Past Claws Its Way

4.2 Novel Assignment – Analyst Role

To what degree can an individual’s choices and actions influence the direction of his or her life?

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.


To what degree can an individual’s choices and actions influence the direction of his or her life?

The choices Amir made greatly influenced his life.Growing up Amir never had the courage the stand up for himself. He was never brave enough. His father, Baba was a tough, intelligent person so he expected the same from Amir however, Amir couldn’t match Baba expectations. Hassan, Amir’s befriend was his defensive shield. Hassan always protected Amir, stood by him, his loyalty was indescribable. One day, when Hassan got raped in the valley, Amir cowardice got best of him. Amir greatly feared Aseef, so he left Hassan alone when he needed him the most. A decision of leaving Hassan helplessly affected Amir’s entire course of life.The guilt and regret kept building. He tried everything from framing Hassan to get him kicked out of the house to breaking friendship with him. When Amir and Baba finally fled to Marica after the war, he thought things would change now, he can start all over again but the past kept haunting him, until he got a call from Rahim Khan who invites Amir to visit Pakistan. This was an opportunity for Amir to finally face his fear, overcome his guilt and fix the past mistakes. Amir decides to fly back to Pakistan. Everting had changed, the streets filled with laughing echo, the houses, the trees were all destroyed and still just like his childhood.He meets with his friend Rahim Khan and discovers that his friend is now dead and his son need to be rescued from the orphanage house. He had recently leant that Hassan was his half-brother, and felt that it is his responsibility to save Sohrab. Along the way he meets Assef who brutally attack him, when he learns that Amir is there Sohrab back to America. Through the beating he feels emotionally and psychologically free because he felt like he deserved it after all that’s he’s done to Hassan. Amir had tried to evoke Hassan in the past by throwing pomegranate at him, demanding to fight him back. Amir wanted Hassan to blame him for the cruel incident and make him responsible, however Hassan would neither fight back not blame Amir for anything.Amir had lived with terror, guilt and regret his whole life and after twenty-six years he finally felt at peace. By helping Sohrab he is helping Hassan because Shorab is a part of Hassan, and by doing so he can free himself of guilt and finally redeem. Amir also reveals his family history to General Taheri , and confronts him to not mention Sohrab as a “Hazara boy “feel because he was not part of the family; and be identified as Sohrab only. The impact of few choices he made in the past led Amir to do good deeds and ultimately redeem himself from it.