Kite Runner: Chapter 4

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Chapter four opens with the story of how Ali became a part of Baba's family. In 1933, the same year Baba was born, two intoxicated young drivers struck and killed a Hazara couple. Only their five-year-old son, Ali, survived. Baba's father was asked to decide the young men's punishment. After sending the young men to serve in the army, he took Ali into his household. Baba and Ali grew up as quasi-brothers, just like Amir and Hassan a generation later. But despite their closeness, Baba never considered Ali his friend just as Amir never considered Hassan his. According to Amir, their ethnic and religious differences kept them from being true friends or family. At the same time, all these years later, Amir says Hassan is "the face of Afghanistan" to him. The boys played and got into mischief together like any other two boys, except that Hassan made Amir's breakfast, cleaned his room, and did all his other household chores. While Amir went to school, Hassan stayed home to do housework with Ali. After school, Amir would read to Hassan, who loved books despite his illiteracy.

One day, Amir pretended to read to Hassan from a book but made up his own story to trick Hassan. When Amir finished, Hassan clapped and told him it was the best story he had ever read him. Amir was so happy that he kissed Hassan on the cheek, and that night he wrote his first short story. It was about a man who had a cup that turned his tears into pearls. The man grew greedy and tried to find ways to make himself cry as much as possible. It ended with him sitting on top of a mountain of pearls, holding his wife's slain body. Amir took the story to Baba, but he refused to read it. Rahim Khan read the story and gave Amir a piece of paper on which he had written "Bravo." The rest of his note explained that Amir had achieved irony in his story, which is something many writers never manage to master. He encouraged Amir to put his talent to use. In the letter, he called Amir his friend, and for a moment Amir wished that Rahim Khan was his father instead of Baba. He was so overcome with guilt that he vomited.

Amir rushed down to where Hassan was sleeping on a mattress with Ali and woke up his friend. After hearing the story, Hassan proclaimed that Amir would be world-famous someday. However, he also pointed out a plot hole in the story. He asked why the protagonist did not just smell an onion to make himself cry instead of killing his wife. Amir was speechless.