The Kite Runner is the first novel by Afghan-American author Khaled Hosseini. Published in 2003 by Riverhead Books, it tells the story of Amir a young boy from the Wazir Akbar Khan district of Kabul. The story is set against a backdrop of tumultuous events, from the fall of Afghanistan's monarchy through the Soviet invasion, the exodus of refugees to Pakistan and the United States, and the rise of the Taliban regime.
Khaled Hosseini has commented that he considers The Kite Runner to be a father-son relationship story, emphasizing the familial aspects of the narrative, an element that he continued to use in his later works. Themes of guilt and redemption feature prominently in the novel, with a pivotal scene depicting an act of sexual assault inflicted upon Amir's friend Hassan, which Amir fails to prevent, and which ends their friendship. The latter half of the book centers on Amir's attempts to atone for this transgression by rescuing Hassan's son two decades later.
|The Kite Runner Summary|
The Kite Runner Summary
The Kite Runner is the story of Amir, a Sunni Muslim, who struggles to find his place in the world because of the aftereffects and fallout from a series of traumatic childhood events. An adult Amir opens the novel in the present-day United States with a vague reference to one of these events, and then the novel flashes back to Amir's childhood in Afghanistan. In addition to typical childhood experiences, Amir struggles with forging a closer relationship with his father, Baba; with determining the exact nature of his relationship with Hassan, his Shi'a Muslim servant; and eventually with finding a way to atone for pre-adolescent decisions that have lasting repercussions. Along the way, readers are able to experience growing up in Afghanistan in a single-parent home, a situation that bears remarkable similarities to many contemporary households.
One of the biggest struggles for Amir is learning to navigate the complex socioeconomic culture he faces, growing up in Afghanistan as a member of the privileged class yet not feeling like a privileged member of his own family. Hassan and his father, Ali, are servants, yet at times, Amir's relationship with them is more like that of family members. And Amir's father, Baba, who does not consistently adhere to the tenets of his culture, confuses rather than clarifies things for young Amir. Many of the ruling-class elite in Afghanistan view the world as black and white, yet Amir identifies many shades of gray.
In addition to the issues affecting his personal life, Amir must also contend with the instability of the Afghan political system in the 1970s. During a crucial episode, which takes place during an important kite flying tournament, Amir decides not to act — he decides not to confront bullies and aggressors when he has the chance — and this conscious choice of inaction sets off a chain reaction that leads to guilt, lies, and betrayals. Eventually, because of the changing political climate, Amir and his father are forced to flee Afghanistan. Amir views coming to America as an opportunity to leave his past behind.
Although Amir and Baba toil to create a new life for themselves in the United States, the past is unable to stay buried. When it rears its ugly head, Amir is forced to return to his homeland to face the demons and decisions of his youth, with only a slim hope to make amends.
Ultimately, The Kite Runner is a novel about relationships — specifically the relationships between Amir and Hassan, Baba, Rahim Khan, Soraya, and Sohrab — and how the complex relationships in our lives overlap and connect to make us the people we are.
|The Kite Runner Synopsis|
Questions about The Kite Runner Plot
What happens in the book The Kite Runner?
The Kite Runner easily divides into three main sections: Amir's childhood in Kabul; Amir and Baba's years in Fremont, California; and, finally, Amir's return to Kabul. The plot covers multiple betrayals and offers the possibility of redemption – though by no means is redemption assured.
What is the main point of The Kite Runner?
The main message of The Kite Runner is one of redemption amidst generational trauma. War, abuse, and prejudice combine to deeply traumatize children like Amir and Hassan, which continues to escalate as shown in the abuse of Hassan's son Sohrab.
Does The Kite Runner end happy?
The Kite Runner's ending offers the first glimmer of hope for Amir and Sohrab. While at a gathering of Afghans at an American park, Sohrab (who hasn't spoken in months) helps Amir kite-fight, and even smiles when Amir offers to run the kite they defeated.
Is kite Runner true story?
No, The Kite Runner is not a true story. However, even though the characters in the story are fictional, many of the larger events depicted in the book are real, such as the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
What happens at the end of The Kite Runner?
At the end of the story, kites show the redemption of Amir's actions. He teaches Sohrab, Hassan's son, all about kite flying and fighting. In the end, Amir becomes the kite runner, running after the kite Sohrab cuts down. The kite becomes symbolic of Amir's new relationship with Sohrab and connection to his past.
Is kite Runner a sad story?
The unforgettable, heartbreaking story of the unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father's servant, The Kite Runner is a beautifully crafted novel set in a country that is in the process of being destroyed.
What is the last sentence of The Kite Runner?
The final line of The Kite Runner is "I ran." The final chapter of The Kite Runner addresses the new guilt that Amir has for what he has done. But, in contrast to his younger self, Amir now turns to both God and his own inner strength to help Sohrab.
Who is guilty in The Kite Runner?
Amir's personal guilt comes from his failure to become a good friend, his familial guilt comes from his burden to bear the sin of the family, especially his father, and his societal guilt comes from his burden to bear the injustice that happened in the history of his tribe.
What are the themes of The Kite Runner?
The Search For Redemption. Amir's quest to redeem himself makes up the heart of the novel.
The Love and Tension Between Fathers and Sons.
The Intersection of Political Events and Private Lives.
The Persistence of the Past.
Racism and Ethnicity.
Who is the real hero in The Kite Runner?
Amir is the protagonist of The Kite Runner. He is also the novel's narrator, which means that he shares his transition from selfish child to self-sacrificing adult from his own perspective. Amir's internal conflict regarding his failure to defend Hassan as a child guides the entire novel.
Why is kite Runner banned?
The novel The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini appeared in the top ten of the American Library Association's (ALA) list of frequently challenged books in 2008. The main concerns about using the novel in high schools included its sexually explicit content, offensive language, and age inappropriateness.
What bad thing happens in The Kite Runner?
The inner turmoil Amir wrestles with after betraying Hassan drives the entire plot of The Kite Runner. This struggle is a conflict between the kind of man that Amir believes he is, and the kind of man that Baba is. By allowing Hassan's rape, Amir fails Hassan profoundly and fundamentally.
What is the guilt at the end of kite Runner?
Behind the celebration of Amir's victory in the kite tournament, there is a guilt creeping in his heart from his decision in sacrificing Hassan to win his father's attention. Amir sacrifices Hassan by using Hassan's ability to cover his incapability in the kite tournament.
What types of Muslims are in The Kite Runner?
The majority of people in Afghanistan practice Sunni Islam. Sunni is one of the two major denominations of Islam; Shi'a is the other one. In The Kite Runner you see many different ways of practicing Islam. In the countryside, many people practice a very severe form of Sunni Islam.
What is Hassan's final sacrifice for Amir?
Amir was token back with Hassan's reply as Amir knew he was the one who planted the watch in Hassan's possession. Amir realized that this was Hassan's last sacrifice for him, as if Hassan had said no, Baba would have believed him and put the blame on Hassan.
Is there love in The Kite Runner?
Amir and Soraya illustrate romantic love, and their relationship plays an important part in Amir's character development. Hassan's character comes closest to demonstrating selfless love towards all others, and the other characters are able to learn from his example.
Why is kite Runner so good?
The Kite Runner paints a realistic portrait of a country about which most readers probably know very little and enables readers to separate the people of a country from its leaders (the Taliban) and/or groups (terrorists) associated with it.
Who is the sociopath in The Kite Runner?
Amir describes Assef as a 'sociopath'. This means he has no regard for the rights or feelings of others or for laws, and is happy to violate those rights and laws without regard to the consequences.
What is the trauma in The Kite Runner?
Amir experiences neglect from his father, bullying, witnessing sexual abuse of a close friend, separation from his mother, separation from Hassan, the changes of moving to the US, and living in an unstable environment. . His symptoms are insomnia, nightmares, guilt, shame, self-blame, and grief.
Did Hassan get rapped?
When Hassan refuses to hand over the kite he ran for Amir, Assef pins Hassan to the ground and rapes him. While Hassan's rape is in many ways the center of the entire novel, the word “rape” appears only once.
Why did Hassan stop smiling?
Baba's present to Hassan is plastic surgery. The doctor is going to fix Hassan's cleft lip, a gift designed to last forever. After the successful surgery, Hassan looks in the mirror and smiles. By the following winter, the winter of 1975, when there was nothing but a faint scar left, Hassan ceases to smile.
What did Amir do to Hassan?
Amir suddenly picks up a pomegranate and asks Hassan what he would do if he threw it at him. Hassan says nothing, and Amir starts pelting him with pomegranates. He yells at Hassan to hit him back, but Hassan won't. Finally Hassan crushes a pomegranate against his own forehead and asks if Amir is satisfied.