In "The Kite Runner", how is Soraya and Amir’s relationship part Afghan and part American?

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parkerlee | Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

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Amir and Soraya both share a common heritage although they meet on common ground (poor and reconstructing their lives) in California. Even if their families must adapt to the rigour of their present condition and integrate into American culture, they keep ancestral traditions, particularly portrayed in the events of Amir's courtship of Soraya and their marriage.  All the pomp and circumstance of the protocol, Afghan style, is here, particularly the need not just for parental permission but for their blessing as well.  These events are the link between their adolescence and adulthood and between their old culture and their new start in life in America.

Another aspect of their double identity are the circumstances of their encounter. Soraya has been "tainted" by a previous sexual experience and, according to Afghan tradition, not eligible for marriage because she is no longer a virgin. Amir fully accepts her, even admires her, since she is transparent about her past, something he himself could never do. The fact Amir and Soraya marry according to Occidental standards instead of denying a relationship to respect Afghan tradition shows that they have both made a definite step towards the freedom and personal responsibility they must now assume.

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