You are on page 1of 11


The novel begins with Amir‟s memory of peering down an alley, looking for Hassan who is kite running for him. As Amir peers into the alley, he witnesses a tragedy. The novel ends with Amir kite running for Hassan‟s son, Sohrab, as he begins a new life with Amir in America. Why do you think the author chooses to frame the novel with these scenes? Refer to the following passage: “Afghans like to say: Life goes on, unmindful of beginning, end…crisis or catharsis, moving forward like a slow, dusty caravan of kochis [nomads].” How is this significant to the framing of the novel? Foreshadowing is an effective strategy on catching the attention of the reader. More so, the way the novel was structured as such gave more emotions and life on the story. Reading the novel in this manner seems like you really are turning from pages to pages, from day to days on the life of the characters in the story, especially that of Amir and Hassan. As we can remember from the story, when they were still young, it would always be Hassan who would kite run for Amir, moreover, it would always be Hassan who would sacrifice for Amir may it be to save his face on his father‘s keen eye for perfection or to Assef who had been bullying them. Hassan has been a faithful servant, friend, brother to Amir and no one could question his loyalty except for Amir himself. But too much doubting had lead to a sin that had forever bothered the person in Amir. And perhaps the only way for him to do good again, may it be too late for him already since the friend he had was already then is to give back to his son, Sohrab, who had, if in the first place because of Amir, had a wond3erful life ahead for him, was deprived of like his father. And so the story ended with maybe not a so happy ending for Hassan and Amir, but at the very end, still a happy ending had been waiting to be opened for Amir and Sohrab. Life goes on indeed they would say, life goes on for each and everyone of us. We may commit mistake now, but life and the universe would always conspire for us to be given an opportunity to redeem ourselves from whatever mistake we have done or whatever harm we have inflicted over other people. 2. The strong underlying force of this novel is the relationship between Amir and Hassan. Discuss their friendship. Why is Amir afraid to be Hassan‟s true friend? Why does Amir constantly test Hassan‟s loyalty? Why does he resent Hassan? After the kite running tournament, why does Amir no longer want to be Hassan‟s friend? -Amir and Hassan grew up together. They were both fed by the same woman from Bamiyan. Baba would always remind them about the brotherhood brought about by having the same nursing woman. Though Amir never thought of Hassan as a friend because of their difference (Amir being a Pashtun and Hassan being Hazara), he cannot deny the fact that history, ethnicity, society or religion cannot change the fact that they grew up together and learned together. For Amir, his life in Kabul seemed like one long lazy afternoon day with Hassan. Amir is afraid to be Hassan‘s true friend, one reason is their difference, Amir is afraid to be judges by the society, one evidence was when Assef was taunting them and asked him if he‘s friends with Hassan unconsciously he immediately said no. From thi s scene it can be inferred that long before Amir had set boundaries between him and Hassan. Also, it can be drawn from the story that Amir envies Hassan, Hassan being a hazara but is always contented on what he has. Amir had problems with Baba and he is jealous on how Baba would always remember Hassan. His relationship with Hassan only exacerbates this. Though Hassan is Amir‘s best friend, Amir feels that Hassan, a Hazara servant, is beneath him. When Hassan receives Baba‘s attention, Amir tries to assert himself by passive -aggressively attacking Hassan. He mocks Hassan‘s ignorance, for instance, or plays tricks on him. At the same time, Amir never learns to assert himself against anyone else because Hassan always defends him. He constantly tests Hassan‘s loyalty because he himself is not sure about his loyalty to Hassan. Amir no longer wants to be friends with Hassan after the tournament because he thinks it‘s for the best , especially to him. He thinks it would be the best way to at least lessen the guilt he‘s feeling, the way for him to stop hurting himself and Hassan. He thinks it‘s the best way to bury down the consequences of his

Early in Amir and Hassan‟s friendship. running an orphanage. According to the Koran. Baba betrayed Ali by sleeping with his wife. Amir cares for him and stays with him until he dies. try to like whatever his father was interested about. Hassan's son. Amir is pretending to be someone he is not by pretending to enjoy the soccer games Baba always takes him to see. -The tree signified their friendship. Then they both try to redeem themselves with doing other good deeds.” Discuss Amir‟s rela tionship with Baba.‟ Those words made it formal: the tree was ours. particularly their friendship. They become very close. he would try to be the achiever he could be. just like Amir and Hassan‘s friendship. Baba was never the perfect father ofr his son. Hassan mentions “the tree hasn‟t borne fruit in years. Here are the examples. sometimes two. After Amir wins the kite running tournament. The novel starts out with Amir doing whatever he could to win his father's attention. Amir and Baba's relationship changes throughout the novel. 3. The tree represents how it used to be. Hassan is the living evidence of Amir‘s weakness to stand up for what is right. It consumes his conscience and leaves him empty everytime he sees Hassan. Amir had always thought that he was one of the sin his father really hated. just like the peace in Kabul. . “One summer day. Amir and Baba are very alike. Amir is still unhappy. 5. the pleasant memories of Hassan and Amir. and Amir betrayed Hassan by not standing up for him while getting assaulted. However. which means that just like the tree Hassan and Amir were sharing the goodness of life.” In a letter to Amir later in the story. He then earns it when Hassan and Ali move out and Baba and Amir move to America. He betrayed Hassan for his father's full attention. Amir and Baba's relationship is fake. their chatter. the gardens of paradise include pomegranates. and Amir going back to Kabul to save Sohrab. his relationship with Baba undergoes significant change. But along with their separation and death of friendship was the tree ‘s incapability to bear fruits.cowardice. We begin to understand early in the novel that Amir is constantly vying for Baba‟s attention and often feels like an outsider in his father‟s life. 3. which includes betraying his best friend. Good thing then was Rahim Khan who would always be the father like for Amir. try to be the best that he could to the point that he could worsen other people for him to be better off. This symbolizes how something so precious before would turn out to be dreadful for both of them. Sometimes I sat there for an hour. as seen in the followi ng passage: “He‟d close the door. leave me to wonder why it was always grown -ups time with him. it would be as if the whole universe had turned against you. his envy to Hassan and hatred in his heart for what he did to Hassan in the alley).” Discuss the significance of this tree. Hassan. It is important. I used one of Ali‟s kitchen knives to carve our names on it: „Amir and Hassan. Just like the boys childhood. he would try his best to win the heart and the attention of his father. the sultans of Kabul. tradition says. while they form a bond of friendship. 1. carved in its trunk. They both have been cold between each other. he would not even believe that he was his son and for a child hearing this. 2. It has their history. I‟d sit by the door. that is theft. Baba. They both betrayed their best friends." And pomegranates protect the eater from envy and hatred (these two consumed Amir. The tree bears fruit when everything between Hassan and Amir were fine. listening to their laughter. to eat every seed of a pomegranate because one can't be sure which aril came from paradise. It is where they would always sit down and read books. 4. they often visit a pomegranate tree where they spend hours reading and playing. On the other hand. for he stole his mother‘s life. in fact he had told Rahim Khan that if he have not seen Amir born by her wife. Just like every child Amir would be. knees drawn to my chest. Amir and Baba's relationship becomes real when Baba is diagnosed with cancer.

in hopes that Baba will accept him for it. and Baba would even read his stories. They would eventually grow apart again. the lamb signifies the sacrifice of an innocent. But in Sohrab‘s case. after witnessing what happened to Hassan. his trophy. In Hassan‘s case. I imagine the animal sees that its imminent demise is for a higher purpose. as in Christianity. the relationship between the two returns to the way it was before the tournament. But Amir is not as happy as he thought he would be. Hassan was described in the novel as being pure and innocent. For Amir to truly be accepted he would have to continue to please his father. but only for a while. sacrifice is portrayed as the exploitation of an innocent. one little thing could not change their relationship. He is proud once he wins. Absurdly. just as Amir says the mullah used to do to the sheep before slitting its throat. noting that Hassan resembled the lamb they kill during the Muslim celebration of Eid Al-Adha. In this context.” Discuss the significance of this passage. Amir goes on to tell us how he has planned out the moment he meets with Baba after the tournament. glue. “Homes that made Baba‟s house in Wazir Ahkbar Khan look like a . and Amir laments “we actually deceived ourselves into thinking t hat a toy made of tissue paper. but these sacrifices have very different meanings. But I always watch. and Hassan runs off to catch the kite for Amir. I imagine the animal understands. Hassan sacrificed hisself because of his loyalty and purity. At first they spent their time together. As Amir remembers an Afghan celebration in which a sheep must be sacrificed. and although we don‘t hear Baba actually say anything. my nightmares persist long after the bloodstains on the grass have faded. America acts as a place for Amir to bury his memories and a place for Baba to mourn his. ―we actually deceived ourselves into thinking that a toy made of tissue paper.‖ This is Amir‘s view of the situation. knew that winning the competition would not fix everything between him and his father. Baba will proud if Amir. Both Hassan and Sohrab are innocents who are figuratively sacrificed by being raped.What causes this unhappiness and how has Baba contributed to Amir‟s state of mind? Eventually. he talks about seeing the sheep‟s eyes moments before its death. he describes Sohrab as looking like a slaughter sheep when he first sees Sohrab with Assef. 7. In Islam. Discuss the image in the context of the novel. deep down. and bamboo could somehow close the chasm between us.” Why do you think Amir recalls this memory when he witnesses Hassan‟s tragedy in the alleyway? Amir recollects the memory again toward the end of the novel when he sees Sohrab in the home of the Taliban. 6. Amir sacrifices him for the blue kite. The kite brought them closer. which honors Abraham‘s near sacrifice of his son for God. Even though Hassan would have helped him. he feels like a coward because he didn‘t help. Assef and the others had put mascara on Sohrab‘s eyes. Amir says this during Hassan‘s rape. And Amir only worsened the situation when he mentioned sending Hassan and Ali away. glue. The importance of this sentence is to show how Amir. and bamboo could somehow close the chasm between us. and be accepted. “I don‟t know why I watch this yearly ritual in our backyard. we know he probably feels the same way. In America there were. And Baba is proud. I watch because of that look of acceptance in the animal‟s eyes. And how Baba and him will finally become closer. kite in hand. just like the lamb being offered and sacrificed. Amir describes both Hassan and Sohrab as looking like lambs waiting to be slaughtered. Amir is the one who stops his sexual abuse. The kite that would at least tighten the bond between the father and son. Amir succeeds in winning the kite fighting tournament that he so desperately wanted to win. Similarly.

they were no ones. 8. I had damned myself. America was a richer country. Hassan‘s reaction to the story is important because similar to the story Amir‘s life also has a plot hole. and the past he hoped to have left there. The part in Amir‘s story when the man kills his wife relates to the point in Amir‘s life when he tries to win Baba‘s love by winning the kite tournament and retrieving the last kite in the sky. Amir is a somewhat of a traitor and Hassan is completely loyal to his Amir. or at least they thought so. but he had also let Hassan get raped and for that he was miserable. but he is not as bright as Hassan. after the kite tournament. What is the significance of the irony in the first story that Amir writes? After hearing Amir's story. and he is greedy in the sense that he will do anything to get Baba to love him. "Why did the man kill his wife? In fact. Similar to the man in his story. The irony of the story is that because of his greed he kills his wife and instead of being happy because he is rich is miserable because he just killed his wife. Baba wants his son to have a better life in America and does not think writing is a way to achieve that goal. Amir simply wants his fathers respect. and is still clinging to his memories of Afghanistan. Being rich is one of them. why did he have to win the kite tournament to earn his fathers respect? Why didn‘t Amir just stand up for himself? This story gives several examples of differences between Amir and Hassan. Baba thinks the most successful career would be in the fields of either medicine or law school. Amir thinks to himself: "I would stand my ground. The last time I had done that. Amir is greedy with Baba‘s time. Couldn‘t he stay friends with Hassan even though he was raped. I decided. But in America. Hassan is very bright and it is no surprise that he found a plot hole in Amir‘s story. For Amir. Baba has trouble adjusting to the culture. Amir had earned his fathers love and respect. American life isn‘t easily adapted by the people raised in the strict culture in Afghanistan. Baba and Amir were considerably wealthy. I believe that the irony in his story is significant because it directly relates to the problems in Amir‘s life. making Amir and Baba poor in its society. He has also sacrificed much of his happiness for Baba. First of all Amir is very greedy and selfish and Hassan only cares about others.” What is ironic about this statement? What is the function of irony in this novel? Living in Afghanistan. Why is Baba disappointed by Amir's decision to become a writer? During their argument about his career path. isn‘t that what Hassan would have wanted? In fact. It indeed is hard to accept the sad reality in life that some things are relative. America helps him forget Afghanistan. Amir was too cowardly to save his friend. 9. the only difference is that instead of wanting to become rich. the man became rich and miserable. I didn't want to sacrifice for Baba anymore. Baba‘s mind is still in Afghanistan." What has Amir sacrificed for Baba? How has Amir "damned himself"? Baba is disappointed by Amir's decision because he is afraid that Amir will go through all of his schooling and not find a successful job forcing Amir to work at a menial job. actually thinking Hassan was the price he had to pay to win Baba's affection (77). Hassan asks. While Amir is hiding in America. His ultimate goal is to achieve happiness by becoming rich. In the end of Amir‘s story. no matter what he does to him. Amir and Baba would always be looked up be ordinary people especially the HAzaras since their family had been blessed so much they could envy everyone in their neighbourhood. In Afghanistan. Amir sacrificed his relationship with Hassan and Hassan's innocence for Baba. Amir has spent so much time trying to please his father .servants hut. While in America. ironically. why did he ever have to feel sad to shed tears? Couldn't he have just smelled an onion?" How is his reaction to the story a metaphor for Amir's life? How does this story epitomize the difference in character between Hassan and Amir? Amir‘s first story is about a man whose tears turn into pearls. and he wouldn‘t of noticed the plot hole in his story if Hassan hadn‘t told him a bout it. Amir is smart. Amir has faced problems with greed. The switch from being wealthy to relatively poor is just one of the many examples of irony in this novel.

Amir damned himself by turning tail and running from the scene in the alley. After not being able to bear living with Hassan anymore. When he returns to find Sohrab. he heads to California. The son of a German mother and Pashtun father. She lives with a man to whom she is not married. her father takes her back and allows her to live in the family in spite of the gossip about her in the Afghan community. He cares for Baba as he grows sick and dies. He is a far stricter man than Baba.AMIR. He continues to associate with Afghani ex-patriots in California. however. Kabul is a changed city. Not a religious man. the families of both revert back to the traditional Afghan way of doing things. so therefore he does not work. even though he has grown up with different interests and talents than Baba. Life is not good under Russian rule. . however. but the Taliban routinely practice ethnic cleansing against his people. to California when they are forced to leave Afghanistan after the Russian occupation. and try to forget his past sins in his homeland. Amir played the terrible images through his mind over and over again rendering peace of mind impossible and filling himself full of shame. Hassan--like his father. but his business instinct and work ethic keeps him afloat. When the Taliban rise to power. Discuss how the ever-changing politics of Afghanistan affect each of the characters in the novel. causing a scandal for her proud father. HASSAN. Baba cannot understand how his son can be so different than he is. she is rebellious. Amir and Baba have a strained relationship. A Hazara women who moves from man to man. When they are in Afghanistan.. it is a mixed blessing: He gets to start a new life. Compare and contrast the relationships between Soraya and Amir and their fathers. but at the same time. the ramifications of this action forced Amir to live with excessive guilt and shame for a long period of time (not to mention the constant replay of the injustice over and over again in his mind). How have their upbringings contributed to these relationships. As a Hazara. GENERAL TAHERI. Amir also comes to love and respect his father and appreciate what his father has sacrificed for him.S. Ali will never rise above the lower levels of Afghanistan's social realm. ruled not by the Russians but by the even more ruthless Talban. 11. get married.S. get a good education. He still hopes to return to power someday and awaits a shift in Afghani politics that will allow him to return to his old status. Baba thrives during the years before the Russian takeover. ALI. Baba. Hassan's mother's reputation is as low as her class standing in Afghanistan--scorned for her race as well as her promiscuity. but when he and Amir move to the U. Amir destroys the life Hassan could‘ve had for his own satisfaction. When he comes to the U. In the end. Ali--will never rise up the social ladder in Afghanistan. Amir valued his father‘s affection more than anything and deemed it more worthy than Hassan‘s safety. ASSEF. Assef moves up the ranks. where his reputation among them is revered. For Amir. 10. he becomes even more of an outcast during the Taliban rule. Unwilling to live as a pauper (or risk death) under Russian control. Despite the father/daughter and father/son issues.often at the expense of his own well-being. Taheri was a powerful man in Afghanistan who was forced to flee during the Russian takeover. Soraya respects him. He is unable to rebuild the fortune he amassed in Afghanistan. Hassan was left desolate to fend for himself while Amir stood by and let the terrible tragedy occur. however. both families hold to their traditional values and when Amir and Soraya express an interest in getting married. Baba becomes proud of Amir. Baba is an important merchant in Afghanistan and a well-respected man in the community. the once wealthy man becomes a lower-middle class member of American society SANAUBAR. BABA. Like Baba. he is living in the past and refuses to take a job that is beneath him. and her family. Amir has to follow his father. Of course. Following the Russians' departure. the blond Assef worships Hitler and believes in the superiority of his father's people. but in the end. He is domineering and has very strong cultural ideas about the role of women. Baba is not above getting a job in a gas station just so Amir can complete his education. and he . Soraya's father was an important general in Afghanistan prior to the Taliban taking over. As an ethnic Hazara..

Amir was aiding those who had less than him. and when Amir takes his trip back to Afghanistan he shows that he is no longer a coward and is doing a noble act by going back to get Sohrab. feels that he successfully stood up for himself. Rahim Khan) gone. and so he chooses to make his own path. Amir felt it was his duty to stand up to Assef. I think by the end of the book Amir has become a strong man just like Baba was. The first time Amir. by framing Hassan with the sin of theft. And by placing this money shows that he has changed and is willing to relieve himself from his past. Upon leaving he remarks: "Earlier that morning. Baba worries because Amir never stands up for himself. He even learns to ignore the eyes of the flea-marketgoers and the gossip floating around town. . while the one in the ending of the novel was a positive one. Hassan. Despite his warnings. for her past indiscretions after her arrival (and short." Why is this moment so important in Amir's journey? This moment was very important in Amir‘s journey because it was a turning point in the novel. Amir even recognizes this several times especially when he reflects on the scene in the alley when he "stood there and done nothing" (105). Amir‘s first mattress stuffing situation was a ne gative one. 13. Amir‘s actions were full of deceit and was an attempt to relieve himself from his own sin. he stays at the home of his driver. and stands up to the General by asking for Soraya's hand in marriage. Throughout the story. too. Baba recognized his motives and told Amir "just don't embarrasss me" (145). at last. This moment showed the change the Amir went through in the novel. Amir. When does this change? Throughout the novel. Amir‘s actions show the change in his demeanor throughout the story. On Amir's trip back to Afghanistan. Amir still flirts with Soraya. In the beginning of the novel Amir placed a wad of his birthday money and his watch under Hassan‘s mattress to frame Hassan so he would be dismissed from their home. when I was certain no one was looking. Amir does a cowardly act when he does not take action to help Hassan. Amir stands up for himself physically when he meets with Assef after returning to Kabul. which he knew his father thought of as an unforgivable sin. rebellious behavior) in America 12. himself. Farid.has repressed his daughter. The placing of the money under the mattress shows his change in his demeanor to become more the man his father wished him to be. mentions standing up to his father is (as many others have mentioned) when he decides to become a writer. Hassan. When Amir began talking to Soraya. Finally. both mentally and physically. He realizes that with everyone (Baba. This moment shows the change of the cowardice in Amir. Amir even begins to laugh when Assef is beating him up because he says he ironically "felt healed" (289). it is apparent that Baba is worried about Amir never standing up for himself. but he realizes that if he continues trying to follow in his father's footsteps he will be unhappy. but also for what he had done to his hometown of Kabul and the innocent people that still lived there. After leaving Farid and placing the money under the mattress and giving the young boy the watch was an action of thanks. Amir also stands up to his father when he becomes friends with and later marries Soraya. I did something I had done twenty-six years earlier: I planted a fistful of crumpled money under the mattress. Soraya. Amir always felt like a disappointment to Baba. not only for what he had done to Hassan in the alley many years ago. His actions at this point in the story were to relief himself from the burden that seeing Hassan gave him. However. I think Amir eventually learns to stand up for himself. He stood up fo himself when he finally decided to go back to their place to save his nephew Sohreb from the inflicting harm of the Talibans and to at least get back to his half brother. In the beginning. he now has to be strong and teach Sohrab to become his own independent person.

It also showed that to the very end. Why does the author have Amir. he finally deals with the event that happened in the alley with this occurrence. 14. at this point in the novel. and Amir. emotionally and physically. he was unable to express this sorrow and was therefore not punished for his actions. The author has these three come together to emphasize the importance of the relationship between Amir. Although Amir does not fight back against Assef as he is beaten almost to death. This way. Amir was able to stand up for him in his own way. Also. Sohrab. however. and further ―finds a way to be good again‖ as he rescues Sohrab and feels the pain he thought he deserved. again. Amir finally begins to accept what he did and starts to move on and forgive himself for his actions. the context in which they meet stunned me. and embodied the vast amount of internal pain that Amir faced because of the consequences of not acting to help Hassan in the alley. and Sohrab come together. When Assef. however. Not only did Amir fulfill what he set out to do after this meeting. the blood of Hassan is very strong in his son that they would both save Amir‘s life whenever he is in danger. Assef. Amir fulfills the request of Rahim Khan in retrieving the child. . Assef changed the life of both Hassan and Amir. while Hassan had to deal with the emotional and physical consequences of this event in a completely different way. Because of this confrontation. someone that both Hassan and Amir knew during their childhood. Amir finally stands up for something he believes in and learns what it feels like to desire to sacrifice for and help someone else. Not only was their relationship severely damaged. the fight between Amir and Assef takes a great toll on both men. Amir was able to feel the pain he thought he deserved and protect the heir of the innocent child that he was unable to defend growing up. Amir anxiously awaits his introduction to Hassan‘s son. and faced the torture himself. As physical pain is inflicted upon Amir by Assef. What differs in this case is that Amir has the power and the will to stop this injustice. and I was shocked that the man who had killed those people in the stadium and who had sexually abused Sohrab was Assef. This part of the novel was a very important turning point. Sohrab. and he has a mark to prove it.14. and Assef and the meaning that this relationship entails. The tragedy that occurred in the alley when the boys were growing up in Afghanistan deeply affected the lives of both Hassan and Amir. As a result of the confrontation. Amir. Sohrab faces continual abuse as a slave to the needs of Assef. Amir acquires the bravery that caused him to envy Hassan while growing up in Afghanistan. Through fighting with Assef. their attitudes changed with this event. and by being beaten up by Assef himself. Amir was able to both defend a victim of Assef and begin to get over the pain that he felt because of the cowardly way in which he acted while Hassan was raped years ago. I was amazed by how clever the placement of this confrontation was. Assef deeply hurt Hassan. The pain that Amir felt throughout the fight was external. Amir develops a mark that reminds him of the scar that Hassan has after having surgery to fix his lip. Both boys were forced to grow up after this tragedy. Although Amir is finally able to recover from the event in the alley. a similar situation takes place. Amir is finally able to feel the external pain that he needed in order to get over the effects that Hassan‘s tragedy had on him. and Sohrab all come together in this way? What is this the significance of the scar that Amir develops as a result of the confrontation? Why is it important in Amir's journey toward forgiveness and acceptance? After reading this portion of the novel. After this fight. Amir becomes more like Hassan through the fight with Assef. I had to reread it. Amir now bears a scar like that of Hassan‘s. Amir's confrontation with Assef in Wazir Akar Khan marks an important turning point in the novel. This event is extremely important in Amir‘s journey toward forgiveness and acceptance. Instead of Sohrab being hurt. Amir was challenged with facing the situation. Amir was also able to begin to forgive himself for the pain hat he caused years ago as he felt the pain inflicted upon him by Assef. Amir felt so much internal pain after witnessing Hassan‘s rape. Sohrab and Amir finally meet. is forced to witnesses this tragedy.

He unknowingly meets his son in battle and mortally wounds him just as he discovers that his enemy was his son. Amir has been broken down. I believe that Hassan names his son Sohrab because Sohrab is the innocent one in the legend and because the name brings back so many of his fond memories of time spent in childhood innocence with . This dream emphasizes Amir‘s resulting strength even in light of his numerous injuries.15. Amir has fought the bear in his life and has stood up for a cause. Amir is able to stand up for himself and defend those around him for the good of someone other than himself. Amir has a dream about Baba fighting and beating the bear. Amir. While in the hospital in Peshawar. There was a story about Baba beating a bear in fight. Amir is finally able to view himself as something other than weak and afraid—he is able to view himself like he saw his father. Amir realizes how he has to fight for Sohrab to come to the United States and live in a better community. and I see. The dream is a recognition that he. man and beast. 16. Amir stands up for himself and displays his courage and bravery even as he is beaten by Assef.. Amir is broken. he is ironically rejuvenated and strengthened by his confrontation with Assef in Kabul. Poverty. Sohrab. Amir is recovering from the multitude of injuries that were inflicted upon him by Assef. Amir does not seem to like it as much as Hassan. Hassan. He's me. there are no Hazaras and Pashtuns. When Baba looks up Amir sees his self. This dream helps Amir realize his own strength. Similarly. most importantly. yet this dream helps him to recognize that all will be well again—if he fights for what he wants. At this point in the story. Amir will get better and will make a better life for Sohrab. The story was believable because of the three jagged scars on Baba‘s back. the bear is the impossible challenger that Amir is finally ready to face up to. something meaningful to your life. Later at Baba‘s funeral Amir realizes that Baba‘s fight was not just with a real bear but also with figurative bears: the death of his wife. and many others. This dream is a very important part of the story. Amir is now the strong fighter who faces a challenger with courage and bravery. With the confrontation between him and Assef. Amir looked up to Baba and admired his strength and power. no Sunnis versus Shiites. and his personal well-being. and in doing so. Amir internally wrestles with the tragedy that occurred in the alley for a long time. The bear fight is a metaphor used throughout the entire book. He even thinks at one point that Baba hates him. in a happier and more peaceful place. Hassan loves the story's reference to the marriage of love between Rostam and his beautiful princess who wanted her son as much as her husband (this is in direct contrast to how Sanuabar viewed her husband Ali and her son Hassan). an impossible challenger. Amir has a dream in which he sees his father wrestling a bear: "They role over a patch of grass. He looks up at me. It is he who fights with Assef. who constantly asks Amir to read it to him. long after Baba‘s funeral. The story is loved by the illiterate Hassan. Later. Does the story have the same meaning for both men? Why does Hassan name his son after one of the characters in the story? Briefly. He gripes when he has to reread it." Why is this dream so important at this point in the story? What does this dream finally help Amir realize? At this point in the story. a fighter. being a single father to a son he doesn‘t quite understand. He finally proved Baba wrong in his earlier thoughts that Amir would never be able to stand up for anything. First.they fall to the ground with a loud thud and Baba is sitting on the bear's chest. Amir sees himself as strong and valuable and. it carries great significance in helping Amir realize that he is a fighter. Nevertheless. and with this fight. When it was his father wrestling the bear. In the dream. Amir finally fought his own bear. and he thinks of Baba as the type of father who would kill his own son. finally stood up for something: his life. Through this dream. the Persian legend of "Rostam and Sohrab" describes a father's (Rostam) search for his long-lost son. the story represents several things. and/or getting through a tough time. he loves the romance of it. I am wrestling the bear. and with its importance. his fingers digging in its snout.. It is a metaphor for standing up for yourself. Amir and Hassan have a favorite story. In the story. Amir is able to physically face a fight and not back down. For Hassan. and through this dream.

he would still strive for the love of his father. on the other hand. and he was ultimately offered the opportunity to go to the US. Because Amir always tried to gain the affection of his father Baba and Hassan always wanted the attention of Amir. The favorite story of Amir and Hassan when they are young is "Rostam and Sohrab". When Amir and Baba move to the States their relationship changes. Often it disappoints both of them that Amir is not the son that Baba has hoped for. 18. so therefore Hassan names his son by the name "Sohrab". from the Shahnamah. likes the story for a selfish reason. Discuss the changes in their relationship. So in other words what I am trying to say is that they both think of themselves as Sohrab. Because of that valor Sohrab became Amir's savior. who did his duty to his father until the end. . I think Amir likes the tale of "Rostam and Sohrab" because he can deeply relate to it. instead of just being honest in the first place. but does not pity Rostam. I think the changes in Baba were positive.Amir. Hassan loves the story because its tragedy touches his heart. Perhaps Hassan believed that one day Amir ("Rostam") would have an opportunity to save Sohrab rather than destroy him. Hassan never knows that Baba is his true father. but ultimately it led to Amir and Baba having the relationship with each other they had always longed for: Baba had the son he was proud of. because his son is also another one with importance. He plays a trick on the unsuspecting Hassan one day by making up his own version of the tale. Amir had a father who supported him in his relationships and life choices. It is the tale of the great warrior Rostam. Amir discovers his lifelong talent and passion for writing because of Hassan's genuine appreciation for the story he so treacherously fabricates. but on a metaphorical level the tragedy of Rostam and Sohrab mirrors his own life. is an exaggeration of the relationship between Amir and his father. and he ofter cries when Amir reads it. Lie. Hassan thinks of him as someone special one with importance. Baba and I were more alike than I'd never known. I think that in this story Hassan thought of Amir as Sohrab. Baba couldn't stay in Afghanistan and survive with his son. The tragedy that occurs in this story. Do you see the changes in Baba as tragic or positive? In the end. And also. as Amir is growing up. And at the same time Amir was "the father" and Hassan Sohrab.. Sohrab feels. 18. an epic of ancient Persia. Baba kept his pride and made a life of dignity for himself . Baba made the most of the circumstances." How does this make Amir feel about his father? How is this both a negative and positive realization? I think it is positive in the sense that he finally found some common ground with Baba. only to discover that Sohrab is his long-lost son. and Hassan likes it so much that Amir is encouraged to write a story of his own. who mortally wounds his nemesis Sohrab. Baba and Amir know that they are very different people. Amir. and is never able to experience the love that they might have shared. To get to that positive end was humiliating and humbling. but ultimately it is negative because the common ground came from feeling guilty and trying to atone for something that they did. He understands how the son.and died in dignity.. and Amir begins to view his father as a more complex man. On a conscious level. just like Sohrab does not discover his own father until it is too late (Chapters 3 and 16). When Amir finds out that Baba has lied to him about Hassan.though not easily . any life risking situations he was in. he realizes that "as it turned out. Hassan names his son after the story's hero Sohrab because he loves the story so much and remembers it many years later when his child is born. I see Baba as a survivor. 17.. because Sohrab at any cost. Unlike the true tragic character of the (what's his name) former Afghan government official who was living off public welfare in hopes that he would work in the Afghan government one day.

This conflict became apparent in the story when Amir would ignore Hassan when he was playing with his other friends and relatives. Are Baba's and Amir's betrayals and similarities in their relationships of their servants (if you consider Baba's act a betrayal) similar or different? Do you think that such betrayals are inevitable in the master/servant relationship. After high school. Baba violated Ali by having a baby with his wife. "The Kite Runner. The novel was published in 2003 and went on to become an international bestseller that received critical acclaim. Discuss the difference between Baba and Ali and between Amir and Hassan. . In Afghanistan kite flying competitions reward the kite that destroys the opposition. I believe that it is very difficult to balance a master/servant friendship. In kite fighting competitions the objective is to cut the string of all other kites to leave only one kite flying. and Amir betrayed Hassan by watching him get raped and then telling Baba that he stole his Christmas presents. Baba and Amir both betrayed them. or are they the outcome of circumstances and characters? Baba and Ali were friends like Amir and Hassan. where he graduated from high school four years later. however. Hassan obviously knew that Amir betrayed him because he didn‘t steal Amir‘s Christmas presents and they hadn‘t spoken to each other or played with each other since he got raped. Hosseini lived in Afghanistan from the time of his birth in 1965 until his father was transferred to Paris in 1976. However. 20. Both betrayals were similar in cruelty. independence.C. Amir pardoned himself after he freed Sohrab from Assef. "extraordinary" (People). 20. but despite their friendship and the tremendous dedication and loyalty of their servants. where he earned his medical degree in 1993. The Soviet invasion in late 1979 changed his life forever. pride and religion. The family was ready to return to Kabul in 1980. but I feel that Amir deserved to be forgiven more than Baba because Baba took his betrayal to the grave without ever apologizing to Ali.19. 21. but instead sought and received political asylum in the United States. Who is Khaled Hosseini and how has his work in literature and in the world society nations been critically received? Like the characters in his bestselling novel." Khaled Hosseini was born in Kabul. Kite runner." a gripping story of friendship between two boys. His father was a diplomat with the Afghan Foreign Ministry and his mother was a teacher. and "powerful" (The Washington Post Book World). he enrolled at Santa Clara University and received a bachelor's degree in Biology. I do not believe that betrayals are inevitable in master/servant relationships. Critics called it "haunting" (The New York Times). it still would have been possible for Amir to protect Hassan and avoid betraying anyone. In Amir‘s case. enrolling in the U. Ali never knew that Baba betrayed him and they stayed friends their whole lives. history. Baba made up for his sins by helping out the community. Hosseini's family moved to California. I would find it extremely hard to respect somebody as a friend that I also pay to cook my food and clean my underwear. Amir indirectly apologized to Hassan by protecting Sohrab. Afghanistan. Why is it significant and what does winning the kite flying tournament symbolize? How does this symbolism resonate with the novel‟s title? Kite flying in Afghanistan symbolises national pride. They both played with each other on a regular basis. San Diego School of Medicine. Hassan never would have gotten rapped if they wouldn‘t have been friends because Hassan wouldn‘t have ran the kite for Amir. he built an orphanage and never denied a beggar. or do you feel that they are due to flaws in Baba's and Amir's characters. Hosseini finished his internship and began practicing medicine. "The Kite Runner. He was still working as a doctor when he began writing his first novel. He then pursued a career in medicine. The kite flying tournament is an important event in a boy‟s life in Afghanistan.

playing music. Seventy-five percent of the country is mountainous.) them on his way to India.272. the Taliban forces destroyed unique historical statues. The Hindu Kush range (central highlands) is the second highest range in the world. the Hazarajat region (central mountainous provinces). Iran. How do the results of those conquests affect the tribes in Afghanistan up to now? Afghanistan is a land-locked. It is strategically located on the main route to India through the Khyber Pass. The Taliban is committed to fundamentalism.4% is under permanent cultivation. The sixteen decrees broadcast on Radio Sharia in September 1996 outlying the prohibitions of the Taliban included female exposure. dancing at weddings. because they had been decreed idolatrous by Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar. but by the end of that year the Taliban controlled 90% of the country.C. arid country that shares borders with China. 23. The religious composition is: Sunni Muslim 84%. Jalabad (170kms south-east of Kabul). A civil war between the Taliban and the Northern Alliance continued. The ethnic composition is: Pashtun 44%.‘ Afghanistan is a poor country with a very turbulent history. intellectuals and disaffected mujaheddin (holy warriors). 22. There are as many as 3.C. Baloch) 13% and Uzbek 8%. Mazari-Sharif. Peshawar and Islamabad in Pakistan. helped the hill tribes to preserve their independence. Kabul has existed as a centre of population for over 3000 years and was mentioned in Indian scriptures going back to 1500BCE. Shi‘a Muslim 15%.213. such as Kabul. To really understand the setting of The Kite Runner you will need both physical and political maps of Afghanistan in order to locate the places referred to. some 135km west of Kabul. How are these dramatized in the novel? The Taliban emerged in 1995. gambling. Pakistan. Later. Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. minor ethnic groups (Aimaks. Certainly cultures had flourished in the north and east before the Persian king Darius I (c. Despite worldwide protests. There are 29 provinces. The population of Afghanistan is estimated at 28. It became the capital in 1773 under the reign of Timur Shah.22. They were thought to come from Sunni Muslim Pashtun students. the Khyber Pass. although hindering unity. . Religious Fundamentalism of the Taliban is imbricated with racial or ethnic and class problems. Discuss how the geographic location of Afghanistan has made it the crossroads of civilizations and conquering armies from ancient times up to the present. In 1997 a Taliban offensive aimed at capturing the north of the country failed and anti-Taliban counterattacks on Kabul intensified.500 B. kite-fighting. Its high mountains. It is probable that there were well-developed civilizations in S Afghanistan in prehistoric times. to implementing Sharia law and preaches basic Koranic values. Kabul (capital) has a population of 2. Turkman. strict Islamic law was immediately imposed. Bamiyan (135km west of Kabul). They killed 4000 Shi‘a Hazaras at Mazar-i-Sharif following its capture on 8 Aug 1998. In Jan 2001 Taliban officials cracked down severely on dress codes for women and imposed regulations which forced men to wear beards. others (Jewish. including the world‘s largest standing Buddha in Bamiyan. The Taliban also virtually eliminated the huge production of opium. playing drums and having British or American hairstyles.5 million Afghani refugees in neighbouring countries. Three percent of land is forested and 12. Hazara 10%.000. with average elevation about 1300mts. the climate and tribal regions.717. It is often referred to as the ‗crossroads of Cental Asia. as well as note the geography of the terrain.) conquered these areas. girls‘ schools were closed and women ordered to cease working. Tajik 25%. When they took Kabul. and central Asia has enticed conquerors throughout history. but the archaeological record is not clear. shaving. The location of Afghanistan astride the land routes between the Indian subcontinent. Alexander the Great conquered (329–327 B. They were trained in madrasses (conservative Koranic schools) in Pakistan and eager recruits were found among the refugee camps on the Pakistani border. excluding nomads of whom there were over two million in 1983. Hindu and Sikh) 1%.