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The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini Essay

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The novel The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini was a story of friends, family and culture includind history. The author’s thought was fully placed in this novel thus, providing a vivid scenario of the story. It can also be felt by the heart as Amir tried to bury his past but found himself going back to that memore and not able to forgive himself because of his foolishness. The tragic end of Hassan’s life did not actually mean of sadness but it further insists the understanding of a new life and of a new beginning.

The incorporation of both history and culture went along together forming a beautiful narrative and an admirable plot.

The Kite Runner

Chapter One

            The narrator, recalls his past he had until the winter of 1975. He mentioned that Rahim Khan, his friend called him  from Pakistan and asked him to go there and visit him. After he hung up, he went in a walk and watched a pair of kites dancing above the trees and floating in the air.

Upon looking in the kites, he thought about Hassan, Baba, Ali and Kabul.

Chapter Two

            The narrator recalls hi past with Hassan, a childhood friend with a cleft lip. He has been a loyal friend to Amir and kept of pleasing him. In this chapter, he also mentioned Hassan’s father whose name was Ali, a man whose lower facial muscles was paralyzed which prohibits him from showing emotion. Aside from being paralyzed, Ali also have a twisted right leg, a reason why he can’t walk like the other people. Hassan and Ali lives in a mud shack on a property belonged to Amir’s family.

Hassan’s mother left left a week after he was born and choose to stay with the travelling dancers. Amir came from a well-off family. His father owns an estate in Northern Kabul and Amir calls his father Baba. Since Baba is a rich guy, he has many friends and Rahim Khan was his best friend. While Hassan’s mother left after his birth, Amir’s mother died when he was born. Hassan’s family was a Hazara and a Shi’a Muslim while Amir’s family were from Pashtun and belongs to the Sunni Muslime. The two children grew up togetehr thus, Amir believes was the start of the foundation of what had happened in the winter of 1975.

Chapter Three

  • In this chapter, Baba was further describe by the author. He was describe as an admirable man in business and stature. His child Amir, wants to be close with his father but then, deep inside him, he feels that his father was somehow distant to him because his wife, Amir’s mother died of giving birth. Although they were not close, Baba was really a good man. He opened an orphanage which he designed himself and he have a restaurant and a carpet exporting business which makes him part of the richest merchants in Kabul. It was from Baba that he learned that theft is the only true sin and the rest, including murder was just a variant of theft. Baba believes that a murderer robs a wife or a child of a husband and a father.
  • When Baba was young, his father was murdered. When Baba and his bestfriend Rahim Khan was having a conversation, Amir heared them and he found out that his father can’t understand him why he can’t stand up on his own and everytime he was being teased in the streets and being bullied too, he needs to be defended by Hassan and not by himself alone. He even said that if he wasn’t able to see his birth, he would not believe that Amir was his son which Rahim Khan replied with some concer to Amir. Rahim said that the young boy simply lacks a mean streak but nevertheless, he understands him. The following day, because of jealousy, he wasn’t able to be considerate with Hassan.

Chapter Four

            Baba’s father adopted an orphan and was raised togetehr with him and this orphan was Ali. Like their fathers, Hassan and Amir were also raised together but Amir like his father does not refer to Hassan as his friend but rather as their servants. While Amir was studying, Hassan was not even given a chance to do the same thing and Amir reads to him until one time, he pretends to be reading but the truh was that he was making it up but Hassan liked his story and after he finished it, Hassan claps and said that it was the best story he was able to hear and said that he would love to hear something that goes like it again.

That night, Air wrote his first story but Baba was not interested and it was Rahim Khan who read it and even encourage Amir to continue writing. He then wished that Rahim Khan could have been his father. He also shared his story with Hassan and the latter points out some problem in the introduction which angered Amir since Hassan was illiterate and how could he comment such things.

Chapter Five

            An explosion and a gun fire cuts the conversation between Amir and Hassan. There was an on going attack and Ali hid with the boys. On that same day, Assef, a neighbor who kept on bullying Hassan because he was a Hazara stopped them. He kept on saying that their new president should be like Hitler and get rid of the Hazara. He holds a slingshot but decided to get them later and soon left. On hassan’s 12th birthday, he’s cleft lip was repaired in courtesy of Baba.

Chapter Six

            The schools of Kabul are closed during winter and the popular activity to do during those times was to fly a kite. This one is the only interest that shares both Baba and Amir. There was kite fighting in Kabul and it was greatley anticipated by the people and Baba decided to bring the kids to a man named Saifo, a shoe repairman who was considered as the greatest kite maker. The greatest kite runner turned out to be Hassan.

Chapter Seven

            It was Amir who won in the Annual kite as his Baba watches. He kept on wondering if Baba would be pleased and be proud of him or Hassan. Hassan at that time runs after the last kite which Amir cuts and plans to present it to Baba as a trophy. When he was looking for Hassan, he saw that he was cornered by Assef and his friends, since he was afraid, he hid while watching and saw that Hassan was raped by Assef. Assef insisted that Hassan was never Amir’s friend but his servant. Amir later meets Hassan and pretended not to know what happened. Hassan on the other hand gave him the kite which he later on gave to Baba who was really proud of him.

Chapter Eight

            Later, Hassan avoids every people including Amir and Ali asked Amir if he has any idea on what had happened after the kite fight but instead of answering, he snaps and commanded Ali to continue doing his work. This time, Baba showed interest for Amir and he even brought Amir to movies and in an outing, Amir was hoping that Baba and him can have a time of their but Baba invited three vans loaded with friends. Amir was not able to enjoy because of his guilt and later on resulted to being an insomaniac.

On the other hand, Hassan tried to befriend Amir but the latter kept pushing him away and asked Baba if they can get new servants which Angered his father. Soon, their relationship worsen. He then start to have a fight with Hassan but the other would not fight back and he was even the one who hurt himself for Amir which shows his loyalty for his friend. On his 13th birthday, Assef gave Amir a book of Hitler’s life while Rahim Khan gave hima blank book and told him that he can talk to him anytime.

Chapter Nine

            Amir realized that living with Hassan was impossible and he lied to Baba by telling him that Hassan stole his birthday money including the watch that was given to him. Baba talked to Hassanas father and later confronted Hassan in front of Amir. Hassan admitted the crime in order to protect Amir and right there and then, Amir realized that all along, Hassan knows that he hid and did not helped him. While Baba decided to forgive Hassan, Ali revealed that they will leave even if Baba beg then to stay and it was the first time that Baba cried.

 Chapter Ten

            In 1981, Amir and Baba left from Kabul while taking few personal items and have this idea in secret so that the Russian spies will not be aware of their plan. They will leave for Pakistan but they were stopped by the soldiers in the border and was asked to have hald hour with the young woman who was travelling with them. Baba did not allow it to happen and the young sldier pointed a gun on him but he did not care and the older officer came and stopped the young one and allowed them to pass the boarder.

They were supposed to be transferred in another vehicle but the next truck to be used was broken fo a number of weeks already. When Baba realized that the man was only making a fool out of them, he nearly killed him and they had to wait until the truck was repaired. During their stay in the basement as they wait for the truck to be repaired, they met Kamal including his father and their friend. Amir learned that Kamal like Hassan was also raped and did not speak anymore after what happened. They were trasported using fuel trucks wherein Kamal died due to gas fumes and his father commit suicide thinking that he lost the a very valuable aspect in his life.

Chapter Ten

            In Fremont, California, Baba together with Amir stayed and Baba was not happy in working in a gas station. While Amir was burying his memories in America, his Baba kept on mourning. He graduated in highschool at the age of 20 in 1983. Baba told him that he will go to college but was angered when he chose English to be his major. In this chapter, he met Soraya, daughter of General Taheri, his father’s friend.

Chapter Twelve

            Amir decided to court Soraya and she was kind enough to ask Amir to allow her to read his stories but Amir stopped courting her when Soraya’s father saw the two talking alone in the market and he threw in the grabage the story he gave to Soraya. Baba was diagnosed of a incurable lung cancer but he does not want treatment and one day, he collapsed in a flea market. When Soraya’s family visited them, the two were engaged. Soraya had a secret but was soon revealed and Amir envies her for that.

Chapter Thirteen

            Amir and Soraya got married and she moves in the house of the two gentlemen because Baba was sick. She was the one who took care of Baba and reads Amir’s stories. After a month, he died in his sleep. Amir was able to finish his first novel in 1988 and was released the following year and he remembered Hassan’s opinion in his writing ability. They were never able to have a child and considered adoption but ended up in adopting no one since General Taheri did not approve the idea.

Chapter Fourteen

            Amir told Soraya that he has to go to Pakistan because Rahim Khan was sick. Amir thought that there is an unspoken secret between the two of them and that Rahim knows what happened to Hassan and what he did to get rid of him.

Chapter Fifteen

            The protagonist went back to Pakistan to see Rahim Khan who was very ill. He told Amir the miserable life of Afghans under the ruling of the Talibans. He mentioned that he was happy when the Taliban’s defeated the Russians but he was wrong. Many people thought that the fighting would stop but it did not. Rahim told Amir that Hassan lived in Baba’s house togetehr with him in Kabul and he wanted to tell Amir what happened to Hassan.

Chapter Sixteen

            In 1986, Rahim found Hassan and he was married already and his family was expecting for a child. Ali on the hand was killed by a land mine. Hassan being the loyal friend kept on asking about Amir and had always wanted to hear a letter from him. when he found out that Baba was already death, he wept. Hassan and his new family move with Rahim Khan to become servants s othat Amir will not be offended. Hassan’s child was born and later, his mother came and they nursed her from a knife attack. Just when Hassan was finally teaching his son of kite fighting, it was prohibited by the Talibans and many Hazaras were massacred.

Chapter Seventeen

            Amir asked were he can find Hassan but Rahim gave him a picture of Hassan with his son and with it was a letter stating the hard life under the Taliban rule. Hassan and his wife was shot dead when they refused to leave the house. Rahim ask Amir to get the 10 years old son of Hassan named Sohrab and revealed that Hassan was his brother.

Chapter Eighteen

            Amir got mad upon realizing that his father was a thief ib the sense that he stole his brother and he at the same time dishonored Ali but in the long run, he did the same when he betrayed the person who would do anything for him and thought that Hassan’s life could have been better if he was with him in America. He tehn decided to go in Kabul.

Chapter Nineteen

            In entering Afghanistan, a man named Farid helped him. The latter was at first dislikes the protagonist thinking that he will only sell property. They stayed in Wahid’s house and was served with dinner and Amir found the children looking at him. He revealed that his reason why he came back to Afghanistan was mainly to get his half brother’s son.

He overheard Wahid and his wife arguing because of the food but Wahid insisted that Amir should be given even if they don’t have any because he is a guest. Amir and Farid left and gave the watch to the children but upon realizing that what they were looking at was the food, he placed money underneath the matress so that the kids can find it and they will be able to buy food. It was actually his second time to leave money but the first one was to set up Hassan. This actions only shows that he already grew up as a mature person.

Chapter Twenty

            When Amir entered Kabul, he was shocked to find several children begging. Together with Farid, they tried to find the orphanage where Sohrab was living. Amir convinced the director to help them and when he finally let him in, he broke the news that a Talib official already bought Sohrab. Farid got mad and accussed the director of making money out of the children and started to strangle the director. Amir stopped him and the director explained himself. He stated that he had no choise but to sell the kids of elese, the Taliban will take many children ad added that he had spent all his savings for the orphanage and ordered the two to go in Ghazi stadium and find an official will black sunglasses.

Chapter Twenty-One

            When Amir and Farid went to the former’s childhood home, they found out that most rich Talibans are staying there and the following day, they went to the Ghazi stadium to find Sohrab or te person who bought him. They were watching a soccer game but during half time, a man and a woman were stoned to death because of adultery and finally, they saw a man with the black eyeglasses and immediately scheduled an appointment with him.

Chapter Twenty-Two

            Amir went alone to see the official and this official was living in a very huge house. He was unkind and abused him verbally until he ordered to bring Sohrab in the room. Upon seeing Sohrab, he thought he looked like Hassan but he was dressed like a court jester with make up. The child was forced in dancing everytime a music was played. The official asked where Hassan was and when he finally took off his glass, he realized that it was Assef. In order to have Sohrab, Amir had to deal with Assef. If Amir wins, he can have Sohrab. When Assef was beating him, he lauged hard feeling that it was so comfortable and it angered Assef more. It was Sohrab who pointed the slingshot to Assef and helped Amir and Farid drove the car.

Chapter Twenty-Three

            Amir collapsed and woke up after two days in the hospital with a broken jaw and several other injuries. At that time, Rahim already left and a letter was found saying that he should forgive himself and Baba. Amir needed to get out of Kabul soon because the Talibans were looking after him and he take Sohrab with him together with the money that Rahim left.

Chapter Twenty-Four

            One night when Amir woke up, he noticed that Sohrab was gone and he found him in a mosque and the boy confessed that he does not fully remember what his parents look like and said that he was ashamed of what Assef did to him. Amir told him that they will go to America. He called his wife and told her that he wanted to adopt Sohrab but a man in the U.S. embassy said that it will be imposible to adopt Sohrab because theer is a need to present death certificates of the parents and a proof that Sohrab was his nephew. While Sohrab was staying in the orphanage, Soraya was busy arranging a humanitarian Visa. Sohrab became upset and when Amir found him in the bathroom, he was bleeding and his wrist was slit using a razor blade.

Chapter Twenty-Five

            The boy tried committing suicide instead of staying in the orphanage. He was able to survive but wished of dying and it has been a year before the boy spoke again even when the two went back to America. In a party by the Afghan-American community, the two played kite fighting and it seems like Amir and Hassan’s early years. Amir was the kite runner and they won. For the first time, Sohrab smiled at him.

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