Amir thinks about the "bears" his father has wrestled during his lifetime. What "bears" has Baba wrestled? How have these "bears" affected Baba's sense of self?
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Rumor has it that Baba once wrestled a black bear in Baluchistan. "Bears", however, become metaphors for demons. Baba has wrestled bears in building his business, building his orphanage, losing his wife, moving to America with nothing, raising a son without a mother, and of course his cancer. Baba wrestles these bears, for good and for bad, on his own terms.