Past Claws Its Way

4.2 Novel Assignment – Analyst Role

Quotation Context to the quotation Significance of the quote

“A boy who won’t stand up for himself becomes a man who can’t stand up to anything.” Pg.22 Baba is referring Amir as a coward because he can never stand up for himself and using Hassan as a shield to defend himself and battle out his fights. Baba feels that Amir is afraid to stand up for himself. Baba is a courageous person who always stood up for what’s right and wants the same from Amir. Amir is dishearten as he couldn’t stand up to baba expectations, however, he as well doesn’t want to be looked down as coward anymore. He wants to be as brave as Hasaan because baba seems to be impressed by Hassan.


“My body was broken—just how badly I wouldn’t find out until later—but I felt healed. Healed at last. I laughed.” (p. 289)

“What was so funny was that for the first times since the winter of 1975, I felt at peace.” Page 303 Amir is brutally beaten by Assef while trying to free Sohrab from Assef base camp. But Amir feels like he deserves it. And Amir choice to free Sohrab is his way of redeeming himself from the past and helping Hassan.

Amir wants to recuse Sohrab from Assesf control. One-time Hassan was a victim of Assef and now his son. In the past, Amir walked away and left Hassan alone while getting raped. He wanted Hassan to blame him for the cruel incident; to evoke his anger, Amir threw pomegranates at him demanding him to fight back, so he would get some relief but Hassan didn’t do so. Now Amir wants to take Sohrab to America, educate him, make him a capable independent person and give him the life that Hassan would have wanted for his son; ultimately redeeming himself. So, when he is getting beaten up by Assef he feels relieved in a way because he felt he like he deserved it all for all the wrong he had done to Hassan.


“That was a long time ago, but it’s wrong what they say about the past, I’ve learned, about how you can bury it. Because the past claws its way out. Looking back now, I realize I have been peeking into that deserted alley for the last twenty-six years.” In chapter one Amir briefly describes his past and how he still hasn’t gotten over it. No matter how hard he tries to forget about the incident, the past, it still comes back haunting to him, overflowing with guilt and anger. The deserted valley was where Hassan got raped. Instead of helping Hassan, Amir turned away as he feared Assef. Amir cowardice, and his choice to walk away gave Assef the strength to do such thing. Amir felt responsible and guilty of the happening. Hassan became a living, walking guilt for Amir, so he tried to break any bond with Hassan and get rid of him as a servant as well. The one incident changed Amir course of life. It’s been twenty-six years and the memory still lives within himself. It still haunts him. He still feels guilty and relives the event, peeking through into that deserted valley.

“Returning to Kabul was like returning to an old, forgotten friend and seeing that life hadn’t been good to him, that he’d become homeless and destitute.” Amir is walking down the streets with his friend Farid. Baba and Amir had fled the country during the war. He went back to his country after many years. Everything has changed enormously. The houses, the streets are destroyed, just like his childhood. Yet the memories and the feelings were still there. It looked like the people, and the country itself faced much hardships, and can only wonder how his friend is doing.

“And one more thing General Sahib you will never again refer to him as ‘Hazara boy’ in my presence. He has a name and it’s Sohrab.” Page 380 Amir and Soraya invite General Taheri and Jamila over for dinner. They discuss Amir’s decision of bringing Sohrab with him. Amir then reveals the truth of Hassan being Amir’s half-brother, and never refer Sohrab as Hazara boy again because he is part of the family now. Amir wants to take Sohrab with him to America. In the past he had left Hassan on his own when he needed help the most, due to his cowardice. But he got a chance to redeem himself out of that guilt, so he decides to take Sohrab to America, instead of leaving him abandoned and unwanted.He wants to assure Sohrab he is wanted and he has family.He also doesn’t want Sohrab to be referred as Hazara anymore, and only be identified as Sohrab. By helping Amir feels reassured that he has finally done a good deed and fixed his past mistakes. Sohrab is a part of Hassan and by helping Sohrab he is helping Hassan.