In Chapter 24 of the Kite Runner, what symbols does the author use?

Expert Answers
dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Sohrab is the most significant symbol in the chapter.  As Hassan's son, he is a symbol of redemption to Amir - by saving the child Amir can alleviate his guilt and pay back a small portion of the debt he owes his friend.  Both Hassan and Sohrab are brutalized by Assef and defend themselves against him with a slingshot and stone, adding another level of symbolism to the symbolic reincarnation of the father in the son - of the Biblical David going up against Goliath. As an abused and molested child, a "wounded little boy", Sohrab may also represent the innocent children of Afghanistan, victimized by "history and religion" in their homeland. 

Other symbols include the television, representing Western influence as well as fulfillment of a promise Amir made to Hassan in Chapter 6, the "fake dusty palm tree...flying pink flamingoes on the wallpaper...Formica...counters" of the hotel lobby, signifying the falseness of Western affluence and modernity, and the pigeons at the Blue Mosque, faithful and trusting, flocking to the peace and safety offered by Islam.  Also, the Les Miserables poster next to the American map at the embassy is a Statue-of-Liberty-like representation of America as a refuge for the downtrodden, Mr. Anderson's small, manicured hands signify sterility and unwelcoming, and his caressing of the tomato plant symbolizes his yearning for his dead daughter.  

Read the study guide:
The Kite Runner

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question