April 15, 2010
The Kite Runner
Can you imagine yourself leaving your country in a hurry and start all over again
in a new world? The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini is a great example for an end and
also a new beginning in a different country. A complete novel with many themes like
war, loyalty, forgiveness, friendship, redemption, sacrifice, race, class, fear and a
relationship between dad and a son. This book also provides so many examples of
Afghan lifestyle and culture. The Kite Runner is a novel that should be read, discussed
and enjoyed by any one who is willing to change and do things right. However, this is a
very complex novel that could be evaluated in three main steps in order to get a better
understanding of it. First, a detailed and long summary, furthermore, a character analysis
about the protagonist of this novel and finally a very thought full personal connection.
This great novel opens in the year 2001 with Amir describing his life in
Afghanistan in 1975 with Hassan. Amir’s father is Baba and he loves both boys Amir and
Hassan. However, for Amir is not enough because he feels that his dad loves Hassan
more than him. Amir is scared of his father because Baba blames him for his mother’s
death during the childbirth of Amir. Amir also has another friend named Rahim and
Rahim understands Amir better. One day, Amir is about to get beat up by this kid named
Assef, but Hassan stands up for him and saves Amir from the fight. Years later, Amir
wins the local tournament and Baba feels great for him. On the same day, Hassan goes
and runs the last kite. Hassan runs into Assef and Assef starts to beat him up. Amir goes
to look for Hassan and he sees him beating up Hassan. Amir is hiding and he doesn’t help
Hassan because he is so scared. Assef rapes Hassan and Amir runs away.
One day latter, Amir sees Hassan and pretends that he didn’t see anything. Hassan
gives the trophy to Amir and Amir gives the trophy to his dad. Hassan spends a lot of
time in bed while Amir is telling his dad if he never thought about getting new servants.
Baba gets really mad with Amir and Amir starts to get mad at Hassan. Amir tries to fight
against Hassan and Hassan hits himself because he has a lot of loyalty to Amir. Later,
Amir starts to realize that he cannot live with Hassan any more and he tells Baba that
Hassan is a thief. Ali and Hassan leave and Baba cries. In 1981, Baba and Amir run away
form Kabul and go to Pakistan because the Russian soldiers are taking over. Amir and
Baba decide to come to Fremont, California right after they got to Pakistan.
Baba starts working in a gas station. Amir graduates out of high school and then
they start selling use stuff at a flea market. Amir meets Soraya and he marries her. Baba
dies because he had lung cancer. Amir gets a call from Rahim saying that he is very sick.
Rahim knows that Hassan and Amir are brothers and he is willing to tell that secret to
Amir. Amir decides to go to Pakistan and visit him. Soon, Rahim finds out that Ali had
been killed in a land mine. He also finds out that Hassan is married and that he also has a
kid named Sohrab. Rahim also finds out that Hassan and his wife were killed in the street
by some officials. Sohrab is kidnap by Assef and Amir decides to rescue him. Amir and
Assef fight for Sohrab and Sohrab hits Assef in the eye with his slingshot because he is
beating up Amir. Amir recues Sohrab and he takes him to America. There, Sohrab tries to
commit suicide because he is about to go to an orphanage since Amir can’t adopt him
right away. Everything gets solved, Amir buys a kite for Sohrab and Amir becomes a
really complex character that needs to be analyzed.
Amir is the major character and protagonist of this novel. He is the protagonist of
this novel because the novel is about his life. He is also the major character because most
of the conflicts happen around him. “There is a way to be good again” (Hosseini pg 2)
Basically, Amir is living from this quote in the entire book because he is trying to find a
way to be good. For this reason, Amir becomes is a really dynamic character. At the
beginning of the book Amir didn’t care about anyone since he thought that he was the
only son. However, Amir’s attitude and behavior changed dramatically because of his
father’s dead. “Listening to them, I realized how much of who I was, what I was, had
been defined by Baba and the marks he had left on people’s lives. My whole life, I had
been “Baba’s son”. Now he was gone. Baba couldn’t show me the way anymore; I’d
have to find it on my own” (Hosseini, pg 174) At this point Amir changes completely. He
realizes that he hasn’t been a good person and that his dad was a good person. Basically,
Amir has an internal conflict because he is trying to find a way to clear his guilty
Amir has a guilty conscience because of his character trait which is
condescending. Amir is very condescending because at one time he felt superior from
Hassan “let’s see, ‘imbecile’. It means smart, intelligent. I’ll use it in a sentence for you.
‘When it comes to words, Hassan is an imbecile” (Hosseini, pg 29). For that reason,
Amir’s motivation is that one day he will able to clear his bad conscience “I remember
the precise moment, crouching behind a crumbling mud wall, peeking into the ally near a
frozen creek. That was a long time ago, but it’s wrong what they say about the past, I’ve
learned, about how you can bury it. Because the past claws its way out” (Hosseini, pg 1).
Unfortunately, he realizes that he can’t change the past, only the future.
When people read a book they find out that they have many different types of
personal connections. Amir’s main conflict was a guilty conscience. One day I had a
really bad guilty conscience just like Amir. When I a freshmen, I stole a USB form
another kid. I took it home, but when I was in my house I started to have a really bad
conscience. What I had done was wrong and I couldn’t even sleep. I felt really guilty that
I decided to return back the USB. So on the next day I give back the USB and when the
kid said “thanks” my guilty conscience disappeared. I felt really cool and I felt better
Khaled Hosseini gave a good explanation on how life in Afghanistan has been
and how it feels to have a guilty conscience. It is really hard to have a good conscience
and as we live we should realize that it’s better to treat everyone good because if you
don’t then your conscience won’t let you live your life as you wish.
Hosseini , Khaled . The Kite Runner. New York: Penguin Group, 2003. Print.