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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
CAUTION: Turn back now if you don't want to know MAJOR plot information!

There was your warning :)

So I'm re-reading this novel because I'll probably teach it in my English classes next year... and I'm almost finished. I got to the big revelation where the reader (and Amir) learns that Baba was Hassan's father as well, making them half-brothers... that Ali was sterile and all that. But then on p. 225 (trade dtb) it says:

I was learning that Baba had been a thief. And a thief of the worst kind, because 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. His nang. His namoos.

Did Baba really STEAL anything? From my first reading I got the impression that Baba fathered Hassan and in effect "gave" him to Ali so that Ali could have a son. I considered what Baba had done as a gift, as an honorable thing to do for this man who had grown up with him and had been just like a brother to him (like Amir and Hassan).

But now I'm not so sure... did Baba have impure relations with Ali's wife, relations that were lewd and dishonorable?

Am I missing something?
 

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They are Muslims, it's not honorable to have sex outside of marriage in Islam. Regardless of the reason or supposed gift that resulted from it.

I haven't read the book in a long time so there might be more nuance to the terminology used than I am remembering at this time.

I wanted to add that culturally it is seen as honorable for a fertile family member to "gift" a child to an infertile one, but the traditional way is to give a child of your own. IE A married husband and wife have a large family and a sister and her husband are childless so you give one of your children to be raised by the sister. But you don't create the child with the sisters husband.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Awesome, that cultural information is not only informative for me, but will also help open up this aspect of the culture to the students when I assign the novel.  Gracias!
 
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