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When Amir and Hassan, the main characters of Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner, were young boys, they often dreamed of being like the heroes of one of their favorite stories, the Shahnammah. The main characters of that story were Rostan and Sohrab, and Hassan never forgot the good times spent with his wealthy friend on the hill under the pomegranate tree. It was an important time for him, and when it came time to name his son, he named him Sohrab. In a letter to his long absent friend that is only delivered after his death, Hassan tells Amir that he and his son still return to the same tree to read the stories from the Shahnammah.
In Chapter 4, Amir recalls the times that he and Hassan would read underneath the pomegranate tree and mentions that Hassan's favorite story was the Shahnamah. The Shahnamah was a tenth-century epic of ancient Persian heroes. Amir and Hassan's favorite story was the tale of "Rostam and Sohrab." Throughout the story, Rostam mortally wounds his nemesis, Sohrab, only to discover that Sohrab is his brother. Amir mentions that Hassan would always cry after hearing the story. Amir often wondered which character Hassan was actually crying for, the grief-stricken Rostam, or the dying Sohrab. Hassan identifies with the wounded Sohrab throughout the story after Amir falsely accuses him of stealing his gifts. Later on in the novel, Hassan names his son Sohrab after the character in his favorite childhood story. Hassan cherishes his favorite pastime reading the story of "Rostam and Sohrab" underneath the pomegranate tree, which is why he chooses to name his son after the character he identifies with closely.
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