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Chapter 10 is a transitional chapter, set just after the Soviet invasion, which sees Baba and Amir fleeing Afghanistan for Pakistan. In this chapter Khaled Hosseini presents Baba in more details. We get to see Baba’s behaviour and his attitude towards other people and especially his son – Amir. Hosseini focuses on Baba and he tries to express what this character is like, but is this the same Baba? Is this Baba we have met in previous chapters? The author of “The Kite Runner” decided to present Baba in this chapter as the hero.
When Russian soldier demands “a half hour with the lady in the back of the truck”.
Baba’s response is mechanical. He stands up and he asks Russian officer “Where his shame is”. We know by this time, that “Baba saw the world in black and white” and when he decides to protect that woman he risks his life he proves his ideology. He knows that woman deserves a respect and it is natural reaction for him to back up her.
Other people, such as Amir, don’t understand his behaviour. Amir is scared of loosing his father and he tries to stop him. Baba is not happy with his son conduct and he says: “Haven’t I taught you anything? “. It also shows Baba’s disappointed. In chapter 3, Baba says: “I’d never believe he’s my son”.
I think Baba becomes more disappointed with Amir and his performance each chapter. Amir is a coward. He is different to Baba.
He proved this in previous chapters when Hassan got raped and Amir did not do anything to defend him. Baba is trying to protect that woman and he also is ready to sacrifice his life. Baba is the hero and Amir admits it too: “Do you have to always be the hero? Can’t you just let it go for one? But I knew he couldn’t – it wasn’t his nature”. Baba is a person who believes in only one crime, which is stealing. In that case, Russian soldier wanted to steal some woman’s privacy and her right to belong only to one man.
When the officer started arguing with Baba and threatening him, Amir’s father became more confident and he was full of anger: “Tell him he’d better kill me good with that first shot. Because if I don’t go down, I’m tearing him to pieces, goddamn his father! “. Baba doesn’t care about anything just saving Afghan woman’s honour. He is determined and ready to die. Baba knows that he needs to escape from Afghanistan, to save himself and Amir, but the whole journey proves that its not about saving their lives but attesting some values and protecting other people too.
When Baba finds out that they have been cheated by Karim, he becomes furious again, but this time he uses more violence towards a liar: “Kamir slammed against the wall, his sandaled two feet above the floor. Wrapped around his neck were Baba’s hands. “. They all paid a price to get out of Afghanistan but it didn’t matter for smuggler because they excepted to get more. Baba is adamant and stubborn. “He kept choking him until the young mother (… ) begged him to stop. “. She was the one who knew that if Baba would hurt Karim, there wouldn’t be a way for them to flee from there.
Baba forgot about it, and everything that mattered was to teach Karim a lesson, as he was the one who wanted to steal their right to leave the country and live somewhere else, far from a war. “Baba finally let go”. Even Amir admits that he “didn’t want to see the murderous look on Baba’s face”. I think that it was the first time when Amir got to that point when he saw Baba being so obstinate and angry. When all men pray for the rescue, Baba is the one who decided not to do so. They ask him why he won’t join them, his answer is being given straight away: “What’ll save us is eight cylinders and a good carburettor.
” As we know that he always “saw the world in black and white. ” He knows that God won’t come from heaven and give them a hand. He is a realist and Khaled Hosseini shows this again, in chapter 10. Baba has been also shown as a person who loves his country no matter what happens and his behaviour proves that he is going to miss Afghanistan as he spent his whole life living there. “He picked up a handful of dirt from the middle of unpaved road. He kissed the dirt. (… ) Stowed the box in his breast pocket, next to his heart. ” This is an example of a person loving their country.
We could refer to Pope John Paul II who used to kiss ground of his motherland (Poland) whenever he was coming to visit his beloved country. Baba realises, that he might never come back to Afghanistan so that he chooses to have a piece of his land next to his heart for ever. Finally, the author presents Baba as a father too. When they all are in a truck, and they can’t breath easily, Amir starts to panic. Baba knows his son and he wants to make a journey easier to him. “Baba tugged at my sleeve and something glowed green in the dark. (… ) Baba’s wristwatch. “.
Baba knows that Amir is still frightened therefore he says: “Think of something good (… ) Something happy. “. He helps his son. Even if he sometimes thinks that Amir is completely different to him, he knows that this is his son and every son needs his father, especially when he didn’t experience motherly tenderness. To recap, Baba has been shown in two different lights in chapter 10. The writer decided to confirm that Baba sees the world in black and white and he also showed that Amir’s father can be quite violent and adamant just to protect norms and values that he sees as a priority.
On the other hand, Hosseini showed that Baba can be quite caring towards his son. Personally, I think that this is Baba, we’ve met in pervious chapters but in chapter 10 we get to know him better and he proves that he is not a coward and he can take action in a point of honour. Baba is a role model to me, even if he doesn’t seem to be a good father I think that he is just trying to teach Amir how to live a life and how not to become a coward. Amir might not understand it but Baba is a reasonable and intelligent man who has his own ideology and he never makes any mistakes. Baba is the hero, patriot and a good and wise man.
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