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The Kite Runner
Transcript of The Kite Runner
Amir waits with anticipation as he worries over Sohrab's suicide attempt in the hospital waiting room corridor and eventually attempts to get some rest in his new apartment since the land owner evicted him due to receiving a bad reputation, his attempt to rest proves futile
Video store in Fremont where he realizes it is not accustomed to spoil the ending of shows (exemplifies American and Afghan cultural difference)
Sohrab and Amir arrive home on a warm day of August 2001, Soraya first meets Sohrab at the airport, they spend the remainder of the story in America's San Francisco as the ending unfolds, this is split between General Sahib's house and a park. The park provides great contrast in order to show how Sohrab's past has truly effected him, and the way he functions. 9/11 has just taken place.
Amir and Sohrab take a taxi cab to Daman-e-Koh, this gained them a panoramic view of Islamabad up in the Margalla Hills, its very beautiful, some of the story also took place in the American Embassy located within the city- the climax of the chapter occurs within the bathtub.
The scene is set within Islamabad, where the famous mosque "Shah
Faisal" is located, Amir and Shorab are living in a small hotel running the foot by the Margalla Hills, this hotel is very clean and pristine for them.
When Amir pays Farid over two grand and he is stunned by the amount of money, this shows the poverty stricken life that revolves around everything in Pakistan. Sohrab feels dirty and impure due to the fact of his sexual abuse, this is portrayed through his fascination with the Mosque. Sohrab gets his first glimpse at the racial discrimination which encompasses Hazara and Pashtuns portrayed through the quote "Because he was Hazara?"
The bombing of 9/11 creates huge conspiracy theory's within the community; however, Khaled Hosseini tends to stray away from this topic, the major social concern revolves around Sohrab, the General refers to Sohrab as "A Hazra-boy" which lights spark within Amir and he instantly defends Sohrab from the ethnic prejudice. Sohrab has taken a oath of silence from himself and is judged accordingly to the Afghan community, where they tend to stick their noses in other peoples business, gossiping and speculating as to why Sohrab is so isolated.
Islamabad is in entrapment within the middle of a war, many shifts of power take place within the story, however is seems Islamabad stays safe, the Northern alliance's influence is very strong within Islamabad.
The General is extremely concerned as how his reputation will be affected when the rest of the Afghan community discovers a Hazara boy has been adopted by Amir and Soraya, this brings to life the topics of racial discrimination and reputation and status within the Afghan community.
Any pictures u like just take them from here, might save some time :)
Some social concerns revolve around whether Sohrab is still pure, he feels as if being sexually abused has made him sin and is worried about going to hell, juxtaposition takes place when they are watching the channel about whether or not the man would go to hell for wearing his pants low.
Post Reading Questions
15. While in the hospital in Peshawar, Amir has a dream in which he sees his father wrestling a bear:
"They roll over a patch of grass, man and beast...they fall to the ground with a loud thud and Baba is sitting on the bear's chest, his fingers digging in its snout. He looks up at me, and I see. He's me. I am wrestling the bear."
Why is this dream so important at this point in the story? What does this dream finally help Amir realize?
Amir’s dream after facing Assef in their decisive battle signifies a change in his character. From the beginning of the story, Amir had always depended on others to fight his battles for him. As group two previously mentioned in their character analysis of Amir, he was also selfish.
Back then, the old Amir could have been characterized as a coward. However, years later, after coming face to face with Assef, the current Amir is shown to be depending on himself to fight battles. This time, he did not run away or cower behind somebody else’s back and instead confronted Assef head on. In addition, the fact that he was fighting this battle for Sohrab, who was someone he did not meet before, directly contrasts with the Amir who did not take action for the people he knew and the people he grew up with.
The bear in this recurring dream is symbolic of one’s hardships and adversities. For Baba, the bear could have been the doubts and criticism of the people on him.
In this particular dream, when Amir is in Baba’s place, it helps Amir realize that he is now capable of defending himself and others and fighting for what he believes in. Through this, he is also able to realize that he had been more like Baba than he thought he was.
By overcoming the bear, Assef, and defending Sohrab, Amir now understands that he is relieved from his twenty-six year old guilt in getting what he deserves and that his change into becoming a selfless man renders him capable of becoming a father that can protect his son, just as Baba had done for him.
16. Amir and Hassan have a favourite story. Does the story have the same meaning for both men? Why does Hassan name his son after one of the characters in the story?
Amir and Hassan’s favourite story is from the Shahnamah called “Rostam and Sohrab”. In the story, “Rostam mortally wounds his valiant nemesis, Sohrab, in battle, only to discover that Sohrab is his long-lost son.” (pg. 31).
This story does not have the same meaning for Amir and Hassan.
Hassan names his son “Sohrab”, “after his favourite hero from the Shahmanah” (pg. 222), as a reminder of his friendship with Amir. By naming his son after a character from their favourite story, it illustrates that Hassan had never forgotten about Amir after all those years.
Contrastingly, Hassan was genuinely touched by the tragedy of the story. In the story, Sohrab never knew who his father was, but forgave him before he died. It is similar to how Hassan initially never knew who his mother and biological father were. Later in the story, when Sanaubar comes back, Hassan’s life parallels the events of the story, since he also forgives her. Sohrab’s tragedy reflects Hassan’s own with never knowing who his real father was.
For example, in chapter four, Amir states that he “always wondered who he [Hassan] wept for…” (pg. 32), suggesting the difference in their perspectives regarding the book. In Amir’s case, he “could not see the tragedy in Rostam’s fate.” (pg. 32). Amir relates to Sohrab's tragedy more in the sense that they both “longed for his father’s love.” Amir also thinks that “all fathers in their secret hearts harbor a desire to kill their sons.” (pg. 32). He relates this to his own life, since he has recurring feelings that his father would be better off if he had not existed or had another son to take his place.
Media Involvement & Influence
Relationship of Fathers & Sons
Throughout the novel, the theme of fathers and sons has been prevalent. In chapter 24 specifically, the readers are shown a glimpse of Mr. Fayyaz’s, the hotel manager in Islamabad, relationship with his sons. He helps Amir look for Sohrab without payment in return, since he understands the urgency and desperation of Amir’s situation.
Amir recalls the past at Gharga Lake and the time when they removed the bandages from Hassan’s lips. He realizes that Baba “loved us [them] equally, but differently” (pg. 338), summarizing the love and tension between Baba and his two sons.
In contrast to the tension of Baba’s relationships with his sons, the readers are also shown the loving relationship between Hassan and Sohrab.
“I wonder how long Sohrab had lain in bed staring at the photo, turning it in his hands.” (pg. 378)
Amir also tries to become a father figure for Sohrab, even though the latter is reluctant to open up to him. This is evident when he thinks that “a kinship had taken root between them” and that “what happened in that room with Assef had irrevocably bound them”.
Media plays a major theme within the book, it is extremely restricted, and only high ranking officials (or people in positions of power such as Assef) have access.
Loss of Innocence
The book is entering the 20 first century and as we know today, media begins to play a vital role in modern day society,
Mainly seen through Sohrab. From the murder of his parents and his experience in an orphanage to being subjected to sexual abuse, Sohrab had already experienced many abuses and hardships for his age.
He also attempts suicide when Amir says that he’ll have to go back to the orphanage, an act someone his age would not usually do. His silence in the last chapter shows his detachment from the world and reluctance to trust others as a result of the traumatizing events that have occurred in his life.
Afghanistan Media is influenced severely by the government, due to the many restrictions on citizens, however once the coup took place, Taliban began to dictate control over the media very severely the Taliban favored techniques involving death threats.
"I'm so dirty and full of sin." (pg. 335)
"As I spoke, I felt something lifting off my chest." (pg. 342)
After fifteen years of marriage, Amir finally tells Soraya about his past. In doing so, he feels his guilt lessen even more and continues down his road to redemption. He also fulfills Rahim Khan’s request to bring Sohrab back, which was known to be “a way to be good again.” When Sohrab is hospitalized, Amir turns to God. This can be seen as an act of asking for forgiveness for his sins and praying for the safety of Sohrab, but also hope for not being brought back to being burdened with guilt for a second time. In addition, the last part of chapter 25, where Amir flies kites with Sohrab, he takes on Hassan’s former position – a kite runner. When Sohrab smiles at him, it is a sign of forgiveness for his betrayal of Hassan. It is the final act that frees Amir of his guilt.
"It was only a smile, nothing more...But I'll take it. With open arms...I ran with the wind blowing in my face, and a smile as wide as the Valley of Panshjer on my lips." (pg. 391)
Tightly controlled by Taliban from 1996 to late 2001
At times, the lines between propaganda, intelligence & journalism blur.
Some journalists covering Taliban activities have been accused of treachery or arrested
During rule, Taliban closed down cinemas and destroyed televisions and video recorders.
They were comfortable with radio and newspapers, but saw visual images as problematic.
In 1919, several smaller private journals appeared under different ministries.
Radio Kabul began broadcasting in 1925, sparking a new era of mass media in the country
In 1964, freedom of press was provided. It was editoriall independent from the government, but was instructed to safeguard the interests of the state and constitutional monarcy, Islam, and public order.
In 1973, when Daoud Khan overthrew King Zahir Shah's government, about 19 newspapers were shut down and and restricted.
1978 - First color television broadcasting
Soviet influences on media by People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan from 1979 - 1992.
In this chapter, Amir and Sohrab have arrived in Islamabad and have checked into a hotel. The hotel is described as clean, and more luxurious in comparison to the previous hotel in Kabul.
Amir gives two thousand dollars to Farid who leaves to return to his family.
As Amir goes back in the hotel room, he finds Sohrab sleeping and joins him. When he wakes up, Sohrab is no longer present. With a sense of panic Amir immediately goes in search of his nephew.
Remembering Sohrab’s fascination with the mosque, he finds him in its parking lot. They start talking about their parents and how they miss them. Amir hands the polariod picture to Sohrab.
Sohrab questions if God will punish him for his ruthless actions towards Assef, but Amir argued saying that Assef recieved only a fraction of what he deserved.
In some aspects, Sohrab is relived his parents are no longer with him. “Because I don't want them to see me... I'm so dirty.”
Amir invites Shorab to live with him in America but he gave no response. After a week He begins to question Amir about what its like in America.
Sohrab talks about his fears of not being accepted by Amirs family, and is haunted by the thought of being sent back to an orphanage.
When Sohrab agreed to go to America, Amir called Soraya and told her everything.
The following day Amir takes Sohrab with him to the American embassy and attempts to file an adoption only to find out that it is nearly impossible to do so.
He is recommended to see an immigration attorney named Omar Faisal who suggest his best option is to put Sohrab in an orphanage, file a petition and wait 2 years for the paper to be approved. Sohrab is devastated after hearing this news.
Later that night, Soraya calls Amir and teller her that she is able to work some arrangements so that Sohrab can come to America.
Amir rushed to tell Sohrab the good news but unfortunately finds him unconscious in the bathroom bleeding
1919 - 1992
Afghan viewers want "more of their own contents" on television, in order to trust the media.
In areas controlled by Taliban, there is usually a local FM radio station that broadcasts religious programming.
These programs are popular, since they reflect the Afghan desire to uphold religious belief and practice.
Taliban spread and propagate rumors through Taliban-controlled media.
Ex. Rumor was spread to convince Afghans that a vaccination campaign was a Western conspiracy to sterilize Afghans.
Taliban also threaten to shut down radio stations and cell phone operator transmissions.
Limits access of Afghan's to different versions of events and communication.
Religious leaders have declared certain programs, like foreign soap operas for instance, forbidden.
They have been known to banish individuals who publicly express opinions that conflict with their own.
Public reception of the opinions of religious leaders are varied.
Afghans report that many foreign entertainment programs convey ideas and behaviors that contradict Afghan norms.
High on the list of offensive media are Indian soap operas and music videos, in which women dance, flirt, and otherwise expose themselves to men in direct violation of Afghan norms concerning modesty and gender.
Despite this, these programs have huge followings
Much Western donor-sponsored information presented to the public pertains to the country’s reconstruction and development.
Rather than engaging Afghans in deciding which kinds of development programs should be undertaken, they feel development activities are “done to them”.
Media are usually poorly educated about development and inform the public about development activities based on insufficient or inaccurate information.
Creates mistrust between public and national and international governments.
by Craig, Naohmi, Julienne
Prognosis: The likely course of a disease or ailment.
Then I remember: the day Dr. Amani gave Baba his Prognosis.
Curt: Rudely brief.
His voice impassive, not reacting at all to my curt tone.
Gurney: A wheeled stretcher used for transporting hospital patients.
... but all I have time to see is two men wearing surgical caps and a woman in green huddling over a gurney.
Impunity: Exemption from punishment or freedom from the injurious consequences of an action
... forgive that I have betrayed, lied, and sinned, with impunity only to turn on him now on my hour of need...
Benevolent: Well meaning and kindly
I pray that He is as merciful, belovent, and gracious as His book says He is….
Affable: Friendly, good-natured, or easy to talk to.
Had dimpled cheeks, buttoned eyes, and an affable, gap-toothed smile.
Peninsula: A piece of land almost surrounded by water or projecting out into a body of water.
Afghans in the bay area had planned celebrations throughout the East Bay and the peninsula.
The Twin Towers
Perhaps one of the most important media related topic within the book, and by far the most active. The calamity of 9/11 held many of the culprits centered in the middle eastern areas and rarely had any distinguishable traits between them. The media major role in this was to create "hype" many citizens looked to the bush administration for help. However, rather than reversing, or even mitigating the effects of earlier misinformation, public ignorance about Iraq has either remained steady or actually increased
"Twin mint green sofas and a big-screen TV in the far corner"
Foreign Influence continued
Islamabad and very likely Kabul included has a strong American media influence, of course the Taliban would censor the pertinent brain washing and news stations in order to have more control over the country, however as seen with Shorab and Amir in the hotel, they did have talk show and children channels, many of these were deemed frivolous and believed would have no outcome in the the Taliban's dominance over Afghanistan
Connection to Previous Sections
Sohrab is rushed to the emergency room and Amir must wait patiently outside
In desperation Amir takes his jai-namaz and starts praying, repeating the few words he remembered. "This is the real house of God, this is where those who have lost God will find him... " Amir makes a promise to God
Amir dreams about the image he saw when Sohrab was in the bloody water with the razor in his hand. He is then woken by a doctor who tells him that although Sohrab has lost a great deal of blood, he will survive.
Sohrab remained rested in the hospital for several days refusing to speak. When he finally speaks, he tells Amir he is "tired," and wishes he'd have his old life back.
Even as Amir explains there was a way for Sohrab to go to America, Sohrab is not moved and remains silent.
When Amir and Sohrab arrive in America, Amir tells general Taheri about the Taliban in Kabul and slowly get to the topic of Sohrab where he explains that the is his nephew.
Soraya tries to gain Sohrab's trust but he refuse to open up to anyone.
The twin tower fell and America had bombed Afghanistan. On Afghanistan's behalf, Soraya and Amir get involved in trying to restore hospitals in the Afghanistan's borders. General Taheri left for a post in the Afghanistan missionary
Amir stayed faithful to his promise and prayed every night after Sohrabs suicide attempt.
Soraya, Amir, and Sohrab attend a gathering of Afghanistan's at a park. Sorab stands isolated in the rain.
As the weather clears Soraya notices a kite in the sky. Amir buys a kite from a kite seller and walks to Sohrab and starts talking about Hassan.
Launching the kite as high as he can, Amir begins to run and is reminded of his youth.
He hands Sohrab the string who soon gives it back to him when they notices the green kite. Amir shows Sohrab "the old lift-and-dive," which was Hassan's favorite trick. The kite fell
Amir saw a half-smile on Sohrab's face as the people around cheered. Amir runs after the kite with the kids and tells Shorab, "for you a thousand times over."
Dynamic; grows from a selfish child to a selfless adult
The guilt from the past (Hassan's rape) is temporarily relieved when Amir rescues Sohrab from Assef
This courageous action indicates Amir's acceptance of the consequences he must face from his persisting past
Feels that he is responsible for Sohrab's attempted suicide
Amir is left with permanent scars; constantly revisits him, leaves a great impact on his life & daily encounters, deserves the physical injuries from Assef because it is supposed to be the pain he felt when he asked Hassan to throw the Pomegranate on his face as a child.
Feels that Sohrab is his responsibility because he is responsible for the chain of events that lead to Hassan's death
By caring for Sohrab, it is Rahim Khan's way for Amir to redeem himself & is "a way to be good again"
Builds a bond with Sohrab, which relieves him of guilt; Hassan's forgivenss
Persistent on engaging and regaining Sohrab's trust. Although many people gave up on him, only Amir kept trying
Khaled Hosseini represents the healing that is taking place within Shorab through the environment he is surrounded in. The Margalla Hills are a place for spiritual restoration and healing, it is a very revered area and has numerous myths and lore surrounding the outskirts of Margalla Hills, most of which pertain to healing of the mind and body. This moment within the book is without a doubt where Shorab is reaching his climax in social development, he is carrying on conversations and begins to develop character.
Feels that God should put him in hell for what he did to Assef
Fascinated by a mosque that he and Amir passed by in Islamabad
Emotionally scared from Assef and the Taliban's inflicted physical and sexual abuse
Feels dirty as a result of the rape; long baths
Wants his old life back; he has trust issues so he doesn't speak for many months
Shattered by the thought of returning to the orphanage because he doesn't want to life that kind of life.
When Amir told him that he had to temporarily send him back to the orphanage before he could adopt him, it lead to his attempted suicide
Like Amir, his past persists & he suffers from trauma; he is unable to receive proper affection from Amir because he is so sensitive from the physical abuse from the Taliban and Assef , that he cannot be touched. He is afraid of being neglected
As with all controlling governments propaganda plays a huge role, Taliban and Soviet forces alike used this to there support, Taliban referred many of there actions to the Koran as if to make there actions "Blessed and righteous". It helps brain wash the people and compelling them to be more complainant to the standards of life there in.
Understanding and supportive wife, she accepts Sohrab into the family. "But I know this much: You have to bring him home. I want you to.
Attempts to become close to Sohrab suggesting activities he can enroll in and buy him puzzles
Loyal to Amir; she is able to keep secrets
After months of Sohrab's silence, she could not bare to engage with him anymore
Amir gave money to Farid's family for their hospitality. This can be connected to when Amir slid the money under Hassans bed and framed him for theft. In conjunction with chapters 24 and 25, amir shows that has changed completely from being a selfish boy into a selfless man.
The kite was a constant re-occurrence in the book. In chapter 25 Amir approaches Sohrb with a kite and talks about how he and Hassan had entered the competition and won when they were children. As he flew the kite, memories and nostalgic feels flooded his mind. Amir cut the kite, just as he did as a child.
Amir dwelt of the past as it haunted his everyday life. In taking in Sorab under his care he redeems himself and frees his guilt from his sins towards Hassan. This was his way of asking for forgiveness, he may not have treated Hassan well but he wishes to redeem himself with his son.
The quote "For you a thousand times over" is also a re-occurring quote that Amir said to Sohrab when he went to run after the kite. In previous chapters, Hassan said that same quote when he runs for the kite and receives the trophy. When Amir asked Farid for one last favor, Farid also replied "For you a thousand times over."