The Kite Runner Analysis
The book “The kite runner,” written by Khaled Hosseini, is a book about a man´s quest for redemption, this man being Amir, and Afghan immigrant,
The book takes place in multiple countries, over the expand of multiple decades. From 1981 until 2001. The most important moments in the book though are set in Afghanistan. The setting is important to the story because the fact they are in Afghanistan becomes important for some things, and political conflicts that happens later on in the book, especially things when it comes to events like Russian invasion, and the Taliban regime that changes the main characters life.
The book starts in in medias res, with the main character looking back on the past, recalling something that happened when he was twelve, that quote on quote(?) “made him who he is today.” This leaves us curious of what happened to this man. It remains unclear what happened. He talks about receive a phone call from someone named Rahim khan that wants to see Amir for I reason we do not jet know. The plot moves back in time, chronological, and then end up in present time where the first chapter ended.
In the beginning of the book we are in Kabul, Afghanistan, where we met twelve-year-old Amir. Amir is the main character in the book, the protagonist and the narrator. The entire book is written from Amir´s perspective, in first person point of view, through various stages of his life. We follow him from the age of twelve, to when he is a grown man. Writing the book in his point of view makes the story, I think, more personal, and what is described feels closer and more realistic. It is his story and his memories that the book is based on, so I felt like it was natural to put us as readers inside his mind. We hear him telling us what he feels and sees. The book is Amir looking back on his past, and he takes us as readers with him.
In the beginning, when Amir is young he lives with his father, Baba, in a wealthy and lavish household in Kabul. He doesn´t have many friends, except one, Hassan, his servant, although it its clear in the book that he does not really look at Hassan as a friend, but more someone that he just hangs out with. An example from the book is when Amir and Hassan is confronted by a boy named Assef, who askes Amir “how he can call Hassan his friend.” Amir goes on to say, or not out loud, “but he´s not my friend.” He also goes on to say that “he is my servat,” and that he only played with Hassan when there weas no one else around.
The thing is that Hassan status in society is different than Amir´s. Amir is a Pashnut, and Hassan a Hazara. In the book we are informed about the social differences between those two ethnic group, and that Hazaras have been oppressed by Pashnus for ages. In the book the he said “part of the reason why [Hazaras was looked down upon] was that Pashtuns were Sunni-Muslims, while Hazaras were Shi´a” The book also says that Hazaras were called “mice-eating, flat-nosed, load carrying donkeys,” which givs us a seens of what mindset most of the Pashtuns had towards people like Hassan.
At this stage of the book I did not get the best impression of Amir. The thing with Amir is that he is not a bad person, but he treats Hassan bad at times. He switches from being a good and loving friend, that reads and helps Hassan, to suddenly treating him like trash. For instance, he reads to Hassan from his book because Hassan asked him to read for him, but when he comes over a hard word, Amir almost belittle Hassan and enjoys the fact that Hassan know less then him. An example from the book is when Amir says “my favorite part of reading to Hassan was when we came across a big word that he didn´t know. Id tease him, expose his ignorance.”
It seems it is a way of making him feel better about himself. He does not seem to have a lot of self-confidence. I didn´t exatly root for Amir in the beginning, eventhough I did feel bad for him at times, but I personally felt more sory for Hassan.
Again, Amir constantly puts Hassan beneath him, because he can and he wants to. Hassan are already. Luckly, Amir is a dynamic character that changes. At some point, when Hassan and Ali has left him and Baba he realices what a bad person he has been to him, and the guilt kicks in.
Amir is insecure in the beginning. That is why he treats Hassan that way. Amir constantly searches for his father approval, but feels like he hates him and blames him for his mothers death. He also feels like a failure of a son, because he can´t fill the expectations, because he find it hard to please Baba.
Baba is another important character in the book. He is Amir´s father. He is described as a large man with “curly brown hair” and a “black glare.” We get a negative impression of Baba in the beginning. He seems like a strict man, that is very hard on Amir at times, at least from what Amir describes. He has strong morals, and strong views on how Amir, as a boy, should act and what he should do, which is completely opposite of who Amir is. He also seems hard to pleace. There is an example where Amir want him to read a story, but he does not take him seriously. Rahim khan described Baba as “the most self centered man he knows,” bacuse he always expected suten think OF amir, that he would be tougher and braver, like Hassan. He also seems hard to please-
Baba is rich and successful man, who is highly respected in Kabul. There is also a legend of him fighting a bear. (One thing we admire Baba for is that he uses his money to help his community and for instance build an orphanage, which he is about to do in the beginning of the book. Although we get a negative impression of him, we see that he is truly a nice and caring guy. We see it in how he treats Hassan. Example
Baba is not a bad person, he is just strict, and have not been so lucky in life (father killed, losing his wife.
Hassan is in many ways the hero of the story, and the most important character in the book, next to Amir. Hassan is first described as “a Chinese doll” by Amir, from his perpective which says more about Amir, and how he sees Hassan. I felt like, from that description, that he sees him like a doll without feelings, not a real human being. What we get to know about Hassan is that he is Ali´s son. Ali is Baba´s servant, who has much of the same relationship to Baba, as Hassan has to Amir. Their like brothers, and are, even though they don´t say it out loud, each other best friend. Hassan and Ali, contrary to Amir and Baba, are poor and lives in a little mud hut on Baba´s estate and works at servant. Even though he and Amir are really different, they do have in common that they both have no mother. Hassan´s mother had fled a few days after he was born, and Amirs died
Hassan is very loyal to Amir, and very accepting to how Amir treats him badly. He would do anything for him, if he asked, even eat dirt, and he would rather rub a pomegranate in his face then throw it at Amir. He genuinely cares about Amir, and deeps down seem to know that Amir cares about him to, even though he doesn´t show it at times. He is also brave, and d stand up for Amir when he needs him to. Because he is so brave and loyal, he gets prayse from baba, which is where the jealousy of Amir come in. Baba also seems to have a soft-spot for Hassan, and treats him better then most Hazaras treat their servant. Baba alwaysways remembering his birthday, paying for his lip operation and ext.
The most important event in the book, and also the biggest turning point is when Hassan is raped by a boy named Assef. This happened after a kite-running competions that its costume in Afganistan, and something both the boys have looked foreward to. After Hassan ran after a kite he was corned by Assef and his friends and raped while Amir watches. Amir does not do anything to help Hassan. He pretends like he didn´t see it. This happened in the alley Amir refers to in the very beginning, when I talk about the moment that made him who he is. This is important because the entire book it is clear that the main character has a huge guilt that follows him throughout the book, that he barely can deal with. This is an obvious inner conflict Amir faces throughout the book, with himself, and he constantly faces those inner demons, and is filled with guilt and regrets.
Assef, the boy that raped Hassan, is another important character in the book, because he is the villain, a static character that I truly disliked through the entire book. He is described as half German, with blue eyes, which makes him different himself from other Afghan-people. Maybe that is why he has such a hate for Hazara people? Assef´s views and attitude toward Pashtuns is similar to people like Hitler. Is it a coincidence that the author made him half German? When we think we are done with Assef he returns at the very end.
Another important event in the book, is when Baba and Amir flee from Afghanistan to America. This event marks a change Amir and Baba´s life, when they have to leave everything they know.
In the middle of the book, we are in the late 70s, and the Russians invade Afghanistan, and Baba and Amir flees. They go through quite a trouble trying to cross the border over to Pakistan. We get to see what a though and caring character Baba is, in practice. He risks his life when a Russian soldier tries to rape a woman that is fleeing herself. Baba and Amir manage to cross safely, and fly over to America, which is the start of Amir´s story in America. He now lives in Fremont, California, and we are introduced to the close afghan community in America, that all are trying to find their place in the new community. Amir and Baba are now poorer and are part of another social status then they were when they lived in Afghanistan. Baba doesn´t adapt well to his new life, but both him and Amir finds a part of their home at the Afghan fleamarket.
The last part over the book Amir goes back to Afghanistan after getting a letter from Rahim Khan, and we are back at the very beginning of the book. Amir goes back to find an Afghanistan in quote on quote, “rubble and beggers.” He also finds a sick Rahim Khan that tells him about what happened to Hassan, that he had found him married and with a child, a son named Sohrab. Rahim goes on to tell him that Hassan was killed by the Taliban, him and his wife, and that his son is at a orphanage, and Amir has to go and get them.
The books climax is when Amir has to go and try to find Sohrab.
He goes back to Kabul, and realices that the Afganistan he knew id gone.
The Kite Runner is a book that have many themes. It is coming-of-age story when we follow Amir from a young age, and we see him change and grow up, until is an adult man. It is also a book about change, and adapting to change, like when Amir and Baba moved to America. We also see change and adapting when Amir return to “the new” Afghanistan, when he has to behave and dress a new way in order to fit in.
The book is also mainly about redemption, and Amir´s quest to redeem himself because of the tremendous guilt he felt regarding Hassan, and not standing up for him when I he needed him the most. But, is not only Amir that are trying to repay for what he did, but also Baba. He tries to repaid what he did, which also tied to guilt. This is another turning point in the book because here it is revealed that Hassan really is Amir´s half-brother.
There is a parallel between Amir and Hassan, and Baba and Ali. Baba is similar to Amir in the way that he betrayed his friend, that he looks at as a brother, Ali, when he slept with his wife. Amir betrayed Hassan when he didn´t help him or stand up for him when he got raped. Also, both Amir and Baba feel a tremendous guilt, and uses their entire life trying to redeem themselves and making up for it.
I also think that The book shows a lot of love and tension between father and son. Amir is constantly trying to win Baba´s love. What Amir does not know, and we find out in the last part of the book, is that Hassan is actually Baba´s son. It also shows Baba and him trying to have a relationship with Hassan, who is also his son, without actually saying anything.
Hassan´s rape can be seen as a literary device, as an allegory for what happened to Afghanistan when Russia invaded. Amir in this case represents the international community who stood by and watched what happened. We watched Russia “rape” Afghanistan.
(stop and think)
Hosseini uses a lot of repetition in the book. Phrases like “there is a way to be good again,” and “for you a thousand times over” are repeated a few times throughout the book. They are quotes of great importants. Repeating them helps emphasizing and really makes us as readers remember the quote. “There is a way to be good again” is an important quote because it is what motivates and brings hope to the main character that is on a quest to redeem himself.
Also, in one paragraph in the book the word “screaming” is repeated , when it is a quite intense moment in the book. Hosseini repeats surten word at surten moments, like when Amir is in trouble to really
There is also a lot of imagery in the book like that gives a picture of, for intence, pain, like “it felt like chest explode,”and ” my throat would rip” ext.
One thing that I also noticed is that there are very little female characters in the book. Maybe this Is a reflection on how women are view in Afghanistan? Male is dominant in their culture. The first female character does not appear until Amir arrives to America. This is also something to think about. Did the author do this intentionally.
Symbol: Hassan is THE kite runner, the book its literally named after him.
(stop and think)
Sohrab -his name.
I did like the book, even though it was slow in some places, and fast paced in others. All the bigger moments in the book happened in the very beginning, or at the very end. The book did move me because of the strong story about the unbreakable friendship of Amir and Hassan, and forgiveness. The book is both tragic and honest, and a little graphic at some times for my taste, so I was uncomfortable reading at some points in the book. On the other end, I keep asking myself would the book be that good if it weren´t set in Afganistan? If the plot was set another place it would probably not be a as successful book.
This book made me sad, angry and happy which I think are the criteria for a good book, that it makes you feel all the emotions. It also introduced me to an Afghanistan that I did not know, and it was strange to realise how familiar and normal the place seemed like. The only Afghanistan that I know are the one that people are fleeing from, and at war. This book shows that there truly is a way redeem our self if we made a mistake, don´t take people close to you for granted, and if you do make such a mistake, there is a way «to be good again.»
In the book “The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini we are introduced to the world of Amir, who grew up in Afghanistan
This book shows that there truly is a way «to be good again. »