Chapter 11 onwards – America

“For me, America was a place to bury my memories.

For Baba, a place to mourn his.”

Baba was a well-respected man in Kabul society, when he went to America he had and was nothing – he couldn’t speak the language, had no social status and had no work. He was bitter and his health suffered.

Memories of Hassan haunted Amir:

“A pair of steel hands closed around my windpipe at the sound of Hassan’s name. I rolled down the window. Waited for the steel hands to loosen their grip.”

 

Language Analysis (Pp 118 – 119)

“Almost two years had passed since we arrived in the U.S., and I was still marveling at the size of this country, its vastness. Beyond every freeway lay another freeway, beyond every city another city, hills beyond mountains and mountains beyond hills, and, beyond these, more cities and more people.

Long before the Roussi army marched into Afghanistan, long before villages were burned and schools destroyed, long before mines were planted like seeds of death and children buried in rock-piled graves, Kabul had become a city of ghosts for me. A city of harelipped ghosts.

America was different, America was a river, roaring along, unmindful of the past. I could wade into this river, let my sins drown to the bottom, let the waters carry me someplace far. Someplace with no ghosts, no memories, and no sins.

If for nothing else, for that, I embraced America.”

What language techniques does Hosseini employ in this passage?

What is the effect of his use of these language techniques?

Posted by Tracey Hames

Teacher of English at Mount Aspiring College, Wanaka, New Zealand.

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