What symbols represent Jamila in The Kite Runner?.

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Khanum Taheri (aka Khala Jamila) is the wife of General Iqbal Taheri and the mother of Soraya, Amir's wife in The Kite Runner. A former singer in Kabul, the general now forbids her to sing in public. Her voice--or lack of it--is one of the symbols that represents Jamila, who is fully dominated by her once powerful husband. Jamila also bears another of the novels symbols, that of scars. Jamila, once a beautiful women, suffered a stroke as a result of Soraya running away with a man when they lived in Virginia. She is left paralyzed, and Amir noticed

... the right side of her mouth drooping a little.

Fear is another symbol that is connected with Jamila. She is a hypochondriac with "an impressive list of maladies" to which the general pays no attention and she worries about the general's own recurring migraine headaches. It is Amir who removes Jamila's greatest fear, however:

I had 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 her daughter would age alone, husbandless, childless.

Read the study guide:
The Kite Runner

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