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This section of the novel comes in Chapter Fifteen, when Amir goes to Pakistan to meet with Rahim Khan who is close to death. Amir tells us about what he was taught about the use of cliches in creative writing and then he goes on to defend his use of the cliche "the elephant in the room" to describe his meeting with Rahim Khan after so long and how awkward it was. Note what he says about cliches:
A creative writing teacher at San Jose State used to say about clichés: "Avoid them like the plague." Then he'd laugh at his own joke. The class laughed along with him, but I always thought clichés got a bum rap. Because, often, they're dead-on. But the aptness of the clichéd saying is overshadowed by the nature of the saying as a cliché. For example, the "elephant in the room" saying. Nothing could more correctly describe the initial moments of my reunion with Rahim Khan.
Therefore Amir defends his use of clichés and in particular his description of his reunion with Rahim Khan by arguing that clichés have become clichés for a reason. They correctly sum up a situation, as in this case both Rahim Khan and Amir initially try to ignore the elephant in the room.
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