The Kite Runner Chapters 20 - 22 Summary

Farid and Amir make the trip to Kabul from Jalalabad. The trip which used to take two hours now takes four, because of the condition of the road, after being bombed through two wars.

Farid had warned Amir, Kabul would look different than what he remembered, but he was not ready for the reality of the city. The once beautiful city was now a shell of its former self. The streets were littered with rubble and everywhere he looked he saw beggars.

Amir wanted to look around, so Farid pulled the truck over to the side of the street. It is there Amir saw, for the first time, the Taliban. He was frightened, but he was not able to look away from the young men riding in a truck with machine guns in their hands. Farid was angry with him after the truck passes, because he made direct eye contact with the young men. This was an invitation for a confrontation with the Taliban. They expected the locals to respectfully look down when in their presence. The whole purpose of them riding through the streets, was so they could find someone to terrorize.

Amir started a conversation with a beggar and found out the man, a former university professor, knew his mother. He told Amir she was afraid when she was pregnant, because she felt her happiness would only beget tragedy.

The beggar helped them locate the orphanage where Sohrab might live. Once there, after convincing the director to let them into the building, they found out he had sold the boy. A Talib official gave the man money for the children, in exchange he took a child with him. Last month he took Sohrab, but Amir might find the official at the Ghazi Stadium the next day. Farid was so angry with the director he tries to kill him and only stops, after Amir points out the children are watching him kill their protector.

Farid took Amir to his old home in Wazir Akbar Khan district. The house had deteriorated during the war years, after Rahim and Hassan were gone. Amir felt like he was a passerby looking in through the gate of a strange house. He remembered his life there as a boy. He could see his bedroom window and flashed back to the day Ali and Hassan left to go live with their cousin.

After a while Farid wanted to leave, because he was afraid they would attract unwanted attention, but Amir asked for ten more minutes. He went up the hill to look at the old cemetery and find the pomegranate tree in which they had carved their names.

He and Farid spent the night in an dilapidated hotel with no hot water or electricity. The next day they went to Ghazi Stadium to find the Talib official, with the hope of setting up a meeting with him.

The soccer game was going well until half-time, then three of the Taliban red pickup trucks entered the stadium. They were carrying Taliban soldiers, a blind-folded man, and a woman. They were taken an area behind one of the goals, where two holes had been dug in the ground. The pair were each put into a hole, a religious ceremony was preformed and then the two were punished for adultery. The punishment was they were to be stoned to death, by the man Farid and Amir hoped to meet. Once the punishment was meted out, then the corpses were removed and the holes filled in.

Farid set up the meeting, which was to be at three o'clock that afternoon. They arrived on time at the Talib leader's home. Farid told Amir he wouldn't accompany him inside the house. His refusal was expected and Amir relinquished him of any guilt for his actions.

Once inside the house, Amir met with the large Talib leader, he was still wearing the white robes he wore to kill the couple in the stadium. He was also still wearing his sunglasses, which obscured Amir's view of his face. This was done by design, after establishing that he could have Amir killed for treason, because he escaped to America instead of fighting in the war, he revealed his identity. He was Assef, the person who defiled Hassan and swore revenge on him and Amir, after Hassan made him back down. Hassan had threatened to unleash his slingshot on Assef and take out his eye.

Now Assef held Hassan's son and used him as a source of entertainment. He made the boy dance for him and held him in such a way, as to suggest he used the boy, as he had once used his father. Assef was proud of his life, the way he murdered people in the name of God, the terror he instilled in the citizens of Kabul, and how he abused the children of the orphanage.

He told Amir he could have the boy for a price. He wanted revenge for the day Hassan made him back down. He told his soldiers to let the person who emerged from the room go free and they were not to enter the room no matter what noises they heard. Then he took out his brass knuckles and with Sohrab watching began to beat Amir. Amir, after being bloodied and broken began to laugh, because this was the release he had been looking for since the day Hassan was violated by Assef.

Sohrab, who was as proficient with the slingshot as his father, asked Assef to stop beating Amir. He refused, so the boy unleased his weapon and took out Assef's eye. Then he took Amir and they escaped into the waiting truck with Farid.

Amir found his courage, not because he felt brave, but because he needed to save Hassan's son. In the end it was Sohrab, who saved Amir and himself from Assef. Farid and Amir became friends and helped the young boy escape from a hellish situation.

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The Kite Runner Chapters 20 - 22 Quiz
The Kite Runner Chapters 23 - 24 Summary
The Kite Runner Chapter 25 Summary
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The Kite Runner Quotes
The Kite Runner Important Characters
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Literature Summaries

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