The Kite Runner
AP English 12 Period 1
1. Why do you think Baba refuses to refer to Ali as his friend? Is it the divide between servant and master?
2. Does a character like Assef even choose between good and evil? Could Assef be innocent in ways Amir is not?
3. Why doesn't Amir admire Rahim Khan as much as he admires his father? What does this tell us about admiration?
New historicism criticism insists that to understand a literary piece, readers need to understand the author's biography and social background. Every human action is actually the effect of a network of material practices. ...view middle of the document...
One of the wealthiest men in Kabul, Baba loved throwing parties and hosting friends in his study the ‘smoking room.’ During his days in Kabul, he was a philanthropist, building an orphanage which he designs and finances himself. His relationship with Rahim Khan, his business partner and close friend, seemed to be built on respect and loyalty as well as understanding. However, the one relationship that was so delicate and very important to note is the one between him and his son Amir. At the beginning of the novel, Baba seemed to loath Amir and pay him no attention. For example, when Baba and Amir went on a picnic on the banks of the lake, Amir told Baba, “I think I have saratan” (Hosseini 14), Baba pretends that nothing has been said and tells Amir to go fetch his own soda. His ignorance could be interpreted in such a way that he thinks it is just a childish way to get a fathers attention. However, at least a loving father would scold his son for saying such a despicable thought, but he does not which gives us a feeling that Baba does not care much about Amir. Another thing to note about Baba is his aloofness. He rarely talks to Amir, as Amir mentions, “It wasn’t often Baba talked to me,” (Hosseini 17) and all that Amir knows about his father is through Rahim Khan or other people, “I was always learning things about Baba from other people” (Hosseini 18), which shows how distant his relationship with Amir is. Baba seems to be unable to accept the fact that Amir is different than him, just as he can’t accede that his son does not share the same interests instead he has buried himself in books and poetry, a fact that was always hard for Baba to live with as he told Rahim Khan “…he’s always buried in those books or shuffling around the house like he’s lost in some dream” (Hosseini 21) and he continues saying “I wasn’t like that” (Hosseini 21), he is hugely disappointed in the way his son turned out to be. The best example to show how he is frustrated by how his son turned out to be is when Amir went to Baba’s smoking room to show him his newly written story but instead “Baba nodded and gave a thin smile that conveyed little more than feigned interest” (Hosseini 29) and is relieved when Rahim Khan offered to read it instead as Baba exclaimed “Yes, give it to Kaka Rahim….” (Hosseini 30). This incident clearly conveys how Baba feels towards Amir, he feels ashamed of his own flesh and rather not proud. He even questioned the veracity of Amir being his son if he “…hadn’t seen the doctor pull him out of my wife with my own eyes, I’d never believe he’s my son“(Hosseini 22) and upon hearing such a thing, it gave Amir a feeling of depression and as if he is not wanted and is shunned by his father. Also, Amir always had this thought that Baba hates him because he has killed his wife and this was after Baba gave his ironic speech about theft being the only sin and everything is a variation of it. He started his talk by saying “You’ll never learn anything of...