KITE RUNNER Discussion Questions
1. The novel begins with Amir's memory of peering down an alley, looking for Hassan who is kite running for him. As Amir peers into the alley, he witnesses a tragedy. The novel ends with Amir kite running for Hassan's son, Sohrab, as he begins a new life with Amir in America. Why do you think the author chooses to frame the novel with these scenes? Refer to the following passage: "Afghans like to say: Life goes on, unmindful of beginning, end...crisis or catharsis, moving forward like a slow, dusty caravan of kochis [nomads]." How is this significant to the framing of the novel? The author chooses to frame the novel with these scenes because I think that in the first chapter the readers can see that Amir is so guilt-stricken of not being able to help Hassan and merely witnessing and running from the tragedy. The ending however shows that Amir became the kite runner. Since a kite fighter is someone who is powerful and controlling aka selfish while a kite runner is being selfless. It symbolizes a circle, it did not end where it began but rather it was a “running” to a positive way, away from Sohrab physically but towards him emotionally. Finally he is running with freedom in his heart instead of fear. The passage “Afghans like to say: Life goes on, unmindful of beginning, end… crisis or catharsis, moving forward like a slow, dusty caravan of kochis (nomads).” is significant because that’s how Afghans are. Despite being occupied by the Russians and ruled by the Talibans, life goes on. Even with so many sufferings, hardships and killings they continue to live their life. 2. The strong underlying force of this novel is the relationship between Amir and Hassan. Discuss their friendship. Why is Amir afraid to be Hassan's true friend? Why does Amir constantly test Hassan's loyalty? Why does he resent Hassan? After the kite running tournament, why does Amir no longer want to be Hassan's friend? Amir and Hassan are like brothers, they were fed by the same breasts, they grew up in the same household and they would play like there’s no tomorrow. Amir is afraid to be Hassan’s true friend because Hassan is a Hazara, where they are looked down upon by other Afghans as the lowest kind of people in society. People might judge him especially the Pashtuns because Hassan is their servant and treated unequal. Amir constantly tests Hassan’s loyalty because he knows that Hassan would do anything for him and would even die for him. He describes Hassan as a loyal dog. Amir resents Hassan since Baba always gives so much attention to Hassan. Baba would never miss a birthday and even give Hassan gifts. After the kite running tournament, Amir no longer wants to be Hassan’s friend because he feels very guilty of what happened to Hassan. He feels that Hassan was the sacrifice he had to give in order to get Baba’s attention. 3. Early in Amir and Hassan's friendship, they often visit a pomegranate tree where they spend hours reading and playing. "One summer day, I used one of Ali's kitchen knives to carve our names on it: 'Amir and Hassan, the sultans of Kabul.' Those words made it formal: the tree was ours." In a letter to Amir later in the story, Hassan mentions that "the tree hasn't borne fruit in years." Discuss the significance of this tree. The pomegranate tree represents Amir and Hassan’s friendship. They would eat its fruits, sit on its branches and Amir would read Hassan stories as if they were the only two people on Earth. As if no one else was important. They carved their names on it symbolizing that they ruled all of Kabul. In the letter to Amir later in the story, Hassan mentions that “the tree hasn’t borne fruit in years” is very significant since it symbolizes their friendship. After the tragedy, Amir wouldn’t want to see Hassan because when he sees Hassan, he remembers what he did which was to run in fear and he did nothing about it. He feels all this guilt and because of his guilt, he decided to frame...
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