Why does Hosseini reference Ernest Hemingway’s novel The Old Man and the Sea?
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Laila’s father reads a paperback copy of Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea. The plot of the novella is a metaphor for the struggle going on war ravaged Afghanistan. Hemingway’s old man, Santiago, struggles to capture an enormous fish, only to see it torn up by sharks. Every time Afghanistan gets ahead, like the Soviets leaving, they end up still in conflict.