What does Assef mean by "take out the garbage" in chapter 22 of The Kite Runner?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In a one-on-one conversation with Amir, Assef explains to him how he joined the Taliban. Assef mentions that he has been on a mission to return Afghanistan back to its former glory by exterminating the undesirables from the nation, which include the oppressed ethnic minority Hazaras. Amir responds by saying that in the West, they call Assef's mission "ethnic cleansing," which is the systematic annihilation of members of an unwanted ethnic or religious group in a society.

Assef then likens Afghanistan to a beautiful mansion littered with trash and tells Amir that he is simply taking out the garbage. Assef's comment about taking out the garbage refers to the mass murder of Hazaras and other minority ethnic groups throughout the nation. Assef and the Taliban soldiers are dedicated to eradicating all ethnic minorities from their country, and Assef draws inspiration from Hilter's plan to exterminate the European Jews, which is referred to as the "Final Solution."

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial