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Is Baba a courageous man? 

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collingwood2976 | (Level 1) Honors

Posted September 28, 2013 at 8:34 AM via web

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Is Baba a courageous man? 

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 28, 2013 at 12:36 PM (Answer #1)

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One one level, Baba can be seen as a courageous man in terms of how others perceive him.  As "Toophan Agha," as Rahim calls him, Baba gains public notoriety because he is able to do great feats of strength.  He captures the imagination of the public because Baba is seen as courageous from a traditionally male point of view.  In the traditional setting of Afghanistan, Baba is seen as courageous because he fulfills the public perception of what "courage" is.  Baba is a "man's man," a legendary figure because he does not capitulate to anything.  To a great extent, he is courageous because he is seen as such.

This changes when Baba moves to America.  As time passes, Baba is courageous because he is able to see his own mistakes in life. He does not command the attention and stature he once did.  Rather, Baba can be seen as courageous because he is more reflective and more willing to sacrifice for his son.  In working at a filling station and living in a more humble manner, Baba gains courage in how he sees himself and his son.  When Baba tells Amir that  "I ammoftakhir [proud]," it is a moment of great courage because the old man has defined courage from within as opposed to seeing it as an external form of being in the world.  It is here in which one sees that Baba is courageous by the end of the narrative. 

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