PinkMonkey® Literature Notes on . . .
The Kite Runner
Khaled Hosseini 2003
MonkeyNotes by Diane Clapsaddle
Reprinted with permission from TheBestNotes.com Copyright © 2005, All Rights Reserved Any distribution without the written consent of TheBestNotes.com is strictly prohibited.
TheBestNotes.com. Copyright © 2005, All Rights Reserved. No further distribution without written consent.
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini - MonkeyNotes by PinkMonkey.com
KEY LITERARY ELEMENTS SETTING
The story takes place in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the United States from 1975 until the present day.
Amir - He is the narrator of the story who tells how he grew up in Afghanistan and the sins he had committed against his friend and half-brother, Hassan. It is his journey to redemption that is the premise of this tale. Hassan - He is the best and kindest character in the story. He is Amir’s best friend and as Amir later learns, he is also his half-brother. He faces discrimination every day, because he is a Hazara, a minority whom the Pashtuns treat like slaves. The sins committed against him – being raped by Assef while Amir does nothing to help him – are immediately forgiven, because he loves Amir so much. Baba - He is Amir and Hassan’s father, but because it would be shameful to admit Hassan, a Hazara, was his son, the secret remains hidden long after his death. In Amir’s mind, he is larger than life, the man who was supposed to have wrestled a bear. But, in reality, he was a man tormented by his secrets. He dies in America, never again going home to his beloved Afghanistan. While he lives there, he is poor and often dirty from his job. So the way he is forced to live and the fact that he can never go home again may be his punishment for what he did to both Amir and Hassan. Amir knows, however, that like him, his father is basically a good man who finds a way to be good again. Ali - His character is that of the loyal servant to Baba and a father figure to both Hassan and Amir. He often suffers humiliation at the hands of Pashtun boys like Assef, but he never bends his will to them and continues to be a figure of goodness. Sohrab - He is Hassan’s son and the boy for whom Amir faces the Taliban to free. Like his father, he is raped by Assef and later betrayed by Amir. He even tries to commit suicide after Amir breaks his promise not to put him in an orphanage. However, Amir’s willingness to help Sohrab face life again saves them both. Soraya - Amir’s wife, she, too, suffers from mistakes she made as a young woman, but accepts her humiliation for running away with a man and becomes a good, decent human being. She is denied motherhood, perhaps because that is how she must expiate her own sins. However, she is rewarded when Sohrab becomes her son and she and Amir finally have a complete family. Rahim Khan - He was Baba’s best friend and business partner and was a major part of Amir and Hassan’s life. He seems to understand Amir’s desperate need for his father’s approval and tries to fill the gap Baba leaves in their relationship. He knows all along how Amir betrayed Hassan and is the one to call him and tell him there is still time to be good. He also sets into the motion the plan to get Sohrab out of Afghanistan; he knows that this is the only way to make up for never telling Amir and Hassan that they were brothers. Like Amir, he too finds a way to be good. He goes away to die alone, knowing that calling Amir back to his homeland was the right thing to do. Assef - He is the villain of the story, a Pashtun boy who bullies Amir and Hassan and tries to humiliate Ali. He has a sociopathic nature even as a boy and admires Hitler for what he had done in eliminating the Jews. He wants to emulate this evil German by destroying all the Hazaras. He never forgets a slight from anyone and plots revenge. He becomes a Talib when the Taliban...