1. Describe what happened to Amir and Hassan on their way to go and play by the tree.
Assef and his two friends, Wali and Kamal first threw a rock and hit Hassan in the back of the head. Amir was instantly scared since Assef and his two friends are the neighborhood bullies. Assef calls the boys fags and starts calling Hassan racial slurs and flat-nose. Amir is excluded from most of the abuse because Baba is his father. Hassan moves slightly behind Amir as if he was expecting Amir to protect him in some way, but Amir doesn’t. Assef tells the boys how the king is now gone and the president is now Daoud Khan, a friend of his father. He plans on telling the president “man to man” how he believes Hitler was a great leader, a man with a vision, and how if he had succeeded the world would be a better place. Assef tells the boys how people like Amir and Baba are a disgrace to Afghanistan by taking in people like Hassan and his father.
He asks Amir how he could be friends with someone like Hassan. Amir doesn’t defend Hassan. Hassan ends up taking out his slingshot and aiming a rock at Assef’s face even though he is scared. He asks Assef to please leave them alone even referring to him as Agha, the way a servant refers to his betters. Assef attempts to further intimidate Hassan but it doesn’t work. Hassan asks again for him to please leave them alone with the same response from Assef. Hassan then threatens Assef that if he does not leave them alone his nick name could change from “the ear eater” to “one –eyed Assef”. It works and the boys are left alone after Assef lets the boys know that he will not forget what has happened and will make them face him face to face someday.
2. Describe Assef’s character and his beliefs.
Assef is the son of one of Baba’s friends. He is from an affluent family. His mother is German and his father Afghan. Assef towered over the neighborhood kids and was blonde haired and blue eyed. He had earned a reputation for being savage. Assef was famous for using his stainless-steel brass knuckles. He walked the streets of the neighborhood with his two sidekicks as if he owned them. All three were eager to find a victim for their savagery. He was called “the ear eater” behind his back; no one was brave enough to call him that to his face. A nickname he earned due to a fight over a kite. Assef is a sociopath. He talks about Hitler as a man of vision and if he had not been stopped the world would have been a better place. He believes that Afghanistan belongs to the Pashtuns and that the Hazaras are polluting his land, that they are dirtying their pure blood. He want’s Afghanistan to be cleansed of the Hazaras in the way Hitler attempted race purification.
3. Explain what happened between Amir and Hassan one day while they were waiting to capture their falling kite.
Both Amir and Hassan were running down their kite. Amir was following Hassan through the narrow streets. Hassan a natural athlete was a bit faster than Amir. Amir thinks they are losing the kite because they are going in the opposite direction of the kite but Hassan tells him to trust him and continues running. When Amir catches up with Hassan he is sitting under a tree eating a handful of dried berries and asks him to have a seat. Amir still is questioning what Amir is doing just sitting there in the opposite direction that the kite went.
Hassan calmly tells him that the kite is coming, he just knows. When Amir continues to question Hassan he replies, “Would I ever lie to you?” Amir knows that Hassan wouldn’t but instead of appreciating that he decides to toy with him instead and asks him if he would. Hassan replies, “I’d sooner eat dirt.” Amir admits that he knows it’s cruel, I think he wants to prove to himself that his father was wrong when he says that Amir doesn’t have a mean streak. Amir questions Hassan by asking him again if he would eat dirt if he told him to. Hassan tells him yes if he asked he would eat dirt as he looked Amir right in the eye. It seems they are testing each other’s loyalty and in my opinion Hassan wins. He is always loyal to Amir regardless of the situation.
4. Describe the relationship between Amir and Hassan.
Amir and Hassan are friends even though Amir will not admit it to himself or others. They have been raised together since birth and have a connection to one another. Hassan loves Amir. He is protective and supportive of him. He encourages him in his interests in stories. Hassan seems content with his life and his place in the world. He has learned from his father to be a kind person. Amir seems to enjoy the attention Hassan pays him and even takes for granted their relationship. Amir seems to be jealous of Hassan and the type of person he is and will knowingly be cruel to him. He doesn’t like to share Baba’s attention with him nor does he like it when Hassan does things unknowingly to remind him of their differences. For example the incident while they were waiting for the kite, knowingly tests Hassan’s loyalty to him. I think Amir can tell Hassan is a better person despite being an uneducated servant who clearly has the approval and love of both Baba and Ali without having to earn it.