arms of the couch
11. Collapsing into a inevitable nap

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini #5 60-75

The beginning of these 15 pages describes the start of the annual kite-fighting tournament. Hassan tells Amir of a dream that places them in front of thousands of people by a lake. The people fear that there is a monster swimming in the lake so they fear to enter. Amir, along with Hassan shows bravery by entering the waters. They swim to the middle of the lake and wave to show no danger. They are viewed as heroes, but Amir thinks nothing of it because it is just a dream. Amir is nervous because he wants to impress his father and fulfill the prediction Baba made the previous day. Hassan calms him down by referring to his dream and reassures him that there is no monster. As the day went on the tournament grew intense. Amir was among the few fighters left. He kept checking on Baba and Rahim sitting on the rooftop to see if they still were interested in his competition. Amir had made it to the final two kites. A single blue kite was left and Amir set his sights on it. The blood on his hands ran thick, but he ignored the pain. With one swoop of his kite, he sent the other kite fluttering down. Hassan and Amir were filled with joy, they could hardly believe what happened, but the tournament was still not over for them. Hassan made a promise to run down the last kite for his friend Amir. Hassan runs off to pursuit the kite. Amir pictured himself showing Baba the prized kite and winning him over finally. Close to darkness, Amir goes to find Hassan. He comes to find him cornered by Assef and his two friends. It ends with Hassan guarding the kite because of the promise he made to Amir.
The word choice and diction in this passage was great. The author does not just quit at telling you what something is briefly. Instead he goes into extensive details like the smells of food coming from peoples houses, and the distinct snow on rooftops . The way he described kites fluttering down from the sky and the look of expression on Hassan’s face when Amir had won the tournament. The overall description of each action by the author was deep and went into great detail. There was no vocabulary that needed defining in this passage.