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Kite Runner Seminar

Pages 200-239

Hailey Seabrooke

on 1 May 2013

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Transcript of Kite Runner Seminar

Pages 200-239

Hayley W, Josh, Hailey S. Summary Emphasize Analyze Genre Ties Amir receives a call from Rahim Khan, who wants Amir to see him in Pakistan. He takes a taxi and the driver of it tells
Amir how Afghanistan has changed for the worst. Amir learns that Rahim Khan had been living in Baba’s house in Kabul
since 1981, when Amir and Baba fled. He took care of the place, as Baba expected to eventually return. Meanwhile Kabul
became dangerous as the Taliban were fighting for control over the city. Rahim Khan replies that he is dying and does not expect to
live through the summer.

He tells Amir the story of how he found Hassan and convinced him to live at Baba’s old house with him. Hassan brings his pregnant wife named Farzana with him and while Hassan and his wife are living in the small servants hut on Baba’s property, his wife gives birth to a stillborn girl, whom they bury in the yard. Hassan’s wife then gives birth to a baby boy who they named Sohrab, after the character from Hassan’s and Amir’s favorite story when they were children.

When Sohrab turns four in 1995, The Soviets had been pushed out of Kabul, but fighting continues between rival Afghan groups. Hassan, meanwhile, is teaching Sohrab to read and to run kites. A year later in 1996, the Taliban took control of Kabul and two weeks later they ban kite fighting.

Rahim Khan then hands Amir an envelope. It contains a photograph of Hassan and a letter for Amir. In it, Hassan says the Kabul they used to know is gone. One day a man at the market hit Farzana simply because she raised her voice so another man who was half-deaf could hear her. He talks about his love for his son, and says Rahim Khan is very ill. Rahim Khan then tells Amir he received a call from a neighbor in Kabul. The Taliban had gone to Baba’s house and found Hassan and his family there. Hassan said he was taking care of the house for a friend, and they called him a liar like all Hazaras. They made him kneel in the street and shot him in the head. When Farzana ran out of the house, they shot her too. Sohrab was then sent to an orphanage. Rahim Khan tells Amir one more thing. Ali, Hassan’s father, was unable to have children, and Hassan never knew.

Hassan’s death marks a turning point in Amir’s quest for redemption. To Amir, the news of Hassan’s murder means not only that he has lost his friend forever, but also that he can never apologize to Hassan for allowing his rape and then lying about him stealing Amir’s birthday money. Making up for these actions was part of the reason he traveled to Pakistan in the first place.

Amir then thinks about how responsible he was for Hassan’s death. He also goes over the evidence that Baba was Hassan’s father: Baba’s paying for the surgery to fix Hassan’s lip, and his weeping when Ali and Hassan left. Baba had said that theft was the only sin, and Amir thinks how Baba stole from him a brother, from Hassan his identity, from Ali his honor. Amir realizes he and Baba were more alike than he knew.

They had both betrayed their truest friends. What Rahim Khan wanted was for Amir to atone for Baba’s sins and his own. On the
ride back to Rahim Khan’s, Amir recognizes he is not too old to start fighting for himself and that somewhere in Kabul, a small
part of Hassan remains. He finds Rahim Khan and tells him he will find Sohrab. AMIR:
Amir was so into trying to be accepted by his father that he did not treat Hassan as an equal. As he grew up we saw that
he started to become more interested in the well being of others around him.

"One time, when you weren't around, your father and I were talking. And you know how he always worried about you in those days. I remember he said to me, 'Rahim, a boy who won't stand up for himself becomes a man who can't stand up to anything.' I wonder, is that what you've become?" (Hosseini, 233)

"I have to go to Pakistan." (Hosseini, 201)

"I'm going for a walk."
"Should I go with you?"
"Nay, I'd rather be alone." (Hosseini, 201)

Rahim Khan has asked Amir to rescue Sohrab from Kabul. Amir is unsure at first, but Rahim Khan tries to convince him to go. He tells him reasons as to why he should go; A chance to prove his father wrong, his dying wish for him to do it, and the fact that Hassan is his half-brother so he owes it to him. These reasons are all important to Amir and motivate him to go, showing he is not the same selfish boy.

"There is a way to be good again, Rahim Khan had said on the phone just before hanging up. Said it in passing, almost as an afterthought. A way to be good again." (Hosseini, 202)

Rahim Khan suggests Amir as someone suitable to rescue Sohrab, in order to redeem himself. He basically tells Amir that he can undo damage he did to Hassan in the past. This shows how Amir has changed and grown, and now seeks redemption.

"Hope is a strange thing. Peace at last. But at what price?" (Hosseini, 211)

"I see America has infused you with the optimism that has made her so great." (Hosseini, 212)

This quote is when Rahim Khan had said that Amir is growing as a person, and has the mentality to be able to go after what he wants without relying on his father.

"Hassan," I said. When was the last time I had spoken his name? Those thorny old barbs of guilt bore into me once more, as if speaking his name had broken a spell, set them free to torment me anew. (Hosseini, 212)

This is where Amir learns about Hassan from Rahim Khan, and began to really show his guilt. He regrets what he has done in the past and again, is seeking redemption.

The character development reflects a lot on Amir. A lot of the time, when Amir learns something about Baba it reflects on Amir himself, and makes him question his lifestyle.

"You sounded like your father just now..." (Hosseini, 212)

Amir begins to realize he is a lot more like his father than he thought, and starts to realize that isn't the way he wants to be, and seeks redemption.

"I felt like a man sliding down a steep cliff, clutching at shrubs and tangles of brambles and coming up empty-handed. The room was swooping up and down, swaying side to side." (Hosseini, 234-235)

Rahim Khan had told Amir about how Baba had betrayed him, Hassan, and Ali. We found out that Baba had slept with Sanaubar and had Hassan. Baba hadn't told Amir or Hassan about this, and when Amir was informed of this he began to see the similarities between him and his father, with them both carrying around secret guilt.

"How could he have lied to me all those years? To Hassan? ... There is only one sin. And that is theft... When you tell a lie, you steal someone's right to the truth. Hadn't he said those words to me? And now ... I was learning that Baba had been a thief." (Hosseini, 237)

This quote shows the changes of Baba, leading to us seeing a major change in Amir. The guilt that Amir has carried is because of his fathers strict lifestyle that he was forced to live which includes honor, and loyalty. We learn that Baba had stolen the honor of Ali and a
brother from Hassan. Amir feels he needs to seek redemption after finding out his role model had disobeyed his own views.
Showing Amir has grown, becoming his own person wanting to start over while Baba lives with regret. SYMBOLS:
Kite :
A symbol of Amir's previous life, when he was happy, but also his guilt
"I glanced up and saw a pair of kites, red with long blue tails. They floated high above the trees on the west end of the park, over the windmills. I thought about a comment Rahim Khan had made just before we hung up." (Hosseini, 202)

Sanaubar & Sohrab - redemption:
"She pulled his hand over her scarred face. 'Smile for me. Please." Hassan did and the old woman wept. 'You smiled coming out of me, did anyone ever tell you? And I wouldn't even hold you. Allah forgive me, I wouldn't even hold you.'" (Hosseini, 221)

"There is a way to be good again, he'd said. A way to end the cycle. With a little boy. An orphan. Hassan's son. Somewhere in Kabul." (Hosseini, 239) The tragic flaw of a character is what causes a characters demise. In Hamlet, Death of a Salesman, and Kite Runner, the characters each seem to be carrying a form of guilt which makes all three characters a victim of tragedy. Each character has witnessed a tragic event that they feel they made the wrong decision about at the time, leading to their lasting guilt.

Hamlet has been cowardly. He has hidden behind his excuses instead of seeking the much deserved revenge on Claudius. He realizes that what he has done is wrong and insults himself about it, and now seeks a way of following through with his revenge; a way to redeem himself.

"Oh what a rogue and peasant slave am I!... What an ass am I!...I, the son of a dear father murdered, prompted to my revenge by heaven and hell, must, like a whore, unpack my heart with words and fall a-cursing like a very drab..." (Shakespeare, 545-584)

The tragedy in this story is how Willy is constantly having his life controlled by others and suffers silently about it. Willy is a character that has a dream he wants, but is not noble enough to go after it. He is an average man who attempts to hide the fact he is just average behind his dreams of success. He begins to realize the harsh reality that not many people know or care about him.

"‘Cause what could be more satisfying than to be able to go, at the age of eighty-four, into twenty or thirty different cities, and pick up a phone, and be remembered and loved and helped by so many different people?...They don’t know me anymore." (Miller, act 2)

Amir is coming to the realization that he has been trying to be someone else; his father. This is a tragedy because it shows that he has also been hiding or acting cowardly for selfish reasons. He realizes that he hasn't been living his life the way he wants to and begins to seek redemption.

"...a boy who won't stand up for himself becomes a man who can't stand up to anything." (Hosseini, 233) OTHER TIES
Hamlet and Kite Runner:
Hamlet and Amir are both told they can make things right and how (Hamlet by Hamlet Sr. and Amir by Rahim Khan)
Claudius and Amir both suffer guilt, Claudius after he kills Hamlet Sr. and Amir after convincing himself that he is responsible for Hassan's death.

Death of a Saleman and Kite Runner:
Biff and Amir both do not want to be like their fathers but realize that they are more like them then they want to be
Amir craves his father's approval, but finds out that his father has lied to him and therefore feels like trying to impress him for all those years was not worth it. Hassan gets all the attention from Baba that Amir desperately wants. Happy wants his dad's attention but his dad has also lied about his life and success. Biff gets all the attention that Happy desperately wants. Kite Runner Seminar Other Ties . THEMES
Amir want to redeem himself for his unbearable past, with the encouragement from Rahim Khan.
"I was older now, but maybe not yet too old to start doing my own fighting." (Hosseini 239)
"I looked at the round face in the Polaroid again, the way the sun fell on it. My brother's face. Hassan had loved me once, loved me in a way that no one ever had or ever would again. He was gone now, but a little part of him lived on. It was in Kabul. Waiting." (Hosseini 239)

Amir obviously feel tremendous guilt from the past, which leads to why he needs redemption. Rahim Khan must also feel guilt for hiding Amir's whole life from him .
"Rahim Khan said I'd always been too hard on myself. But I wondered. True, I hadn't made Ali step on the land mine, and I hadn't brought the Taliban to the house to shoot Hassan. But I had driven Hassan and Ali out of the house. Was it too far-fetched to imagine that things might have turned out differently if I hadn't? Maybe Baba would have brought them along to America. Maybe Hassan would have had a Home of his own now, a job, a family, a life in a country where no one cared that he was a Hazara, where most people didn't even know what a Hazara was. Maybe not. But maybe so." (Hosseini 238)

Family Pressure
Baba never claimed Hassan as his son or told everyone that he was so it would not ruin his family's name and reptuation or Ali's.
"I was learning that Baba had been at thief. And a thief of the worst kind, because the things he'd stolen had been sacred: from me the right to know I had a brother, from Hassan his identity, and from Ali his honor." (237)

"Hassan slumps on the ashphalt, his life of unrequited loyalty drifting from him like the windblown kites he used to chase." (Hosseini 231)
"And I dream that someday you will return to Kabul to revisit the land of our childhood. If you do, you will find an old faithful friend waiting for you." (Hosseini 230)
"And dreamed of Hassan running in the snow, the hem of his green chapan dragging behind him, snow crunching under his black rubber boots. He was yelling over his shoulder: For you, a thousand times over." (Hosseini 204)
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