The Kite Runner – Quotes

Flashcard maker : Lily Taylor
Rahim Khan
“There is a way to be good again” (2)
Amir’s teacher
“That’s the one thing Shi’a people do well, passing themselves as martyrs” (10)
Baba
“There is only one sin, only one. And that is theft. Every other sin is a variation of theft” (17)
Rahim Khan
“Children aren’t coloring books. You don’t get to fill them with your favorite colors.” (21)
Baba
“A boy who won’t stand up for himself becomes a man who can’t stand up to anything” (22)
Amir (narrating)
“After all, didn’t all fathers in their secret hearts harbor a desire to kill their sons?” (29)
Assef
“If they had let Hitler finish what he had started, the world would be a better place now” (40)
Amir (narrating) about kite fighting
“Afghans cherish custom but abhor rules” (52)
Amir (narrating)
“And that’s the thing about people who mean everything they say. They think everyone else does too” (55)
Baba
“But better to get hurt by the truth than comforted with a lie” (58)
Hassan to Amir about his dream
“There is no monster, just water” (60)
Amir quoting Assef
“Nothing was free in this world.” (77)
Rahim Khan
“In the end, the world always wins. That’s just the way of things” (99)
Baba
“War doesn’t negate decency. It demands it, even more than in times of peace” (115)
Karim
“These ‘Roussi’ are not like us. They understand nothing about respect, honor” (115)
Amir (narrating)
“For me, America was a place to bury my memories. For Baba, a place to mourn his” (129)
Amir (narrating)
“America was different. America was a river roaring along, unmindful of the past. I could wade into this river, let my sins drown to the bottom, let the waters carry me someplace far.” (136)
Baba (Speaking about Soraya’s past)
“It may be unfair, but what happens in a single day can change the course of a whole lifetime.” (142)
Baba
“The man is a Pashtun to the root. He has ‘nang’ and ‘namoos.'” (145)
Amir (narrating)
“‘Nang.’ ‘Namoos.’ Honor and Pride. The tenets of Pashtun men. Especially when it came to the chastity of a wife. Or a daughter.” (145)
Amir (narrating)
“I was fully aware of the Afghan double standard that favored my gender” (146)
Amir (narrating)
“I always thought clichés got a bum rap. Because often, they’re dead-on…”the elephant in the room” saying” (197)
Rahim Khan about the Taliban
“They don’t let you be human” (198)
Rahim Khan
“Yes, hope is a strange thing. Peace at last. But at what price?” (201)
Rahim Khan
“I see America has infused you with the optimism that has made her so great” (201)
Rahim Khan
“We’re melancholic people, we Afghans, aren’t we?…’Zendagi migzara’, we say, life goes on” (201)
Amir
(About God’s will) “There is only what you do and what you don’t do” (202)
Amir (narrating about Hassan)
“One might have concluded that this was a man who thought the world had been good to him” (215)
Hassan
“…but what could but what could I do except stand and watch my wife get beaten? If I fought, that dog would have surely put a bullet in me, and gladly!” (216)
Hassan (in a letter to Amir)
“The droughts have dried the hill and the [pomegranate] tree hasn’t borne fruit in years” (217)
Rahim Khan
“It has never been about money with me, you know that” (221)
Amir
“You bastards. ..You goddamn bastards! …All of you, a bunch of lying goddamn bastards!” (222)
Rahim Khan
“All that a man had back then, all that he was, was his honor, his name, and if people talked…We couldn’t tell anyone, surely you can see that” (223)
Amir (narrating)
“Baba had been a thief…the things he’d stolen had been sacred: from me the right to know I had a brother, from Hassan his identity, and from Ali his honor.” (225)
Amir
“I feel like a tourist in my own country” (231)
Farid
“That’s the real Afghanistan, Agha sahib. That’s the Afghanistan I know. You? You’ve always been a tourist here, you just didn’t know it” (232)
Amir (narrating)
“The kinship I felt suddenly for the old land…it surprised me. I’d been gone long enough to forget and be forgotten…I thought I had forgotten about this land. But I hadn’t.” (240-241)
Zaman
“I could have run like everyone else. But I didn’t. I stayed. I stayed because of them.” (257)
Farid
“Nothing that you remember has survived. Best to forget.” (263)
Amir
“I don’t want to forget anymore.” (263)
Farid
“No…What I mean to ask is why that boy? You come all the way from America for…a Shi’a?” (267)
Amir (narrating)
“…thinking that maybe what people said about Afghanistan was true. Maybe it was a hopeless place.” (267)
Assef
“God says that every sinner must be punished in a manner befitting his sin.” (270)
Amir (to himself)
“Nothing wrong with cowardice as long as it comes with prudence. But when a coward stops remembering who he is…God help him.” (275)
Assef
“Public justice is the greatest kind of show, my brother. Drama. Suspense. And, best of all, education en masse.” (276)
Assef
“You don’t know the meaning of the word ‘liberating’ until you’ve done that, stood in a roomful of targets, let the bullets fly, free of guilt and remorse, knowing you are virtuous, good, and decent. Knowing you’re doing God’s work. It’s breathtaking.” (277)
Assef (about America)
“How is that whore these days?” (278)
Assef
“Why aren’t you here, with your Muslim brothers, serving your country?” (278)
Assef
“I knew that had been a message from God: He was on my side. He wanted me to live for a reason” (284)
Amir
“Let’s just say we both got what we deserved.” (298)
Rahim Khan
“A man who has no conscience, no goodness, does not suffer.” (301)
Rahim Khan
“…the Kabul we lived in in those days was a strange world, one in which some things mattered more than the truth” (301)
Rahim Khan
“Amir, the socially legitimate half, the half that represented the riches he had inherited and the sin-with-impunity privileges that came with them” (301)
Rahim Khan
“Your father, like you, was a tortured soul, Amir jan.” (301)
Rahim Khan
“And that, I believe, is what true redemption is, Amir jan, when guilt leads to good.” (302)
Sohrab
“That you were the best friend he ever had.” (306)
Assef (in Amir’s dream)
“You nursed with him, but you’re my twin.” (307)
Mr. Fayyaz
“I will drive you because I am a father like you.” (315)
Mr. Fayyaz
“The thing about you Afghanis is that…well, you people are a little reckless.” (316)
Sohrab
“Father used to say it’s wrong to hurt bad people. Because they don’t know any better, and because bad people sometimes become good.” (318)
Amir
“That there are bad people in this world, and sometimes bad people stay bad. Sometimes you have to stand up to them.” (319)
Amir
“I think [Baba] loved us equally but differently.” (322)
Amir
“I think [Baba] was ashamed of himself.” (323)
Soraya
“Amir, he’s your ‘qaom’, your family, so he’s my ‘qaom’ too. Of course I’m sure. You can’t leave him to the streets.” (326)
Amir
“Death certificates? This is Afghanistan we’re talking about. Most people there don’t have birth certificates.” (330)
Amir to Mr. Andrews
“They ought to put someone in your chair who knows what it’s like to want a child.” (331)
Mr. Andrews
“It’s a dangerous business, making promises to kids.” (332)
Amir (narrating)
“there is a God, there always had been” (346)
Amir (narrating) about the hospital
“This is the real house of God, this is where those who have lost God will find him, not the white ‘masjid’ with its bright diamond lights and towering minarets” (346)
Amir (narrating)
“I wondered if that was how forgiveness was budded, not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up, and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night.” (359)

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