Words of Wisdom:

"Shabazz" - Nguyen

Strength: Tkr

  • Date Submitted: 03/26/2010 01:53 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 49.3 
  • Words: 773
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We are first introduced to Amir, Ali, and Hassan in the recollections of the “poplar trees in the driveway of my father’s house” (Hosseini 3). Ironically, Amir, whose name is Arabic for “commander”, coerces Hassan into mischief such as shining light with a mirror towards neighbors and shooting a dog with his slingshot. Ali would catch them and get mad but only “as mad as someone as gentle as Ali could ever get” (Hosseini 4). In his soft scolding of the two, Ali would remind them of an old Muslim saying concerning the devil and mirrors, immediately identifying him as a pious individual. Although the scolding proves to be sufficient in correcting Hassan, it has no effect on Amir who does not hold himself accountable to these precepts. This scene is very important in identifying who possess moral strength early on and in predicting future actions.
Ali and Hassan are identified very early on as Hazaras, Mongoloid descendants that “looked a little like Chinese people” (Hosseini 9). They are a minority in an Arab nation filled with Pashtuns, the ethnicity of Amir and Baba. Hazaras are also identified as Shi’a Muslims as opposed to the more prevalent Sunni, adding to their alienation. Due to a conflict far in the past, the Hazaras of Afghanistan have been stripped of power and placed in a subservient position. When the Taliban emerges later in the novel, it is the Hazaras that are persecuted above all. Hassan eventually loses his lives in defense a home his nation would never acknowledge was his own. It is from this position that we observe the relationship between Amir, Hassan, Ali, and Baba.
Although Baba, Sanskrit for “father”, and Ali are relatively the same age, there has been a servant-master relationship between the two for decades. Baba’s power over his household goes without question and, although it is absolute, he rarely abuses it. He shows this on more than one occasion but most importantly in his decision to forgive Hassan of his accused theft, despite...


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