Reading fumes, like someone had lids back

Reading literature has the power to change your perspective on life. A perspective is a point of view of someone regarding a certain thing and having more than one perspective helps develop a more realistic version of events. By reading this novel the readers learn about the wickedness of war and what it does to the people who had previously been leading a happy life there. This novel gives the readers an insight into how traumatic and instantaneously life-changing war can be for people from all socioeconomic backgrounds living there. In the novel, the readers can see that Baba is a big businessman in Afghanistan, who lives an extravagant life, yet with the invasion by the Soviets in March 1981 he was forced to leave everything there and escape overnight in the back of an old truck. Later on, to cross the border over to Pakistan they had to travel in an oil tanker, “The fuel tank was pitch-black … And the stench of gasoline. My eyes stung from fumes, like someone had lids back and rubbed a lemon on them. My nose caught on fire with each breath” (Khaled Hosseini, 128). This gives the readers an idea of how bad it must have been there that an aristocrat like Baba had to flee his country with his son by such means. Furthermore, leaving the country meant leaving all the riches behind and starting from zero again in a new country with a different culture and language. When Baba and Amir moved to the US and to make ends meet he worked “Six days a week, Baba pulled twelve-hours shifts … as an assistant at a gas station” (Khaled Hosseini, 137) Baba worked at a gas station because that was the only place he could get due to the language barrier. From running a large business to working at a gas station meant a change in lifestyle, Baba and Amir now lived in a small old apartment and had an old car. When readers read about such things it sticks with them, like psychology professors from York University and University of Toronto said that people who read literature “appear to be better able to understand other people, empathize with them and view the world from their perspective.” By this they mean that readers of such short stories or novels are generally more helpful, kind and accepting towards those people who leave their country due to these reasons because they have a sense of what those people have been and are going through.