The pomegranate is a fruit whose juice is used to make pomegranate juice and whose seeds are often eaten whole, or ground into a paste for use as a food additive and for medicinal purposes. It was associated with life and fertility in many ancient cultures, including that of Ancient Greece, where it was believed that pomegranates contained all the elements necessary to sustain life. Pomegranates were also associated with fertility in Ancient Rome, where they were used to decorate gardens because of their intricate blossoms.
In the Kite Runner, the pomegranate is first mentioned at the beginning of Chapter 5: “In those days boys came in from the orchards with pockets full of stolen fruit. Sometimes they threw stones at Hassan or called him names. One day they pelted him with pomegranates and walnuts.”
The pomegranate is a symbol of fertility. Although Amir does not know it at the time, Soraya is pregnant with his child.
When Hassan gives the tangerine to Soraya, he tells her that the pomegranate will be a sign between them if she has trouble conceiving. The pomegranate is also an ancient Persian symbol of fertility. In Afghan culture, couples eat pomegranates together to help them conceive children. The Koran also mentions the pomegranate as a fruit that appears in heaven (Sura 78:33-34) and that its juice is used for food and healing (Sura 16:69).