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The Kite Runner Plot Map
Transcript of The Kite Runner Plot Map
By Khaled Hosseini
Amir is the narrator and protagonist of The Kite Runner. He is the son of a rich businessman, and lives in a large mansion. He grows up with a boy named Hassan, the son of the family's servant, Ali. Amir alternates between being best friends with Hassan, and attacking him out of jealousy, whenever his father gives Hassan attention. Amir feels as if his father does not love him because "he killed his mother" during child birth. His father thinks of him as weak because he does not defend himself when attacked by boys on the streets and prefers writing stories and reading to playing more 'manly' games. He constantly tries to make his father proud of him, which leads to him not doing anything even after he sees Hassan being abused by Assef. The guilt from this action stays with him until adulthood when he finally manages to redeem himself.
Hassan is Amir's best friend, and half-brother, although he never knows that. He grows up as Baba's servant, even though he is actually his son. His loyalty to Amir is unwavering, and he would do anything Amir asked him to with no questions asked. Since he is a Hazara, he is uneducated, and constantly subjected to racial taunts. Although Hassan is not present in most of the novel, he still is a crucial part of it, and is the reason Amir even goes back to Afghanistan in the last part of the story.
Baba is the father of both Hassan and Amir, and although it seems like he doesn't love Amir on some occasions he actually does, but doesn't know how to show it. Baba is very brave and always defends what he believes in.
The friendship between Hassan and Amir is explored throughout this novel. This is an extremely complicated friendship as in it, one person is a servant and the other a master. Both of these characters are also of a different race with Amir being a Pashtun and Hassan, a Hazara, which is an ethnic minority in Afghanistan.
The main conflict of the Kite Runner, is Amir's betrayal of Hassan, and it is this betrayal which sets the scene for the future chapters of the novel.
Although the betrayal in which Amir didn't protect Hassan from Assef was the main betrayal of the novel, many other acts of betrayal occured including Baba's betrayal of Hassan, and Amir's second betrayal of Hassan when he framed Hassan for stealing a watch.
Throughout the course of this novel, Amir struggles to atone for his sins. As a child he seeks to redeem himself to his father, because he feels that he is responsible for his mother's death. In order to do this he feels like he must win the kite flying competition.
Later on in the novel when Amir betrays Hassan he feels as if he has to redeem himself which leads him back to Afghanistan in order to rescue Hassan's son Sohrab.
Amir vs. himself
After betraying Hassan, much of Amir's time was spent feeling guilty and battling with himself. As a child his weaker side won, and he falsely accused Hassan for stealing just so he did not have to see Hassan's face and feel guilty anymore.
As an adult however Amir finally managed to make the right decision and went back to Afghanistan to save Hassan's son, Sohrab.
"I'd betrayed Hassan, lied, driven him out, and destroyed a forty-year relationship between Baba and Ali... "
Amir gets so angry and frustrated from guilt that he begins throwing pomegranates on Hassan's face and yelling at him to hit him back however Hassan does not.
Assef had captured Hassan's son Sohrab as a slave and in order to get him back Amir had to physically fight Assef.
From the title of the novel, The Kite Runner, we can see that kites are extremely significant to this novel.
Kites symbolize both Amir's happiness and his guilt. In the beginning of the novel, flying kites was a fun pastime he enjoyed with Hassan, but after his betrayal of Hassan, everytime he saw a kite he felt overwhelmed with guilt and grief.
After rescuing Sohrab, kites were no longer a symbol of guilt for Amir, as he had paid his penance. By the end of the book, kites to him were a memory of his childhood happiness.
Amir spends a lot of his life trying to forget Hassan but after getting beaten up by Assef he has a scar on his upper lip which is a constant reminder of Hassan's cleft lip.
This scar further unites Amir and Hassan , as now Amir physically resembles him.
The book starts off with introducing the readers to Amir, Baba, Hassan, Ali, and Rahim Khan. They also quickly discover that Amir is struggling with his past. The story then turns to Amir's childhood, the family home, his relationship with Hassan and his desire for his fathers attention. Amir realizes that in order to make his father proud he must win the kite flying competition.
Amir wins the contest and as the final string is cut, Hassan runs to catch the fallen kite. Hassan then calls out, "For you a thousand times over!" When Hassan is late home, Amir goes out in search for him. To his horror he finds Hassan being raped by Assef. Amir is paralyzed with shock and fear and does nothing.
Hassan is no longer the smiling boy he used to be. Amir is faced with an overpowering guilt every time he looks at Hassan and cannot bear it. Selfishly he decides to frame Hassan for stealing by planting his new birthday presents all over Hassan's bed. These are discovered and Ali declares that they must leave the house even though Baba begs them to stay.
After leaving Afghanistan forced out by the Soviets Amir Returns following a call with Rahim Khan. After his marriage to Soraya and the death of Baba, Amir is still internally struggling with his guilt from the past. After Rahim telling him about Hassan's son Sohrab, and that Hassan is dead, Amir goes to Afghanistan to save him. There Amir is finally unburdened by his guilt.
Amir saves Sohrab but struggles to help him come to terms with his years of abuse inflicted by Assef. Sohrab is finally brought back to America, where he does not talk to anyone. However the book ends on a positive note, with, finally, a smile from Sohrab.
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