The Kite Runner

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Deus Ex Machina


The literary device deus ex machina refers to a plot point that delivers an abrupt solution to a seemingly unresolvable problem through the intervention of an unexpected or entirely new character or event.

Which of the following passages might plausibly be called a deus ex machina moment in The Kite Runner?


“I heard back from Kaka Sharif. He said the key was getting Sohrab into the country. Once he’s in, there are ways of keeping him here. So he made a few calls to his INS friends. He called me back tonight and said he was almost certain he could get Sohrab a humanitarian visa.”


“His hand was cocked above his shoulder, holding the cup of the slingshot at the end of the elastic band which was pulled all the way back. There was something in the cup, something shiny and yellow. I blinked the blood from my eyes and saw it was one of the brass balls from the ring in the table base. Sohrab had the slingshot pointed to Assef’s face.”


“‘You could relinquish him to an orphanage here, then file an orphan petition. Start your 1-600 form and your home study while he’s in a safe place.’”


“Then, four days ago, on a cool rainy day in March 2002, a small, wondrous thing happened.”


“‘Probably for the best, though,’ Rahim Khan said, shrugging. ‘She would have suffered. My family would have never accepted her as an equal. You don’t order someone to polish your shoes one day and call them ‘sister’ the next.’ He looked at me. ‘You know, you can tell me anything you want, Amir jan. Anytime.’”