Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Kite Runner

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini tells the story of a young Afghan boy named Amir. Amir has a very rich and powerful father named Baba, and two servants, Hassan and his father Ali. Hassan and Ali are both minorities in Afganistan, and are sometimes abused. Even so, Hassan and Amir are best friends. Amir also feels that his father’s friend, Rahim Khan, is more like a father to himself. Later in the story, the two boys, Hassan and Amir, enter in Afghanistan’s annual kite-fighting contest. The goal was to sever the string of opponents’ kites without losing your own. When a kite falls the other children would run after, called kite-running. Amir wins the contest, and Hassan tries to run the last kite. He gets it, but some enemies of his want it too. As Amir is watching, they torture Hassan but let him keep the kite. Amir’s guilt makes the friendship drift apart, and he decides Hassan has to go. He frames Hassan for stealing and Baba dismisses them. Years later, Baba and Amir have to flee Afghanistan to go to Pakistan, because Afghanistan has become a war zone. Two years later, Baba and Amir live in Fremont, California. Baba works while Amir goes to college. Baba meets some old friends at a flea market and Amir ends up marrying their daughter. Baba gets cancer and dies shortly after the wedding. Later, Amir gets a call from Rahim Khan. He is sick and wants Amir to see him in Pakistan. When he gets there, he learns that both Hassan and his wife, Farzana, were killed by the Taliban, but their little boy, Sohrab, is stuck in a terrible orphanage. Amir goes out to rescue this little boy, as atonement for his previous sins. Amir goes to this orphanage, and finds out that Sohrab had been taken away a few months earlier by a Taliban official. He arranges a meeting with this official and eventually realizes that he both has Sohrab and is the kid who tortured Hassan all those years ago. Amir and Sohrab escape with their lives only after Sohrab shoots the Taliban man with his slingshot. Amir now has to try to get Sohrab to America to live with him. He starts to gain his trust, and tries to legally adopt him. The adoption agency tells him that Sohrab may have to live in an orphanage for a few months. Later that day, Amir and his wife find a way to bring Sohrab to America, but he tried to kill himself. They bring him to America, but he remains withdrawn and forlorn. The story ends at a kite-running contest in America, where Amir makes his first breakthrough with Sohrab.

Discussion Questions: Do you think Amir will ever regain Sohrab’s trust, or will he forever remain withdrawn to Amir?
Guilt is Amir’s driving factor in going to retrieve Sohrab. Do you think that he would have made the journey to save Sohrab if not for the guilt that he had held on to for so long?

7 comments:

Kyle N.1-2 said...

1. I think they eventually will trust each other, but it would be hard to be the son of a man who was betrayed by the man who wants to adopt you.

2. I think even without the guilt, he would have tried to save Sohrab. Amir and Hassan's great friendship was tragically ended, but the good memories still remain. I think Amir would still feel loyal to his childhood friend enough to save his son from those horrible conditions.

Laura P 7-8 said...

1.) I believe that eventually Amir will gain Sohrab's trust because Amir wants to adopt Sohrab and living without Sohrab's trust would mean problems for both Amir and Sohrab.

2.) I think that guilt was the main factor in Air retrieving Sohrab, because there was probably other children in the orphanage too, and if Amir was not guilty with his past with Hassan he wouldn't feel the need to clear his conscience.

Sara D. 7-8 said...

For #2, I think that if Amir had done something at that time, he would not have felt guilty in the first place, so he would not have gotten rid of Hassan. Therefore, if he found out later that Hassan was killed and his son was in an orphanage, he would rush down there to retrieve him out of kindness, and he would sense a responsibility for taking care of him because he and Hassan were best friends.

Daniella V. 1-2 said...

#1 I think that it may take some time before they can get along but it will eventually happen.

#2 I think that amir still would have gone through some trouble to save the child but the guilt really drove him to do everything in his power to save him.

Natesa W. 7-8 said...

I don't think he would have gone on, if he didn't have the guilt still. Guilt is very strong, and it can drive people to do anything in the world to create balance in their lives again.

Rafiq O. 1-2 said...

Hey, Amir is my middle name! :) Haha.

But I agree with Laura, I don't think he would have tried to save Sohrab with out the guilt in his conscience, because like she said, there were probably other children in the orphanage.

Mrs. Sherwood said...

Graded