Chapter twenty-two represents a kind of purgatory for the main protagonist, Amir, within the novel. It can be argued that this chapter represents the cyclic nature of the novel, in the repetition of events. Hosseini manipulates Amir into nervous action; seemingly casual movements that delineate the fear, and in some respects the anticipation, that Amir experiences lying in wait for the ‘Talib’, visible within short sentences, for instance in ‘I crossed my legs. Uncrossed them;. In these lines, Amir's inner tension is evident.
Amir’s isolation within the house is emphasised by his self-absorption, the way in which he studies the objects surrounding him. One such object that is described by Hosseini is the coffee table; on which are ‘walnut sized brass balls’, this depiction takes the reader back to the beginning of the novel, where in chapter 2 Hassan and Amir fired ‘mulberries and walnuts’, Hosseini uses symbolism to remind the reader of the friendship Amir once shared with Hassan in the house, which was ripped away by Assef, foreshadowing his return in chapter 22. The alliteration of ‘brass balls’ again takes the reader back to Amir’s childhood as Hosseini described Assef’s appearance as ‘stainless-steel, brass knuckles’ creating elements of fear. This fear is still there as Amir has avoided a confrontation as a child and the cause of his guilt, Amir now has the chance to redeem himself, throughout this part of the chapter Hosseini uses the sacrificial lamb imagery that he used when describing Hassan’s rape Through Amir, Hosseini explores the Talib’s appearance in comparison to the other occupants of the room. In terms of colouring, he is labelled as “much paler” than the other two men, and so different in origin. This seems to be a re-occurring theme throughout, this differences of culture and beliefs. His clothing is also depicted; by Amir in finding fascination in bloodstains left by participation in the stoning, the blood on this stark white clothing...
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