What is the significance of this passage in the novel by Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner?
“I firmly believe that if I had picked up a rifle and gone on a murdering rampage, I would still had the benefit of her unblinking love. Because I have rid her heart of its greatest malady. I had relieved her of the greatest fear of every Afghan mother: that no honorable khastegar would ask for her daughter's hand. That he daughter would age alone, husbandless, childless.”
This is a great question. The significance is twofold.
First, these are the words that describe Soraya's mother's feelings in regards to her daughter's marriage with Amir. These words might sound rather odd to a Western frame of mind, but within the context of Afghan culture things begin to make sense. Soraya in the past ran off with another man until her father found her and brought her back home. The act of premarital sex and the fact that she had relations with another man before marriage was hugely taboo. She was nearly untouchable. Hence, Amir's decision to marry Soraya was a sigh of relief for Soraya's mother.
Second, women in Afghan culture were not treated well to a certain extent. There is a chauvamism that lingers. We can see this in the general Taheri's relationship with his wife in a sense. In light of this, for Soraya to have found a great man is another sigh of relief.