The Kite Runner
Novel by Khaled Hosseini
Total Pages: 336
Presentation by Alec Gardner
- Amir- The narrator and protagonist, and main antagonist in the story. A gifted fictional writer from a young age who tries to win the love of his father. Often times finds himself his own worst enemy as he must deal with forgiving himself for the horrific things he has done.
- Hassan-Amir's loyal servant and best friend. Is always willing to do anything for Amir, displaying his friendship and trust in Amir, who does not return such faithfulness.
- Aseff-A sociopath obsessed with the torture of others and Adolf Hitler's beliefs. Strong and dangerous, he proves to be one of Amir's greatest fears and threats.
- Baba-Wealthy, well-respected man in the city of Kabul. A husband turned widow after his wife died giving birth to Amir. Strong, brave, and athletic, he is very much unlike his son who is weak, cowardly, and clumsy.
- Sohrab-Hassan's orphan son who is captured by the Taliban. He is rescued by Amir and adopted by him, restoring his loyalty to Hassan and serving as the final piece to forgiving himself.
- Rahim Khan-Longtime friend of Baba's and partial father figure to Amir.
- Soraya-Amir's wife.
- Ali-Baba's adopted brother and Amir's father who is a servant of the family.
- Farid-Amir's driver in the Taliban-ridden Kabul.
- Sanuabar-Hassan's mother who ran away after his birth only to return when he was an adult before she died.
- General Taheri-Soraya's father and Amir's father-in-law.
- Jamila-Soraya's mother and Amir's mother-in-law.
Baba, Amir's father, in the movie of The Kite Runner.
Hassan and Amir
Hassan (left) and Amir (right) as children in the movie of The Kite Runner.
The sociopath and villain Assef as an adult Taliban in the movie of The Kite Runner.
Kabul, Afghanistan (Before and After)
Years later when Amir returns to his home country, he does not recognize the place. The city has been ravaged from years of war fighting the Russians, Afghan Alliance, and the Taliban. Kabul appears to create an aura of fear as everyday citizens may face the Taliban's wrath. He discovers his old house and the rest of his neighborhood in ruins, with many people living in poverty and on the streets. Afghanistan, much like Amir, has changed much over the last thirty years.
An Afghan market in Fremont.
Kabul, Afghanistan (Before)
A picture of downtown Kabul before it was ravaged by war.
Kabul, Afghanistan (After)
A picture of downtown Kabul after the war.
Man v. Self-Amir v. Amir
Man v. Man-Amir v. Aseff
The story begins as Amir flashes back to 26 years ago to where his guilt began, in Kabul, Afghanistan. Amir meets and introduces the characters and places. Everyone appears to be joyful and in good spirits. That all changes one night as the king of Afghanistan is overthrown. Days later, Amir and Hassan encounter Aseff and his friends. Aseff threatens them, and Hassan, displaying his faithfulness to Amir, stands up for him, aiming a slingshot at Aseff's eye. Aseff and his friends retreat, vowing revenge on the two for the humiliation they caused.
Things in the novel begin to pick up as the kite-fighting tournament approaches. Boys from all over Kabul come to steer kites with the upmost precision, striking and cutting the strings of other kites. As the strings of the kite are cut, the kite takes off into it's own direction, leaving the "kite runners" to chase and fight each other for it. When Amir, a magnificent kite-fighter, wins the competition, Hassan runs after the last fallen kite as a trophy for Amir. Hours pass and Amir goes searching for Hassan only to find him being beaten and raped by Aseff and his friends. Fear takes over Amir's thoughts as it causes him to run away, never mentioning the scene to Baba. This leads to Amir becoming depressed and Hassan along with Ali leaving the family, devastating Baba. Years pass and Baba and Amir escape the dangers of Afghanistan to make for the United States of America.
While in Fremont, California, Amir creates a new life not dominated by his own guilt. He marries a woman by the name of Soraya and becomes a successful fictional writer. But his happy new life is interrupted one day when he receives a call from a dying old friend named Rahim Khan who wishes to meet him in Afghanistan, telling Amir "there is a way to be good again." Amir travels to Afghanistan, where he is told shocking news that Hassan, now killed by a Taliban, was once Amir's half-brother as Baba had had an affair. Realizing this, Amir sets out for the now dangerous Kabul in search of Hassan's orphan son, Sohrab, to repay the debt to Hassan for his loyalty. While in search of Sohrab, Amir discovers that Sohrab has been captured by the Taliban. Setting up a meeting with one of them, Sohrab asks the Talib for the boy. The Talib reveals himself as Aseff; both fight each other so that Amir may have Sohrab. Amir is severely injured, and only survives thanks to Sohrab, who uses a slingshot to destroy one of Aseff's eye. The two escape with Amir badly wounded. Amir adopts Sohrab and restores loyalty with Hassan by taking care of his child, saying a powerful quote in the book, "For you a thousand times over."