In The Kite Runner, what does Amir say about clichés?

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accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This section of the novel comes in Chapter Fifteen, when Amir goes to Pakistan to meet with Rahim Khan who is close to death. Amir tells us about what he was taught about the use of cliches in creative writing and then he goes on to defend his use of the cliche "the elephant in the room" to describe his meeting with Rahim Khan after so long and how awkward it was. Note what he says about cliches:

A creative writing teacher at San Jose State used to say about clichés: "Avoid them like the plague." Then he'd laugh at his own joke. The class laughed along with him, but I always thought clichés got a bum rap. Because, often, they're dead-on. But the aptness of the clichéd saying is overshadowed by the nature of the saying as a cliché. For example, the "elephant in the room" saying. Nothing could more correctly describe the initial moments of my reunion with Rahim Khan.

Therefore Amir defends his use of clichés and in particular his description of his reunion with Rahim Khan by arguing that clichés have become clichés for a reason. They correctly sum up a situation, as in this case both Rahim Khan and Amir initially try to ignore the elephant in the room.

gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

As was mentioned in the previous post, Amir comments on the use of clichés when he visits Rahim Khan in Chapter 15. As soon as Rahim Khan opens the door, Amir recalls what his creative writing teacher at San Jose State used to say about avoiding clichés like the plague. However, Amir believes that clichés have a bad reputation because they are often completely accurate. Amir mentions that the cliché the "elephant in the room" accurately describes the initial moments of his meeting with Rahim Khan. Amir realizes that there is something very important that Rahim Khan would like to tell him, which is the "elephant in the room." Rahim Khan proceeds to tell Amir that Hassan died and his son Sohrab is living in an orphanage in Kabul. He petitions Amir to travel to Kabul, rescue Sohrab from the orphanage, and bring him to Pakistan where he can live with a loving Christian family.  

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The Kite Runner

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