In chapter 10 of The Kite Runner, several things happen that are examples of irony or foreshadowing. Label each one of these and explain:

  • The only way Amir can survive the long ride in the fume-filled tank is by remembering flying kites with Hassan.
  • Baba gathers up the dirt of his homeland and places it next to his heart.
  • Kamal, one of Hassan’s rapists, has been raped himself and hasn’t spoken since.
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    I would identify the first and third as examples of irony and the middle instance as foreshadowing.

    The first example—Amir thinking about flying kites with Hassan when his dad tells him to remember something happy to deal with his anxiety on the stressful trip to Pakistan—is most certainly ironic....

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    I would identify the first and third as examples of irony and the middle instance as foreshadowing.

    The first example—Amir thinking about flying kites with Hassan when his dad tells him to remember something happy to deal with his anxiety on the stressful trip to Pakistan—is most certainly ironic. Amir and Baba are fleeing Pakistan some time after Hassan and Ali have left the household following Amir's egregious wrongs against Hassan. Of course, he stood by and did nothing when Hassan was sexually assaulted by Assef in the alley after the kite tournament, and then he framed Hassan for theft to get him and Ali removed from the household. Ali has had enough of Amir's behavior toward Hassan and decides the two will leave as it is "impossible" for them to remain any longer in the home. Amir wants nothing more than to forget his sins, and leaving Afghanistan for Pakistan and later for California are appealing to Amir for this very reason. Therefore, it is ironic that he remembers Hassan at this key moment and even more so that he remembers them flying kites, as the kite tournament and its aftermath are at the root of his most treacherous memory.

    The other example of irony involves Kamal, one of Assef's friends, who assisted in the rape of Hassan by holding the boy down. For the tables to have turned this way on Kamal, who has now become a victim of a crime he abetted in the past, is an ironic and unexpected twist. Kamal's behavior after the assault mirror what we witnessed in Hassan's character earlier in the novel, so we can infer that what happened to Kamal is very similar to what Hassan suffered.

    The example of Baba holding the dirt of his homeland close to his heart is symbolic, for sure, but if we need to choose from irony or foreshadowing, I'd say the latter is more applicable. Baba will never return to Afghanistan, and unlike Amir, who wants to escape Kabul and its memories, Baba remained emotionally attached to his homeland while in the US. Baba's action in this example from chapter 10 may foreshadow the pain he will feel at being separated from his home for the rest of his life, and it may also gesture toward his future health problems, which, perhaps, partly keep him from returning to that country.

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