February 19, 2009
Fiction Analysis of The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
A. Time period – 1970s to early 2000s
B. Place – Kabul, Afghanistan and San Francisco, California
C. Time Sequence – The story Is told in order. Around 30 years passes. However, the story is told as one giant flashback.
D. Standards of Behavior – Hazaras are considered lower than Pashtuns; one should be loyal to friends and family; one is expected to bring honor to one’s family; men are above women; one should put guests’ needs before one’s own
Amir – The story’s narrator and protagonist. He is an Afghan man who had a privileged childhood in ...view middle of the document...
Ali – Hassan’s father. Ali is a Hazara who grew up alongside Baba just as Hassan did alongside Amir. Ali has a crippled leg and paralysis in his lower facial muscles and the neighborhood children ridicule him. Ali is killed by a land mine when Hassan is already grown.
Assef – A sociopath who worships Hitler. As a child, he is the neighborhood bully who rapes Hassan. As an adult, he is a Taliban official who delights in killing people. He mentally, physically, and sexually abuses Sohrab until Amir comes to rescue him. After he beats Amir nearly to death, Assef loses an eye to Sohrab’s slingshot.
Soraya – Amir’s wife. She shamed her family as a young women by running off with a man. She takes care of Baba when he is ill and eagerly accepts Sohrab into her family.
Rahim Khan – Baba’s closest friend and Amir and Hassan’s confidant. He has a remarkable way of knowing what people are thinking and how to speak to them. He is one of the few people who knows Hassan’s real identity and about his rape, and it is he who summons Amir back to Afghanistan to atone for his and Baba’s sins.
Sohrab – Hassan’s son. After his parents are murdered, he stays in an orphanage In Karteh-Seh. Then he is enslaved by Assef until Amir rescues him. Sohrab tries to commit suicide after Amir tells him he may have to stay in an orphanage again. Eventually, Amir and Soraya bring him to America and adopt him.
Amir versus Hassan: Amir is jealous of the affection his father shows for Hassan. He, on the other hand, must always prove himself worthy of being his father’s son. In addition, after the day of the famous kite flying contest when Amir fails Hassan in a most unforgivable way, tension grows between the two boys, a tension that haunts Amir day in and day out.
Amir versus Baba: Amir wants desperately to be thought well of by his towering father, who is the sort of man brave enough to risk being shot by a Russian soldier in order to defend a young woman from rape. Although Amir receives affection from his father, it will never be the sort that is between a true father and son.
Hassan versus Assef: Hassan is bullied by Assef because he is a Hazara. Hassan is raped by Assef.
Hassan and Ali versus society: Hassan and his father are constantly teased by the older children of the neighborhood because of their ethnicity, religious beliefs, and lower status.
Amir versus himself: Day in and day out Amir is haunted by the unforgivable way he failed to stick up for Hassan on the day of the famous kite flying contest. At the mention of Hassan’s name alone, Amir is overcome with guilt and grief.
Amir versus Assef: When they were children, Assef would continuously bully Amir and Hassan. Later, when they are grown, Assef is part of the Taliban and Amir is on a journey to save Sohrab. However, Amir finds out Assef has enslaved Sohrab. Assef bargains with Amir, saying he will let Sohrab run free if he, Amir, can defeat him in a hand-to-hand combat....