The Kite Runner Questions and Answers
by Khaled Hosseini

The Kite Runner book cover
Start Your Free Trial

“For me, America was a place to bury my memories.  For Baba, a place to mourn his.” Explain and respond to this discrepancy between Amir and Baba in The Kite Runner.

This discrepancy between Amir and Baba can be explained by their different circumstances back in Afghanistan. For Amir, Afghanistan is a place associated with guilt and bad memories, and coming to America is a way of burying those memories. As for Baba, he was quite a big deal in Afghanistan, a man of wealth and social standing, but in America he's a nobody. Now that he's lost everything, all he can do is mourn his memories of the past.

Expert Answers info

David Morrison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2017

write11,153 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

Amir sees emigrating to the United States as a way of escaping his troubled past. So long as he remains in Afghanistan, he will forever be wracked by guilt over his betrayal of Hassan. Upping sticks and going to live in a new country with a completely different culture is his way of dealing with that guilt. The more geographical and cultural distance he can put between himself and his native country, the easier it will be for him to bury those terrible memories that would otherwise haunt him for the rest of his life.

Baba is in a different situation with regards to America. Back in Afghanistan he was a big deal, a wealthy, socially prominent man who commanded respect, but in America it's a different story; here, he's a nobody, and a man of Baba's dignity and self-respect feels the loss of status most keenly.

Unlike Amir's memories of Afghanistan, Baba's are, on the whole, very good ones. They remind him of a time when he was somebody and when he was completely at ease in the society of...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 895 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

jhussung eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2019

write225 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2015

write10,186 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Inuk Lee eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write4,794 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences


Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial