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The Kite Runner

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James McLoughlin

on 25 April 2013

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Transcript of The Kite Runner

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Images from Shutterstock.com Hosseini was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 1965 The Kite Runner Characters Central Themes Summary Kite running and culture By Khaled Hosseini About The Author 5 Major Themes: Baba and Amir


Hassan and Sohrab


Amir and Sohrab Three Symbols of Loss of Innocence:

1.) Rape

2.) Lambs

3.) Kites
Assef raping Hassan

Assef raping Sohrab

Daily war in Afghanistan

Amir and Assef fight

United States vs Afghanistan

Amir's Internal Nationality Conflict

Amir's Redemption/Betrayal


Baba's Betrayal Assef - Hassan’s and Sohrab’s rapist and the novel’s antagonist. Assef represents all things wrong in Afghanistan. A racist who wishes to rid Afghanistan of Hazaras, he is incapable of remorse and enjoys inflicting violence and sexual abuse on those who are powerless. He even claims Hitler as a role model. Sohrab - Son of Hassan and Farzana. In many ways, Sohrab acts as a substitute for Hassan in the novel, and he is a central focus of the plot in the later sections of the book. He is also an ethnic Hazara and is great with a slingshot. His character arc takes him from being a normal little boy to the traumatized victim of sexual and physical abuse, and he goes from speaking very little to not at all. Jamila - Amir's Mother-in-law; kind and obedient, very good wife to the General General Taheri - Soraya’s father and a friend of Baba. General Taheri is proud to the point of arrogance at times, and he places great value on upholding Afghan traditions Soraya - Amir’s wife. Soraya is steady, intelligent, and always there for Amir when he needs her Amir’s best friend and half-brother as well as a servant of Baba’s. Hassan proves himself a loyal friend to Amir repeatedly, defending Amir when he is attacked and always being ready to listen. His defining traits are bravery, selflessness, and intelligence, though his smarts are more instinctual than bookish, largely because he is uneducated. Baba - Father of Amir and Hassan and a wealthy, well-respected businessman. Baba believes first and foremost in doing what is right and thinking for oneself, and he tries to impart these qualities to Amir. He also never lets anyone’s lack of belief in him stop him from accomplishing his goals. Although he distrusts religious fundamentalism, he follows his own moral code and acts with self-assurance and bravery. When necessary, he is even willing to risk his life for what he believes in. Yet his shame at having a child with a Hazara woman leads him to hide the fact that Hassan is his son. Because he cannot love Hassan openly, he is somewhat distant toward Amir and is often hard on him, though he undoubtedly loves him. Amir - The narrator and the protagonist of the story. Amir is the sensitive and intelligent son of a well-to-do businessman in Kabul, and he grows up with a sense of entitlement. His best friend is Hassan, and he goes back and forth between acting as a loyal friend and attacking Hassan out of jealousy whenever Hassan receives Amir’s father’s affection. Amir is a gifted storyteller and grows from aspiring writer to published novelist. His great desire to please his father is the primary motivation for his behavior early in the novel, and it is the main reason he allows Hassan to be raped. From that point forward, he is driven by his feelings of guilt as he searches to find a way to redeem himself. Ultimately he does so through courage and self-sacrifice, and he tells his story as a form of penance. Rahim Khan - Friend of Baba and Amir. Rahim Khan is Baba’s closest confidant, and the one man who knows all of Baba’s secrets. For Amir, he serves a father figure, often giving Amir the attention he craves and filling the holes left by Baba’s emotional distance. Ali - Acting father to Hassan and a servant of Baba’s. Ali is defined by his modesty more than anything, and he works diligently as Baba’s servant. He loves Hassan deeply, though he rarely expresses his emotions outwardly. The Kite Runner in a fist person narrative of the protagonist Amir The story illustrates a boy's coming of age through his experiences in Afghanistan and the United States.

Amir's narration takes the reader through his crucial childhood experiences as he leaves his home in Kabul with his father at a time of war and there journey to make it to the United States and there experience living in a new culture. The story begins in Afghanistan and Amir illustrates the importance of his friendship with his servant Hassan, and his loyalty and admiration towards his father Baba. Amir and Hassans friendship is compromised after one kite running competition. Amir wins a kite flying tournament by cutting down the last kite and Hassan goes to retrieve it for him. Hassan gets the kite, but is cornered by a bully, Assef, and his friends. Amir witnesses them hit, and ultimately rape Hassan, yet does nothing to stop them. Amir is overcome with guilt and cannot maintain the friendship after this. As the years pass, Russian communists begin to take over Afghanistan. Amir's father, Baba, does not agree with these practices, or the government, so he takes Amir on a secretive journey to leave Kabul. After a few months, they finally reach America. They are not at of as high status like they were in Afghanistan
Baba takes a job at a gas station to put Amir through college. Amir successfully completes high school
Baba, so pleased, takes him to a bar to celebrate. Baba wants Amir to become a doctor, but knows that Amirs true passion is writing.

Amir stands his ground and tells his father he wanted to be a writer.
Baba supports his decision but feels it is foolish. At one of the flea markets, Amir meets Baba's friend from Afghanistan, General Tahiri. The general has a daughter named Soraya, and Amir eventually marries her. After they have married, Amir finds success in his writing. Everything seems to be normal, until Amir receives a call from Rahim Kahn. Rahim Kahn states that Hassan is dead and his son, Sohrab is in trouble. Amir learns that all along Hassan was his half brother, but the son of a Hazara mother so he could never be of the same status as Amir. Amir ventures back to Afghanistan to rescue his nephew. After a lengthy struggle to find the boy, and a fight with the now adult Assef, Amir brings Sohrab back to America and adopts him. One of the central themes of the story is the relationship between father and son, as well as friendship between boys and men. 1. Redemption/Betrayal 2. Cultural/Nationality 3. Father-Son Relationship 4. Loss of Innocence 5. Violence Khaled Hosseini He lived in Kabul until he was 5, when his father moved the family to Iran in 1970 for work, but to return to Kabul in 1973

In 1976, Hosseini family moved to Paris, France While in France, Afghanistan was being invaded by soviet Russia and the family could not move back, so in 1980 they moved to San Jose, California. Hosseini went to Santa Clara University in California, graduating in 1988 with a bachelors degree in biology

Hosseini practiced medicine for ten years until he wrote his first novel "The Kite Runner" The novel was released in 2003 and went on to be one of the New York Times number one best selling novels. Since then Hosseini has written two other novels and founded a non-profit organization called The Khaled Hosseini Foundation in part with the UNHCR (United Nations Refugee Agency). The organization seeks to lend humanitarian efforts to the people of Afghanistan Amir is is conflicted with his feling toward Hassan and his father.

Amir feels that Hassan is given to much attention from Baba and that he can not please his father.

Amir begins to resent Hassan, but Hassan stays loyal to Amir Amir, after many harsh feelings towards Hassan, hides a watch that Baba gets him for his birthday and blames it on Hassan to get him in trouble with Baba.

Unfortunatly for Amir, Baba forgives Hassan for a crime he was not guilty of doing, but confessed of doing to show his loyalty towards Amir. Oddly, Hassans father Ali tells Baba that they are moving out.

Baba begs for Ali and Hassan to stay but Ali is aware of the rapping that had happend to Hassan and that Amir knew but did nothing.

Ali never tells Baba why they had to go. Goals of kite fighting/running: Pull your opponent's kite out of the sky by wrapping your string around theirs. in order for the kite to be cut the string must be wrapped in a coating such as crushed glass with glue or tar. Then while the kite drifts, everyone races to catch it. How it is played: It is played with two people, one holds the wooden spool, the second controls the kite in the air, to win you must not only be the the owner of the last kite, but you must also obtain the last kite to fall out of the sky. The champion kite fighter of the neighborhood is deemed the "sharti". Dangers: While flying and running after a kite doesn't seem to be a dangerous sport, it can cause many injuries and even deaths if the proper attention is not given to it. These dangers include... - strings coated in very sharp material, that can cause deep wounds in the hand
- most is caused by not being as cautious as one should be
-running into people's strings, traffic, walls, poles
-some accidents can cause death Kite running bans: During the Taliban rule, kite running was prohibited as they did not deem it as an "un-islamic" pastime. If you flew a kite, you would typically be beaten and your kite destroyed, but you may sometime be imprisoned. If you sold supplies to make the kites, you would be imprisoned. other countries and kite running: Kite running is also famous in countries across Asia, and is even supported in the United States Baba and Amir move to Freemont, California where they live in a tiny one bedroom apartment.

They take on traditions where they go to garage sales every Saturday, and Sundays they sell it at a flee market, where many of the areas Afghani's meet to sell what they have collected the day before.

The flee market acts as a place for Amir and Baba to socialize with people of the same culture
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