Presenting the history of Afghanistan through the eyes of a boy and his friend, Khaled Hosseini's "The Kite Runner" takes the reader through one upheaval after another, including the Soviet occupation and the rise of the Taliban. Learn this word list that focuses on revelations.
uninterrupted in time and indefinitely long continuing
My driver, a chain-smoking, sweaty little man who introduced himself as Gholam, drove nonchalantly and recklessly, averting collisions by the thinnest of margins, all without so much as a pause in the
incessant stream of words spewing from his mouth: “... terrible what is happening in your country, yar.
But I am not surrendering to fate here, I am being
pragmatic. I have seen several good doctors here and they have given the same answer. I trust them and believe them. There is such a thing as God’s will.”
When Hassan ran away the night before, he did so because a weak, toothless, slashed-face woman had revealed that she was the mother whom he had never known. Upon returning the next morning, weary as he was, Hassan accepted his long-gone mother back into his life, and with his wife, nursed her back to health, while doing all the cooking, cleaning, and caring for his master's house. "Weary" is not an adjective that Hassan would normally embody.
He came back the next morning, looking tired and
weary, like he had not slept all night.
Similar to how Hassan always seemed to know where the kite would land before it became visible overhead, he is aware that the Taliban's arrival, which others saw as a joyful return to peace, meant sober trouble for him and everyone identified as a Hazara. The author gives this quality to Hassan for two reasons: 1) to foreshadow later events and 2) to emphasize that Hassan might be illiterate, but he is smarter than many people in other ways.
I told you how we all celebrated in 1996 when the Taliban rolled in and put an end to the daily fighting. I remember coming home that night and finding Hassan in the kitchen, listening to the radio. He had a
sober look in his eyes. I asked him what was wrong, and he just shook his head. “God help the Hazaras now, Rahim Khan sahib,” he said.
This image reveals a lot about Hassan's nature and life. Although "rotund" also means "excessively fat" that would not describe Hassan because he is too poor to eat well. Rather, the rotundity of Hassan's face connects to his Hazara background and emphasizes his overall sense of wholeness and joy at being alive, despite the shadows that cross his face and path.
Sunlight slanted in from the left, casting a shadow on half of his
And how was I going to
reconcile this new image of Baba with the one that had been imprinted on my mind for so long, that of him in his old brown suit, hobbling up the Taheris’ driveway to ask for Soraya’s hand?
feeling or expressing pain or sorrow for sins or offenses
“He used to have seven,” Rahim Khan said with a
rueful look, but he’d lost his two youngest girls a few years earlier in a land mine blast just outside Jalalabad, the same explosion that had severed toes from his feet and three fingers from his left hand.
a facial expression of contempt or scorn; the upper lip curls
Farid is sneering at Amir because of his own life (see example sentence for "rueful") and because he sees Amir as a rich tourist who had never known the real Afghanistan and is now visiting from America to sell off land he'd lived luxuriously on while others starved and died. When Amir reveals his actual reason for returning to his birthplace, Farid's attitude towards him softens.
Just east of it was the Bala Hissar Fort—the ancient citadel that the warlord Dostum had occupied in 1992—on the Shirdarwaza mountain range, the same mountains from which Mujahedin forces had showered Kabul with rockets between 1992 and 1996,
inflicting much of the damage I was witnessing now.
without qualification; used informally as (often pejorative) intensifiers
That was the first time I saw the Taliban. I’d seen them on TV, on the Internet, on the cover of magazines, and in newspapers. But here I was now, less than fifty feet from them, telling myself that the sudden taste in my mouth wasn’t
unadulterated, naked fear.