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Hosseini uses these two chapters to portray the cruelty and heavy-handed law of the Taliban in Afghanistan and sharply contrasts the Kabul that Amir returns to with the Kabul that he grew up in.
1. In Chapter 21, a young man's body hangs in the streets, and no one seems to notice. The Afghans have become so anesthetized to the Taliban's harsh punishments that a hanging seems normal.
2. Chapter 21 also features the horrific "halftime show" of a public execution. In Ghazi Stadium, Amir witnesses the stoning of a woman and man. The spectators are hit for cheering too loudly during the soccer game but are encouraged to cheer on the executioners as they send a barrage of stones at the helpless victims.
3. In Chapter 22, as Amir arrives at Assef's commune, he sees what Assef and his men have been doing to Sohrab and other children from the orphanage--sexually abusing them.
In The Kite Runner we see the beginning of the terror that the Taliban has brought. Amir has traveled back to Afghanistan to try and get Sohrab, Hassan's son, and take him to a couple who will take care of him. Sohrab has been taken by the Taliban after his father was killed. The Taliban has been abusing the children under their control.
In chapter twenty-one, Amir sees a man that was hung still hanging in the street. Amir and Farid go to a soccer game, and during half-time, a young couple got in adultery is led out on the field. The Taliban officer reads a prayer and sentences the couple to death by stoning. Amir witnesses this. Amir visits what use to be his and his father's house, and find it in ruins.
Like so much else in Kabul, my father's house was the picture of fallen splendor.
Amir also witnesses a crippled man apparently trying to sell his artificial limb. In chapter twenty-two, Amir has gotten a meeting with the Taliban officer that condemned the couple to death. Amir knows this is the only way to get Sohrab. Amir is stunned and sickened to find out that the officer is actually Assef, the young boy who brutally raped Hassan, all those years ago. Assef tells Amir that if he wants Sohrab he can have him. The only condition is that Amir has to fight Assef and whoever wins gets the boy. Assef is beating Amir when Sohrab saves Amir by using his sling-shot to shoot Assef in the eye, just like his father wanted to do.
The Kite Runner shines a light on the brutality of the Taliban and the terror they used on people. Amir is able to escape with Sohrab, but so many others are never able to escape.
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