The opening of the chapter describes the beginning of Baba and Amir’s journeyto America, ‘I thought of the way we’d left the house where I’d lived my entirelife.’ The Russians have invaded Kabul and it’s got to a stage where its not safefor Baba and Amir to live in the area anymore.There is a reoccurring theme of trust and loyalty throughout the scene, which isconstantly referred to, highlighting it’s importance in the time period to thereader.When the group of escapees reach the checkpoint on their departure fromKabul, a Russian guard eyes a young woman in the back of the truck, anddemands ‘a half hour’ with her in the back of the truck. However, Baba takesgreat rage in the Russian officer’s cheek and defends the young woman’sdignity. Baba is represented as being a strong-minded character with strongmorals and values. (This creates a sense of dramatic irony, as his noticeablycourageous behaviour greatly contradicts how Amir dealt with the previousevent of Hassan’s rape, highlighting Amir as being a cowardly character.Within the closing of the scene, after the group’s extensive trek, Kamal lies lifelessin his fathers arms, possibly because of the fuel tank and the related fumes.Kamal’s father is shown in the end of the scene to bring a gun to his own headbecause of his son’s death, this introduces the theme of sacrifice.
Why is Kabul now a city of rubble and curfews? How do Baba’s current servants compare with Ali? How does Baba defend the rights of his group when they arrive in Jalalabad? How does Baba and Amir’s relationship change on their journey? Why is Kabul presented in this fashion?
Following from the recent invasions from the Russian troops, Kabul has become asomewhat desolate town. Khaled Hosseini highlights the depth of the destructionin Kabul through constantly referring to Amir’s previous childhood memories ofKabul, introducing a contradictory positive tone.‘After everything he’d built, planned, fought for, fretted over, dreamed of, thiswas the summation of his life: one disappointing son and two suitcases.’The theme of sympathy is introduced here, Khlaed Hosseini provokes the readersempathy through the inclusion of the emotive adjective ‘disappointing’ used todescribe Amir himself, highlighting to the audience how Amir is desperate for hisfather’s approval.The quote includes the time phrase and adjective ‘after,’ which magnifies all ofBaba’s triumph in Kabul, highlighting to the audience how destructive theRussian invasion has been to families in the area.
Baba refers to his current servants with minimal respect or interest, this juxtaposeshow he treated Ali and Hassan, (E/g when he had Hassan’s clef lip corrected forhis birthday present).‘Our seventh servant in five years’The sibilance within the sentence emphasises the masses of servants that haveworked for Baba and Amir, which highlights Ali and Hassan’s considerably rarelong, loyal service to Baba and Amir. This later becomes relevant to the plot lineand is a subtle suggestion that becomes more significant at a later stage in thenovel.‘We hadn’t told him.’ … ‘The signs of our elopement were subtle.’Amir refers to the lack of trust and honesty within Kabul, due to the Russianinvasion, and explains how Baba and Amir have purposely left their servantsuninformed of their departure, intentionally making their withdrawal from thefamily home as discrete as possible, taking the minimal necessities with them.
When the group eventually reach Jalalabad after their somewhat disruptivejourney, the allocated driver, Karim, informs the group that the next truck thathad been organised to take the group on the next leg of their journey, has notbeen fully operational for a full week now. Khaled Hosseini has purposely createdthis scenario in the novel as an opportunity to expose Baba’s masculineapproach to life, not being afraid to expose his opinions.‘Wrapped around his neck were Baba’s hands.’Amir indirectly exhbitis Baba’s anger and resent of Karim, the incorporation of thedynamic verb ‘wrapped,’ emphasises to the reader how within the time period,men would commonly express their anger or disagreement through physicalviolence. This reinforces the previous exposure of the theme of masculinity,reinforcing the predominately patriarchal society.
‘Sometimes, I too wondered if I was really Baba’s son.’Throughout the journey to Kabul, the idea of Baba and Amir’s contradictingpersonalities and morals is really emphasised to the audience; this is mainlyshown through Baba’s courageous, confident actions.‘Heart pounding in my throat, I buried my face in my hands.’The combination of multiple dynamic verbs such as ‘pounding’ and ‘buried,’creates a semantic field of apprehension, worry and fear. The inclusion ofdynamic verbs that directy exhibit Amir’s emotions, allows Khaled Hosseini todisplay Amir’s dependence on his father, and highlighting his weakness as beingderived from the lack of attention he receives from Baba.
Within Chapter 10, Kabul is presented as a country with a distinct lack of hope,being dominated by the Russian invasion, consequently making local peoplefeel like strangers in their own country.‘Lurched to the dusty embankment on the side of the road.’The descriptive adjective ‘dusty,’ has been incorporated within the description ofthe streets of Kabul, and introduces a progressively negative tone,foreshadowing to the audience how Afghanistan is slowly declining, and isbecoming a country of little hope and prosperity for all of its inhabitants.