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Kite Runner Plot Map
Transcript of Kite Runner Plot Map
By Jaclyn Thoma
In June of 2001, Amir gets a call from Baba’s old business partner and friend in Kabul to come visit him in Pakistan. After leaving Hassan and Ali behind in Afganhistan and Baba’s death, Amir is still overwhelmed by the guilt from his childhood. On the phone Rahim Khan tells Amir that there is a way to be good again and make up for all the wrong he has done. Amir then decides to fly to Pakistan where he visits with Rahim Khan and discovers many unknown secrets from the past. Amir learned that for years after Baba and him left, Rahim was living with Hassan, his wife Farazana, and their son Sohrab. After Rahim left to go to Pakistan, the Taliban came to their house and killed Hassan and Farazana and sent Sohrab to an orphanage in Kabul. Rahim Khan’s tells Amir the way to become good again is to find Sohrab in Kabul and bring him to safety. Amir then returns to Kabul and goes to the soccer stadium to rescue Sohrab. Here Amir encounters his old rival and Hassan’s rapist, Assef, who has custody over Sohrab. Amir fights Assef in attempt to free Sohrab and eventually Sohrab and Amir get away.
Amir is overwhelmed with guilt and decides that the best solution to rid himself of all the pain caused by betraying his friend would be to force him to leave. Amir places his watch and an envelope of cash under Hassan’s mattress to make it look like he stole his belongings which would anger Baba. When Baba asks Hassan if he stole Amir’s belongings he admits to the crime, sacrificing himself for Amir once again. Although Baba forgives Hassan, Ali knows it was Amir who placed the items under Hassan’s bed and decides they must leave. After being forced out of Afghanistan by the Soviets in March of 1981, Baba and Amir travel to the United States and settle in Fremont, California. In Fremont, Amir meets a woman named Soraya and they quickly marry. Baba dies of lung cancer shortly after the wedding.
The conflict is seen in the Kite Runner after the kite contest. After the final string is cut, it is Hassan’s job as the kite runner to run and find the kite wherever it may have landed. This is extremely significant to Amir because to if he were to return home with the last blue kite his father would be immensely proud and therefore strengthen their relationship. When Hassan hasn’t returned with the kite after quite some time, Amir goes out to look for him and finds him in an alley cornered by Assef and his friends. Assef, looking for payback after Hassan shot him with a slingshot, rapes him in the alley. Amir watches the raping and then walks away and acts as if he did not see the event. Amir is then ridden with guilt from then on.
The Kite Runner begins in Kabul, Afghanistan in 1975, shortly before the Soviet invasion and the fall of the Afghan monarchy. Amir, the main character, is telling the story as a memory and is looking back on the momentous events that changed his life that began in the winter of 1975 when he was twelve years old. The first couple chapters also introduce the other characters such as Baba, Ali, Hassan, and Rahim Khan and the relationships he shares with each. The beginning of the book introduces us to the difference between Baba and Amir and Hassan and Ali. Baba and Amir are wealthy respectable Pashtuns while Hassan and Ali are Hazaras and live as servants to Baba and Amir. Although there is a strong friendship between the two families, Hassan and Ali are still perceived as the lower class.
After Amir and Sohrab are released from the hospital, Amir tells Sohrab he might have to return to another orphanage because he is unable to adopt him. Sohrab attempts to commit suicide after hearing this news and is stopped but as a result becomes distant and depressed. Eventually the adoption is allowed and Sohrab can move to the United States to live in California with Amir and Soraya.
Once Sohrab settles in to Amir and Soraya’s home, he remains distant and rarely speaks to either of his caregivers. Traumatized by his life of physical and sexually abuse, Sohrab is depressed and remains withdrawn from his surroundings. One day Sohrab and Amir fly a kite together which brings a smile upon Sohrab’s face and hope to their relationship.
In The Kite Runner, there are many evident themes such as redemption and tension between fathers and sons. The theme of redemption is shown by Amir when he returns to Kabul as an adult to rescue his friend’s son who is suffering from a life of abuse in a war torn country. After Amir watched his friend Hassan being raped and did not intervene, Amir was overwhelmed with guilt. In attempt to redeem himself Amir fights off Assef, Hassan’s rapist, and adopts Sohrab. Tension between fathers and son is shown by firstly by Amir who is always trying to gain Baba’s affection as a child. Tension is also shown by Baba towards Hassan because although Hassan is Baba’s son, Baba feels he cannot directly show his affection because of the class barrier.
Two significant symbols in the book are the cleft lip that is seen on the Hazaras, such as Hassan, and the kites. The cleft lip symbolizes Hassan’s place in society and his poverty. His cleft lip represents his low status and poverty because he cannot afford to fix the deformity. The kites Amir flew with Hassan and Baba represent his childhood happiness. The kites represent a way for Amir to connect with his father since they both enjoyed flying kites.
- Amir has privileged upbringing resulting from being a Pashtun and his wealthy father. Although he does not struggle with poverty or inferiority, he does want attention from his father. Amir is the main character and storyteller in The Kite Runner who’s life we follow from childhood into adulthood.
- Hassan’s biological father is Baba but his accepted father figure is Ali, who is Baba and Amir’s servant. Hassan has grown up alongside Amir and is his closest friend but still remains inferior to him because of his class. Hassan continuously sacrifices himself for Amir although often not appreciated.
- Baba is Amir’s father and also Hassan’s biological father. Baba struggles to show affection toward Amir who he feels acts nothing like he did as a child. Baba attempts to give love to his Hassan indirectly through gifts because he cannot directly show his affection to a Hazara.
Amir and Himself-
Amir is filled with guilt and pain after witnessing Hassan’s rape and not intervening.
Baba and Amir-
Baba struggles to show affection toward Amir because he doesn’t think Amir acts how his son should act. Amir longs for Baba’s love and acceptance but feels he has to compete with Hassan.
Baba and Hassan-
Baba feels wants to show his love toward Hassan because he is his biological son. Baba feels the only way he can show love to Hassan is indirectly through gifts because he is a Hazara and no one knows they are related.