The Kite Runner is a novel by Khaled Hosseini. Published in 2003 by Riverhead Books, it is Hosseini’s first novel, and was adapted into a film of the same name in 2007. The Kite Runner tells the story of Amir, a young boy from the Wazir Akbar Khan district of Kabul, whose closest friend is Hassan, his father’s young Hazara servant. The story is set against a backdrop of turbulent events, from the fall of Afghanistan’s monarchy through the Soviet military intervention, the exodus of refugees to Pakistan and the United States, and the rise of the Taliban regime. KHALED HOSSEINI- BIOGRAPHY:
Khaled Hosseini was born on March 4, 1965. He is the oldest of five children. His father worked for the Afghan Foreign Consul and his mother taught Farsi and history at a girls’ high school in Kabul. Kabul, Afghanistan is the boyhood home of Khaled Hosseini, in the early 1970s, Khaled’s family moved to Tehran, Iran when his father was assigned to a diplomatic post at the Afghan Embassy in Iran. They returned home to Kabul in 1973. In 1976 his family moved to Paris, France, where his father was a diplomat at the Afghan Embassy. They were to return home to Afghanistan in 1980, when the Russians invaded his country. His father was recalled home after the invasion, but decided to ask for political asylum in the United States and received it.
As a result, Hosseini ended up in San Jose, California. They struggled to make ends meet for a while, as they had lost all of their property in Afghanistan and had to start over. His father worked many jobs and they were able to get back on their feet. Khaled graduated from high school in 1984. He then graduated from Santa Clara University with a bachelor’s degree in Biology in 1988. He attended medical school at the UC San Diego School of Medicine, specializing in internal medicine. He received his medical degree in 1993 and completed his residency training at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. Since 1996 he has practiced as a physician and is now married with a son and a daughter, Haris and Farah. They now live in northern California. He began working on the “The Kite Runner” in 2001 and finished it in 2002. He found a literary agent and The Kite Runner was published in 2003. The Kite Runner was his first novel. “A Thousand Splendid Suns “(2007) is his second novel.
I selected this novel due to its subject and theme, war, loyalty, forgiveness, friendship, redemption, sacrifice, race, class, fear and the relationships between father and son. With race, class, and gender, the inhumanity inflicted by one man unto another based on one’s race. The Kite Runner is a novel to be read, discussed, and enjoyed by anyone who has wanted a chance to make things right again. It also provides a sense of traditional Afghan lifestyle, and culture. However, the four main themes shown to us by the author are strength of character, sin and redemption, relationship between parent and child, as well as Loyalty and friendship between two people.
Amir main character and narrator
Best friend of Hassan, son of Baba, husband of Soraya
Adoptive father of Sohrab
Hassan Best friend and servant of Amir
Sohrab’s real father
Baba Father of Amir (and Hassan)
Has a strained relationship with his son, Amir
Ali Servant of Baba, supposed father of Hassan
Leg crippled from Polio
Rahim Khan Business associate and close friend of Baba
Has a close relationship with Amir
Assef Neighborhood bully who hates Hassan because he is of Hazara descent. Future leader of Taliban
Takes Sohrab from orphanage in Kabul
Soraya Afghan living in California
Wife of Amir
Sohrab Orphan son of Hassan
Enslaved and abused by Assef
Rescued and adopted by Amir
Amir recalls an event that happened twenty-six years ago, when he was still a boy in Afghanistan, and says that that made him who he is. Before the event, he lives in a nice home in Kabul, Afghanistan, with Baba, his father. They have two servants, Ali and his son, Hassan, who are Hazaras, an ethnic minority. Baba’s close friend, Rahim Khan, is also around often. When Afghanistan’s king is overthrown, things begin to change. One day, Amir and Hassan are playing when they run into three boys, Assef, Wali, and Kamal. Assef threatens to beat up Amir for hanging around with a Hazara, but Hassan uses his slingshot to stop Assef. The story skips to winter, when the kite-fighting tournament occurs. Boys cover their kite strings in glass and battle to see who can sever the string of the opposing kite. When a kite loses, boys chase and retrieve it, called kite running. When Amir wins the tournament, Hassan sets off to run the losing kite. Amir looks for him and finds Hassan trapped at the end of a pathway. Wali, Kamal and Assef misbehaved with him. Amir runs away, and when Hassan appears with the kite, Amir pretends he doesn’t know what happened.
Afterward, Amir and Hassan drift apart. Amir, who feels guilty, decides either he or Hassan must leave. He stuffs money and a watch under Hassan’s pillow and tells Baba that Hassan stole it. When Baba confronts them, Hassan admits to it, though he didn’t do it. Shortly after, Ali and Hassan move away. The story jumps to March 1981. Baba and Amir are in the back of a truck as they escape from Kabul, which was invaded by the Soviets and has become a war-zone. After a hellish journey, they make it to Pakistan. Two years later, Baba and Amir live in Fremont, California. While Baba works at a gas station, Amir finishes high school and goes to college. Baba and Amir sell things at a flea market on Sundays, and Baba sees an old friend, General Taheri. Amir notices General Taheri’s daughter, Soraya. When Amir finally speaks to her, General Taheri catches him and tells him there is a proper way to do things. Not long after, Baba is diagnosed with lung cancer. Amir asks Baba if he will get General Taheri’s consent for Amir to marry Soraya. General Taheri accepts the proposal.
They hold the wedding quickly because of Baba’s health, and Baba dies a month later. Amir and Soraya try unsuccessfully to have a baby while Amir works on his writing career. Amir gets a call from Rahim Khan. Rahim Khan is sick and wants Amir to see him in Pakistan. Amir meets him a week later, and Rahim Khan tells Amir about the devastation in Kabul. He says things only got worse after the Soviets were forced out. Now the Taliban rule by violence. He has a favor to ask of Amir, but first he needs to tell him about Hassan. When Baba and Amir left Afghanistan, Rahim Khan watched their house. Out of loneliness and because he was getting older, he decided to find Hassan. He convinced Hassan and Hassan’s wife, Farzana, to come back to Kabul with him. Farzana and Hassan eventually had a little boy, Sohrab. A few years later Rahim Khan went to Pakistan for medical treatment, but he received a call from a neighbor in Kabul. The Taliban went to Baba’s house and shot Hassan and Farzana and sent Sohrab to an orphanage.
Rahim Khan wants Amir to go to Kabul and bring Sohrab back to Pakistan, where a couple lives that will take care of him. He tells Amir that Baba was Hassan’s father, and Amir agrees to do it. In Afghanistan, Amir finds the orphanage where Sohrab is supposed to be, but he is not there. The orphanage director says a Taliban official took Sohrab a month earlier. If Amir wants to find the official, he will be at the soccer stadium during the game the next day. Amir goes to the game, and at half-time through one of the Taliban guards. Amir arranged a meeting with the official. When they meet, Amir tells the official he is looking for a boy, Sohrab, and the official tells the guards to bring the boy in. The official says something Amir recognizes. And suddenly he realizes the official is Assef. Assef says he wants to settle some unfinished business. He beats Amir with brass knuckles, breaking Amir’s ribs and splitting his lip.
Sohrab threatens Assef with his slingshot, and when Assef lunges at him, Sohrab shoots him in the eye, allowing Amir and Sohrab to escape. As Amir recovers in the hospital, he finds out there never was a couple that could care for Sohrab. Amir asks Sohrab to live with him in the U.S., and Sohrab accepts. The adoption officials tell Amir that adopting Sohrab will be impossible since he can’t prove Sohrab’s parents are dead, and Amir tells Sohrab he may have to go back to an orphanage. Amir and Soraya figure out a way to get Sohrab to the U.S., but before they can tell Sohrab, Sohrab tries to kill himself. He lives, but he stops speaking entirely. Even after they bring Sohrab to California, Sohrab remains withdrawn. One day, they go to a park with other Afghans. People are flying kites. Amir buys one and gets Sohrab to fly it with him. They spot another kite and battle it. Using one of Hassan’s favorite tricks that were “Lift and Dive”, they win. Sohrab smiles, and as the losing kite flies loose, Amir Sets off to run it for Sohrab.
REASON: He is sincere with Amir and loyal as a true friend because at the time of need he helped or saved Amir from Assef and his friends. LEAST FAVOURITE CHARACTER
REASON: He is not sincere with Hassan and did not help him to escape from Assef and his friends and also wrongly charged of steeling the money and watch. INSPIRATION:
Amir was inspired by the Rahim Khan to change his attitude and Rahim Khan play a vital role in this novel to Amir and he pursued him to bring the Hassan’s son back to Pakistan. The other inspirations are for me those words which Amir at the end of the novel said to Sohrab that “For you, thousand times over”. It means he want to get rid of his guilt. THINGS YOU WANT TO CHANGE:
The attitude of Amir which was not good for his friend and by the end of the novel it was changed through Rahim Khan’s inspiration and Hassan should be alive at the end. ENDING ANALYSIS:
I am not satisfied with this conclusion because Hassan is no longer alive, and Amir is never able to make amends to his friend while he is alive. When the two are young Amir commits the sin of watching his friend Hassan being misbehaved by Assef and his friends in the pathway and he does not do anything to stop it. If we take a glance on the other aspects then we can see that Amir find a way to be good again by finding ad adopting Hassan’s son Sohrab.