The Kite Runner Study Guide Flashcard Example #31910

What image does the narrator show at the beginning of the novel and what does it mean?
The image at the very beginning of The Kite Runner is the narrator remembering when he “came of age”, describing himself kneeling next to a crumbling brick wall. I remember the precise moment, crouching behind a crumbling mud wall, peeking into the alley near the frozen creek. (ch 1). Amir reflects that he has learned that you can’t bury the past.
What literary tool or tools does Khaled Hosseini use in Chapter 1 of The Kite Runner, and how does this usage frame the story?
Author Khaled Hosseini uses exposition in the first chapter of The Kite Runner for background information to introduce many of his important characters, such as Baba, Ali, Rahim Khan and Hassan, as well as the novel’s primary locales of Kabul, Pakistan and San Francisco. Several themes are introduced, including that of the redemption that Amir seeks throughout the novel–
Why does Hassan always do what Amir wants and never tells on Amir?
The theme of loyalty is central to the novel. Amir’s lack of loyalty to Hassan is what keeps him rooted to that one moment in the winter of 1975. Hassan’s unflinching loyalty to Amir is what results in his rape, his leaving Wazir Akhbar Khan, and one could argue, his death many years later. We learn the basics of Amir and Hassan’s relationship early on, as embodied in their mischief making. Amir is a child of privilege who wants attention, so he feels safe and even entitled to getting into trouble. Yet his insecurity and fear of Baba makes him unable to stand up for himself or take credit for his mistakes. In contrast, Hassan is a servant who has a very close and constant relationship with his father, Ali. Ali has taught Hassan to be so righteous and loyal that he would not dream of starting trouble and does not hesitate to cover up for Amir. As we learn, Hassan is so determined to protect Amir and not to cause anyone grief that he keeps his rape a secret. The difference between Amir and Hassan underscores the connection between loyalty and family. Hassan is loyal and long-suffering just like Ali, who kept the secret that Baba had an affair with Sanaubar and that Hassan was not his biological son. Amir betrays Hassan just as Baba betrayed Ali, and like Baba, Amir must suffer for what he did and pay retribution.

The theme of loyalty is connected to the theme of silence and secrets. Remaining silent about injustice is Ali and Hassan’s way of showing loyalty to Baba and Amir. The story of The Kite Runner is filled with things untold or unspoken. Baba’s adultery, Hassan’s rape, and Amir’s betrayal of Ali and Hassan are examples of things untold. One major unspoken thing in the boys’ household is the difference between Pashtuns and Hazaras. Amir does not even know why the Pashtuns demean the Hazaras until he secretly reads a history book. It is only twenty-six years later, when General Taheri refers to Sohrab as a “Hazara boy,” that Amir breaks his silence about this issue and demands respect for Sohrab. Another major unspoken truth in the household is the lack of mothers. Sanaubar gets little attention until the end of the novel, when she reappears in Hassan’s life and redeems herself by caring for Sohrab. Baba maintains such silence about Amir’s mother, Sofia Akrami that he assumes Baba blames him for her death. He learns more about her from the beggar in Kabul than he ever did from his own father. The key secret keeper and revealer in the story is Rahim Khan, who protects secrets for Baba, Ali, Hassan, and Amir. Ultimately, he is the one who insists on Amir’s redemption.

What does it mean that, in the picture of Baba and Rahim Khan, Amir is holding onto Rahim Khan?
Amir tells of a picture of his father holding him as a baby “looking tired and grim” but although Amir’s Baba is the one holding him, Amir is holding on to Rahim Khan’s ( his father’s best friend) finger. This shows that the distancing between father and son began at birth.
Why did Amir go into Hassan’s home “only a handful of times”?
possibly because the reminder that Hassan was his servant and lived in a shack, was not something he wanted to think about
Why is Sanaubar’s leaving “far worse than death”?
In Afghanistan, which is the setting in which The Kite Runner(Hosseini) begins, the culture places great constraints upon women, and for a woman to run away from her husband was unthinkable, a disgrace which is probably difficult for most of us today in the western world to understand. It is perhaps akin to the disgrace of a woman doing something like this 150 years ago in the United States.
Why does Amir recount the story about the nursing woman and Ali’s belief that feeding from the same
breast leads to a kinship stronger than time?
Amir is Hassan’s half brother and friend. Although aware that Hassan is a dreaded Hazara, Amir feels a strong kinship and bond with him. Amir, in his own childish way, explains this bond through the breast milk analogy.
Amir’s first word was “Baba.” Hassan’s was “Amir.” How does this frame the rest of the story?
Consider that Amir never feels loved and accepted by his father. In turn, Hassan never truly feels loved and accepted by Amir. This dynamic is in play for the entire story.
What does Amir mean when he says, “I can never tell Baba from the bear”?
Amir probably means that Baba is so much like an unknown animal to him than a loving fatherly figure which he wishes for.
How does Baba’s snoring affect Amir?
Baba’s snoring affects Amir because it reminds him of his mom and how he used to think about how she could ever stand it. This makes Amir sad about his mom’s death.
Why does Amir tell Baba he thinks he has cancer?
He was just saying it to see if he could get Baba’s attention, not that he actually thought he did have it.
Why does Amir hate the orphans?
probably because he wishes for more attention from his father, and Baba is constantly taking care of the kids at his orphanage
Amir says, “… I had killed his beloved wife, his beautiful princess, hadn’t I? The least I could have done
was to have had the decency to have turned out a little more like him.” What does this mean and how does it
affect Amir’s relationship with Baba?
This probably means that Amir feels like it is his fault that his mother passed away, because she was giving birth to him. This puts a strain on Amir’s relationship with Baba, as he feels like a strain and disappointment to his father.
What is Afghanistan’s national passion, and what does it say about the country?
it is probably Buzkashi, which is where riders compete to grab a dead goat or calf from the ground while riding a horse at full gallop. This probably says that Afghanistan is bold and fierce if Buzkashi is their national passion.
Why did Baba never call Ali his “friend”?
probably because Ali and Baba grew up together, but they have ethnic and religious differences, and Ali served as Baba’s servant
Why were “most Hazaras” illiterate?
probably because they were looked down upon in the Afghani society, and it wasn’t deemed important for servants to get an education or to know how to read
Why do the boys react differently to the story of Rostam and Sohrab?
Amir and Hassan share a favorite story: “Rostam and Sohrab” from the Shahnamah. It’s a story about a father who kills his nemesis, who actually turns out to be his son. Amir, being the favoured son, sees the story in a different context than Hassan who perhaps defines himself as the son who is killed.
What is the significance of Hassan’s question about Amir’s story?
it is probably significant because it is a metaphor for Amir’s own life in that, in his desperate longing for his father’s love, Amir effectively destroys the safe and comfortable life of Hassan along with their relationship with each other
Why would Amir be envious of Hassan during the gun fire?
He was envious because of Ali’s calming presence during the gunfire.
What does Assef mean when he says, “Too late for Hitler…but not for us”?
Assef is a socio-path. He is impressed by Hitler. Although Hitler was unable to eradicate the Jews, Assef thinks he can eradicate Hazaras
Why are the boys and their fathers so affected by the gift Baba gives to Hassan?
Baba usually gets Hassan something special, like a Clint Eastwood cowboy hat or train set. This year, Baba finds Dr. Kumar, from New Delhi. THe doctor will perform surgery on Hassan’s harelip. This is an especially expensive gift. It also tells us that although Hassan is a Hazara, Baba still respects him. Baba respects Hassan’s courage and strength which he finds lacking in Amir.
What does Amir mean when he says, “Afghans cherish custom but abhor rules”?
Afghans live for tradition and custom. Amir means, in particular, that the Afghan people will put custom before anything else. Family and religious tradition trump civil laws every time.
What happens during the conversation between Amir and Hassan about eating dirt?
This really demonstrates Hassan’s faithfulness to Amir. When asked “What if I told you to eat dirt?” by Amir, Hassan’s face hardens and he responds resolutely: “For you, a thousand times over”. This quote develops into a recurring theme utilized as an illustration of Hassan’s commitment to the friendship.
Why does Amir say he is a ghost in his father’s house?
This is because Baba never really acknowledged Amir as a man in his house. Baba had a way of distancing himself from Amir that made Amir feel like a “ghost”. Since childhood Amir would try to gain his father’s attention and respect but always felt invisible.
Why does Amir not apologize to Hassan for being rude about his dream?
When Hassan seems to get close to Amir, almost brotherly, Amir slinks away. Amir wishes to distance himself from the dream in which they share being heroes. Amir doesn’t apologize to further distance himself from Hassan.
Why does Hassan tell Amir about the dream?
This is the morning of the Kite tournament. I think Hassan is trying to tell Amir that there is nothing to fear. There is no monster that will get them out there. Perhaps Hassan makes up this dream. There are a few interpretations of it. Later Hassan will get raped by Assef while Amir does nothing to help. Could Amir be the monster? These are just some considerations.
How does the blood from the kite string accentuate the kite flying scene?
I’d say sacrifice if I had to boil it down to one word. The kite strings cut up his hands, but it’s the price he pays to win the contest. Hassan sacrificed a lot of himself for Amir, and the rape is a big part of that. Getting your blood spilled is losing a part of yourself, but it’s usually for a noble cause in the case of this novel.
What is strange about Amir’s vision of himself and his father meeting in the same way as Rostam and
Sohrab?
Hassan’s favorite book by far was the Shahnamah, the tenth-century epic of ancient Persian heroes. He liked all of the chapters, the shahs of old, Feridoun, Zal, and Rudabeh. But his favorite story, and mine, was “Rostam and Sohrab,” the tale of the great warrior Rostam and his fleet-footed horse, Rakhsh. Rostam mortally wounds his valiant nemesis, Sohrab, in battle, only to discover that Sohrab is his long-lost son. Although you can read the story of “Rostam and Sohrab” as an allegory for Baba and Amir’s relationship, we think the most obvious parallel is to Amir and Hassan. Amir doesn’t kill Hassan directly, but he does bring about Hassan’s exile from Baba’s household. This exile eventually places Hassan in a situation where he is killed. Amir, to some extent, takes the blame for Hassan’s death. Like Rostam, Amir figures out much too late who fathered Hassan. We think you could very easily substitute “brothers” for “sons” in the final sentence: “After all, don’t we all in our secret hearts harbor a desire to kill our brothers?” (“Cain and Abel” seems just as appropriate as “Rostam and Sohrab.”)
Why does Amir not give his hand to the fortune-teller?
Amir and Hassan visit a fortune teller who gets a look of doom on his face while reading Hassan’s fortune. Amir is scared of what this might mean for him.
What do you think Amir’s dream means?
Didn’t you mean Hassan’s dream? Hassan’s dream is significant because although it appears absurd and fantasy-like in Amir’s mind, the dream is a symbol of the strengths and weaknesses in Amir and Hassan’s relationship. The part of the dream where Amir courageously dives into the lake and Hassan follows represents their bravery, companionship, and ability to work together during the kite fighting tournament. Amir relies on Hassan more than Hassan will ever know, and Hassan has built a sense of trust in Amir since birth. The part of the dream where the alleged monster doesn’t exist however is ironic, because although Hassan’s humble nature leads him to believe that even cruel humans should be forgiven, the truth is that in humanity, monsters do exist, and Amir is one of them. Amir has a selfish, cowardice side, which is clearly revealed in this chapter.
What is the motivation behind Hassan’s rape?
Rape is all about control and humiliation. Hassan’s rape is no different. Assef means to exact these on Hassan because Hassan, a Hazara, had earlier stood up to him. It is also meant to torment Amir who does not rise to the occasion and is haunted for the rest of his life.
Why does Amir not help Hassan?
There are so many reasons for this. I think the first one is that he was simply scared. Assef was a bully/sociopath. Interfering would have got Amir hurt. Then there the many socio-cultural implications of coming to the aid of a Hazara.
Amir compares Hassan to the sacrificial lamb. Why is this significant?
During the rape of Hassan, Amir turned away, weeping, still hearing Assef’s grunts issuing from the alleyway. Instead of standing up for Hassan the way his friend had for him so many times, he fled. Amir tried to convince himself that he ran out of fear, but he knew that he felt Hassan to be his sacrificial lamb, the one to suffer for him so that he could live happily. Hassan was the half brother to take all the injustices that life handed out to allow Amir to live without scars.
What prejudicial thought enters the narrator’s mind as he runs away?
After Hassan’s rape, Amir ran away and shamefully thought, “He was just a Hazara, wasn’t he?”
Why did Amir not want to see devotion in Hassan’s eyes after the rape?
Amir feels terribly guilty because he did nothing to help his friend when Assef raped him. He feels he does not deserve any kindness from Hassan, let alone devotion. Amir would rather Hassan punish him. Devotion just makes Amir feel unbearable humiliation and guilt.
What literary term is employed in describing the Hassan’s sacrifice as a “lamb,” and what other is used
in describing Amir’s words to Hassan?
it is probably an allusion, as Amir is comparing Hassan to a lamb, and in his religion, there is a holiday where they slaughter an innocent lamb
Why does Baba invite so many people on the trip to Jalalabad?
Amir looked forward to having Baba to himself, but Baba invited three vans’ worth of relatives and friends along. Baba is uncomfortable with Amir. Inviting so many people is a way of granting Amir’s wish to travel to Jalalabad yet avoid close interaction with him.
How is the relationship between Amir and Hassan emphasized in this chapter?
Chapter 8 addresses some of the immediate aftereffects of Hassan’s attack. Although Hassan is still completing his daily chores, Amir barely sees him. When Ali questions Amir, Amir lies to him, asking, “how should I know what’s wrong with him?” This chapter is all about how Amir’s relationship with Hassan is forever changed because of the rape incident. Indeed Amir’s relationship with himself is forever changed. As they drove along in the car, one friend’s twin daughters recounted Amir’s victory at the kite-fighting tournament. At this, Amir’s carsickness overwhelmed him and he vomited. As they aired out the van on the roadside, Amir saw Hassan’s bloodied pants in his head.
Why does Amir invite Hassan to the hill?
one day, he asked Hassan to climb the hill with him to hear a new story. Hassan joined him eagerly. After they picked pomegranates, Amir asked Hassan what he would do if he threw a pomegranate at him. When Hassan said nothing, he threw the fruit at him and demanded that Hassan throw one back. As Hassan refused to fight back, Amir threw countless pomegranates at him until he was stained in blood-red juice. Finally, Hassan smashed a pomegranate against his own forehead and asked, “Are you satisfied? Do you feel better?” before leaving. Amir is looking for some kind of penance, some pain Hassan might inflict upon Amir to make him feel better.
What is significant about the pomegranates growing on the hill?
Hassan’s name means “handsome,” which is ironic because people make fun of Hassan’s appearance; in another sense, it is perfectly fitting because Hassan’s inner beauty and purity of spirit is what makes him such a respectable and lovable character. When Amir throws the pomegranates at Hassan, he is begging for Hassan to absolve him by hurting him. Instead, his torture continues; he sees juice running down Hassan’s shirt like blood, reminding him that Hassan’s blood is on his hands. In the end it is Assef who “heals” Amir by hurting him.
Why does Rahim Khan tell Amir about Homaira?
It was a little bit of therapy for Amir’s tortured soul. Rahim Khan found him and told him a story. He had almost married a Hazara woman, but his family was outraged at the proposition and sent her and her family out of town. Then Rahim Khan told Amir that he could confide in him, but Amir could not bring himself to tell his friend what he had done. Rahim Khan gave him his present, a notebook for his stories. Then they hurried back to the party to watch the fireworks. In one flash of light, Amir saw Hassan serving drinks to Assef and Wali. He saw Assef playfully punch Hassan in the chest before, to his relief, the light faded.
Why does Amir call his birthday gifts “blood money”?
The morning after his birthday party, Amir opened his presents joylessly. To him, each gift was tainted with Hassan’s shed blood. He knew Baba never would have thrown him such an extravagant party if he had not won the tournament, and to him the victory was inseparable from Hassan’s rape. Baba himself gave Amir a coveted Stingray bicycle and a fancy wristwatch, but they too felt like “blood money.”
Why is Rahim Khan’s present not considered blood money by Amir?
The only gift Amir could stand to enjoy was the notebook from Rahim Khan. As he considered Rahim Khan’s story about his Hazara fiancae Amir decided that either he or Hassan had to leave their household in order for them to be happy.
. Why does Amir ask Baba if he had seen the new watch?
The next morning, Amir hid his wristwatch and a bundle of cash under Hassan’s bed. Then he told Baba that Hassan had stolen from him. Baba called a meeting with Ali and Hassan in his office. When they arrived, their eyes were red from crying. Hassan lied and said that he had stolen Amir’s wristwatch and money. Amir felt a pang of guilt because he understood that Hassan was sacrificing himself for him as usual.
How does the confrontation between Baba and the Russian soldier make Amir feel?
Baba and the Russian soldier got into a conflict because the Russian conflict because the Russian soldier wanted 30 minutes with one of the ladies in the van and Baba stood up for her. The soldier wanted to shoot him because he was so druged, but the second Russian soldier got to him and stopped him before there was a bigger conflict. Amir actually feels a sense of reverence for his father here.
Who is Kamal and what happened to him?
For a week they stay in a basement with other refugees. Amir recognizes Kamal, who looks sickly and depressed, and Kamal’s father. Amir overhears Kamal’s father telling Baba what happened to Kamal that made him so weak. Four men caught Kamal out, and when he came back to his father he was bleeding “down there” (p. 120). Kamal no longer speaks, just stares.
What first gives light in the tanker and why does it matter?
Baba and Amir made their escape from Kabul in an old, tarpaulin-covered Russian truck. They survived an altercation with a Russian guard who threatened to rape one woman and, later, to kill Baba. After spending the night in a dark, dank basement in Jalalabad, they discovered that the second truck in which they hoped to escape had broken down. The chose another option–riding in the empty tank of a fuel truck. It proved to be a terrible ride to Peshawar, travelling in total darkness and breathing the fumes of gasoline. Amir was happy to at last see a small sliver of light: It came from the fluorescent green hands of Baba’s wristwatch. Amir kept his eyes on the watch, which helped him to take his mind off their awful journey.
What happens to Kamal’s father?
In a rage, Kamal’s father put the barrel of Karim’s gun in his mouh and shot himself
Why does Baba not want to take ESL classes?
He was most likely proud of his heritage and background and didn’t feel that he should learn another country’s language to survive and make it though life.
Why does Amir say that the last time he sacrificed for Baba he damned himself?
Amir considers his sacrifice of taking the kite and allowing to Hassan to get raped to have been a sacrifice for Baba. Instead of protecting someone who had devoted his life to him, Amir was selfish. He feels he will pay for this choice in the future.
Why is Amir surprised that Baba says he is going to become a “great” writer?
Baba disapproves and says Amir’s degree will be useless. Later Amir finds out that Baba told General Taheri that Amir is going to be a great writer.
Whom does Amir meet, and what does he think of this person?
One one such day, Baba introduced Amir to General Taheri, an old acquaintance of his from Kabul. The “casually arrogant” Taheri did not impress Amir, but his daughter, Soraya, entranced him. Baba told Amir that Soraya had had a relationship with a man that did not work out well and had not been courted since. This did not matter to Amir, who already thought of her as his “Swap Meet Princess.”
What is ironic about Baba’s statement, “What happens in a few days, sometimes even a single day, can
change the course of a whole lifetime”?
Certainly this hits Amir so close to his own heart. Hassan’s rape had changed Amir forever. It probable affected Amir more than it affected Hassan.
What is the literary term that describes the sentence, “America was a river, roaring along, unmindful of the
past”?
it is probably figurative language
Why is General Taheri’s wife described as having “heartbreakingly eager, crooked smile and …barely
veiled hope in her eyes”?
Amir looks at how submissive and powerless women, like General Taheri’s wife, are. Her daughter had no romantic prospects and Amit realizes the immense power he wields simply because of his gender,

“And now, this woman, this mother, with her heartbreakingly eager, crooked smile and the barely veiled hope in her eyes. I cringed a little at the position of power I’d been granted, and all because I had won at the genetic lottery that had determined my sex.”

What is the General’s reaction to Amir’s giving Soraya a short story?
It was much too forward a thing for a single man to do. Just as Amir handed her a story to read, General Taheri arrived at the booth and Soraya was forced to hand him the story out of propriety. He dropped it into the garbage can. Then General Taheri took Amir aside and scolded him for having such an open conversation with Soraya in the marketplace.
Why does Baba refuse chemotherapy?
Baba knows he can’t be cured regardless of treatment. He also does not want to appear weak.
What significant thing does Amir ask of his ill father? What is the result?
At Baba’s bedside, Amir asks if he will go to General Taheri to ask Soraya’s hand in marriage for Amir. Baba goes happily the next day.General Taheri accepts, and after Baba tells Amir over the phone he puts Soraya on the line.
Why does Amir want to cry when he gives his notebook to Soraya?
One day, Amir came home to find Soraya hiding Rahim Khan’s notebook under Baba’s mattress. Baba admitted that he had coaxed Soraya to read him Amir’s stories. Amir left the room to cry tears of joy because it meant Baba valued his writing.
Why does Amir say that Baba dies “on his own terms”?
At the end of the night, Soraya and Amir helped Baba into bed. He refused his morphine, saying, “There is no pain tonight.” He died in his sleep. Amir acknowledged that Baba was his obstinate self until the end; he even died “on his own terms.” Baba chose how he lived his life and how he ended it. Countless people whom Amir had never seen shook his hand and told him how Baba had helped them in one way or another. As he listened to their remarks, Amir realized that he no longer had Baba to define him or guide him; he felt terribly alone. After the burial, Amir and Soraya walked through the cemetery together and Amir cried at last.
Why does General Taheri not like Soraya’s choice to become a teacher?
He didn’t think women should work for money, especially in that role.
Why does Amir think he and Soraya cannot have children?
Amir thought privately that his and Soraya’s infertility was punishment for his betraying Hassan so many years before.
After Amir’s novel is accepted for publication, what does he reminisce about?
Amir’s feelings of success were tempered with his guilt; he felt himself to be undeserving. He reflects on his guilt and all the people that helped him and suffered for him including Baba and Hassan.
How much time has passed since the last chapter? Why does Hosseini juxtapose the images of a man
playing football with his son and a pair of kites flying in the park?
I’m not really sure what the exact year was in Chapter 13. Chapter 14 picks up in 2001. Amir does save Sohrab by bringing to America, but only after he is effectively tricked into doing so. This is why it is the act of running the kite at the end that truly redeems Amir; unlike all the other heroic things he does, it is of his own volition and out of the spirit of true selflessness and loyalty. The football scene between the son and father is the Afghan equivilent of the same relationship.
What does Khala Jamila do when the general is in the hospital, and why does she do it?
She is a nurturing person to him, It is her duty. Here is a quote,

“What I remember most about the general’s hospital stay is how Khala Jamila would wait until he fell asleep, and then sing to him, songs I remembered from Kabul, playing on Baba’s scratchy old transistor radio.”

Why can Amir not sleep on the plane to Pakistan?
That night, Amir dreamt of Hassan as he had seen him right before the rape, shouting, “For you, a thousand times over!” A week later, he left for Peshawar, Pakistan.
The previous time Amir and Rahim Khan had spoken on the phone, Baba had just died. The two only spoke
for a few minutes before they lost the intercontinental connection. How is this significant?
This is a metaphor of their relationship. They were once so close but Amir moved to America. Their link was cut by an intercontinental distance just like the phone line.
When Amir tells Rahim Khan about the stories he wrote in the journal that was his birthday present, Rahim
Khan says he does not remember it. Why is this mentioned?
The old man does not even remember the notebook that has meant so much to Amir for the last fifteen years. Yet once they begin to talk, it becomes clear how close they still are and how much influence Rahim Khan has over Amir.
What is the situation in Afghanistan as Khan describes it?
Rahim Khan described how the Taliban was terrorizing Afghanistan, though they had been received initially as heroes. Once, at a soccer game, a man next to him cheered too loudly. A Talib pistol whipped Rahim Khan, thinking he had made the noise. People in Kabul were afraid to leave their houses because of frequent shootings and bombings. Even Baba’s orphanage had been destroyed, with many children inside it. Then Rahim Khan told Amir that he did not have long to live.
Why does the narration shift from Amir to Rahim Khan in this chapter?
Chapter Sixteen is in Rahim Khan’s voice; he is telling Amir the story of what happened to Hassan. It is only now that we discover Hassan’s back story all these years.
Why does Rahim Khan say that stepping on a land mine is a very Afghan way to die?
Land mines were/are a major weapon of choice for the Taliban. Stepping on one is still considered “an Afghan” way to die.
Hassan and his wife make a huge decision. What is it?
Then in 1990, Farzana became pregnant again and Hassan’s mother, Sanaubar, came to find him. She collapsed at the gate of the house; when they carried her inside and removed her burqa, they discovered that the former beauty was malnourished, had no teeth, and had grotesque scars all over her face from being cut. Hassan ran out of the house and was gone for hours, but when he returned he accepted Sanaubar as his mother. She became healthy and a part of the family; she even delivered Farzana and Hassan’s son. Hassan named him Sohrab, after the hero in his favorite story from the book Amir used to read him. Sohrab became inseparable from Sanaubar, whom he called Sasa.
Who collapses at the front door?
it is probably Sanaubar, Hassan’s mother.
After the Taliban “rolled in and put an end to the daily fighting,” what ironic event takes place?
The Taliban stop all kite fighting and “massacred the Hazaras.”
In the letter to Amir, Hassan tells him that the pomegranate tree they used to play near “hasn’t borne fruit
in years.” How is this a symbol, and for what?
The pomegranate tree is a symbol of friendship, childhood innocence, and shelter. When it appears in the first part of the story, Amir and Hassan were fast friends who, despite elements of caste, shared happy times together and enjoyed each other’s company. The lush, blooming tree paralleled their lives which were full of promise, and its wide, spreading branches provided shelter, as did their comaraderie.

When Amir sees the tree again when he returns to his childhood home in the latter part of the story, it is bare and has ceased to blossom, like the ruins of his friendship with Hassan. All that remains of that idyllic time is a memory, as represented by the carvings they made on the tree as children.

What happened to Hassan and his wife?
A month after he had arrived in Peshawar, he received news of Hassan’s death from a friend. After he left Kabul, word spread that a Hazara family was living alone in Baba’s house. One day, the Taliban came to the house and demanded that they leave. When Hassan protested, they took him out to the street, forced him to kneel, and shot him in the back of his head. Farzana ran out screaming and they shot her dead as well. The news devastated Amir, who could only whisper, “No. No. No.”
What does Rahim Khan want from Amir?
Amir now understood that Rahim Khan had called him to Peshawar to pay not only for his betrayal of Hassan, but for Baba’s betrayal of Ali. Amir wondered if he was to blame for Hassan and Ali’s deaths because he was the one who drove them out of the house and split up the family. Finally, at thirty-eight years old, Amir was ready to take responsibility for his actions. He returned to Rahim Khan’s apartment to find him praying and told him he would bring Sohrab to Peshawar.
What mystery is brought up in the final pages of this chapter?
Rahim Khan revealed a monumental secret. Amir and Hassan were half-brothers. Ali was infertile, as evidenced by the fact that his first wife bore him no children, but bore her second husband three daughters. It was Baba who had gotten Sanaubar pregnant, making Hassan his son. Rahim Khan explained that no one but himself, Baba, Ali, and Sanaubar had known about the matter in order to preserve their honor. Hassan never found out. Amir was furious at all of them for keeping the secret. He screamed at Rahim Khan and left the apartment.
Why did everyone lie to Amir and Hassan about the boys’ upbringing?
I think largely that Hassan, being a Hazara was shameful. Baba and others didn’t even want to acknowledge Hassan in this context. For this reason, they kept it a secret.
Why did Rahim Khan summon Amir to Pakistan?
Amir now understood that Rahim Khan had called him to Peshawar to pay not only for his betrayal of Hassan, but for Baba’s betrayal of Ali. Amir wondered if he was to blame for Hassan and Ali’s deaths because he was the one who drove them out of the house and split up the family. Finally, at thirty-eight years old, Amir was ready to take responsibility for his actions. He returned to Rahim Khan’s apartment to find him praying and told him he would bring Sohrab to Peshawar.
Amir calls America a “great, big river” that would let him “forget.”To what does this allude?
Specifically he is alluding to Hassan’s rape so many years ago. In a larger context he is trying to forget that he had forsaken his brother.
Why does Farid dislike Amir?
Farid had two wives and seven children, two of whom had been killed by a landmine. Farid himself was missing toes and fingers from his years of combat. Farid was suspicious of Amir because he saw him as a defector; whereas Farid had stayed and fought for his homeland, Amir had fled to the privileges of America. He had abandoned his watan, his homeland.
What does Farid mean by “the real Afghanistan”?
The real Afghanistan is a Taliban controlled hell. Where as Amir grew up with so many privileges the real Afghanistan is full of poverty and violence.
Why does Amir cringe when Wahid calls him a “true Afghan”?
Amir doesn’t feel like a true Afghan. Amir feels like a deserter. He feels that when he lived in Afghanistan, he lived a life of privilege. When things got rough, instead if fighting, he ran to America.
What does Amir give to Wahid’s sons and why is it significant?
As he ate, Amir noticed that Wahid’s three boys were staring at his watch. After asking for Wahid’s permission, he gave it to them. To his surprise, it did not impress them very much.
Why does Amir dream that he is Hassan’s murderer?
Amir slept restlessly, dreaming about Hassan’s death. He imagined that he himself was the Talib executing Hassan. Amir has been carrying all sorts of guilt ridden feelings for Hassan. From his rape to the fact that Amir left for a nice life USA, Amir feels that he is responsible for Hassan’s murder.
Why does Hosseini compare the tanks to dead animals?
Hosseini compares the tanks to dead animals because people can relate to animals. I think it was more of a metaphor. The tanks would also have likely been Soviet tanks left to rot after the war.
Why does Farid open up to Amir on the journey? What is Kabul like?
The devastation in Kabul took Amir’s breath away. The buildings and streets had turned into rubble, and fatherless children begged on every street corner. When a red truck full of Talibs drove by, Amir was mesmerized by them for a minute. Farid warned him never to stand at the Talibs again, because they welcomed any chance to start a conflict. I think Farid feels a little badly for Amir now. He knows the backstory for Amir’s visit and knows that Amir is taking an awful risk returning.
Why does Farid call the Taliban “Beard Patrol”?
Taliban men always have long beards.
Why does the man at the orphanage not want to admit he knew Sohrab?
Basically because he was instrumental in in selling Sohrab. he man did not seem to want to talk about Sohrab. When Amir insisted, he revealed that a Talib official had taken Sohrab a month earlier. This official came every few months and paid to take a child with him; the man had no choice but to consent, or he knew he and all his children would be shot. This news so enraged Farid that he tackled the man and tried to strangle him to death until Amir intervened. The man told Amir that he could find the Talib official at Ghazi stadium, where the national team played soccer.
Why does Farid want to kill Zaman?
Farid is disgusted that Zaman says he can do nothing against the Taliban, and it is the only way to get money to feed the children. Zaman sells children in the orphanage.
Why does Zaman continue to sell children?
He claims it is the only way he can make money to feed his children.
What does Amir find?
During halftime, Amir discovered the horrifying reason for the two deep holes in the ground; they were to be the graves of two accused adulterers, who would be stoned in front of the thousands of attendees.
Why does Farid’s comment about Sohrab being Shi’a make Amir think Afghanistan is a “hopeless
place”?
probably because Amir feels like nothing has changed since his time living in Afghanistan, even after having gone through a war
Why are the two people killed as the “halftime show” for the soccer match?
probably because the woman had cheated on her husband, so they killed both her and the man she cheated with
What is significant about the fact that the house Amir and Farid go to is on the Street of the Guests?
It’s Amir’s old neighborhood, and the man he has to convince to sell him Sohrab just happens to be his old nemesis Assef.
What is surprising about the identity of the Talib who talks to Amir about taking the boy back?
It is Assef the old bully who raped Hassan.
What choice does Assef give Amir?
Assef tells Amir he can have Sohrab. “What’s the catch?” you may ask. Well, Amir has to fight Assef. (Assef still holds a grudge against Amir from the time Hassan pulled a slingshot on him. Assef said he’d get both Hassan and Amir – so now he wants to fight Amir.)
What is significant about the fact that Sohrab is the one who stops Assef? How is it accomplished?
Sohrab tells everyone to stop. Our fighters look up. Sohrab has placed a brass ball from the table in his slingshot. (It sounds hefty and substantial.) After some useless commands to Sohrab, Assef gets his due. Sohrab lets fly and the brass ball smashes into Assef’s left eye. This is the same eye Hassan threatened to blacken all those years ago. Like father, like son – or something.

•Sohrab and Amir peace out. They hop in Farid’s car and they’re off.

Why does Hosseini change from past tense to present?
It’s important in order to move between the present and the memories. This gives us a complete understanding of Amir.
What does Amir’s dream of Baba fighting the bear mean?
Amir’s recovery is the second time in the novel that Hosseini uses broken images to convey a sense of detachment from reality. The first was when Amir witnessed Hassan’s rape in the alleyway. The most important image from Amir’s recovery time is his dream about Baba wrestling the bear, in which he is Baba. The story about Baba and the bear was a neighborhood legend, which Amir had later taken to represent any trouble Baba went through. When Baba died, Amir called his cancer “the Bear he could not defeat.” The dream is full of symbolism on many levels. One one level, Amir is Baba and Assef is the bear. Amir describes how “Spittle and blood fly; claw and hand swipe.” He even says, “They fall to the ground with a loud thud,” which also describes the moment just before Sohrab saved Amir. Amir knows that by escaping, he has bested Assef just as Baba supposedly killed the bear. On another level, the dream is about Amir coming to terms with his guilt, which the bear represents. When he puts himself in grave danger on Sohrab’s behalf, Amir is challenging his guilt-challenging the bear. It is important that the dream ends with Amir beating the bear but not killing it. Just as he does not kill the bear in his dream, Amir has not yet defeated his guilt. Only when he runs the kite for Sohrab is he redeemed.
List some of the injuries Amir has.
When Amir finally regains full consciousness, the doctor, Dr. Faruqi, explains his injuries. He has had several surgeries in the two days since Farid brought him in; his jaw is wired together, his spleen ruptured and had to be removed, he suffered several broken ribs and a punctured lung, his upper lip was split open, and his eye socket bone broken. Dr. Faruqi said Amir was lucky to have survived such trauma.
What is ironic about Amir’s relationship with Sohrab?
GUILT…………. Sohrab loves amir because of the relaionship he believes he had with his father;

Sohrab tells Amir that his father, Hassan, said Amir was “the best friend he ever had” (23.97).

Why had Rahim Khan lied to Amir about the Caldwells?
He lied so that Sohrab would have a chance with Amir. Amir might not done the things he did, if he’d believed he’d be keeping the boy with him.
What happens to Sohrab while Amir sleeps?
A call from Soraya awoke him; she gave the good news that Sharif would be able to get Sohrab a visa. Amir knocked on the bathroom door to tell Sohrab that all their fears were over, but he would not answer. Then Amir opened the door to the bathroom and began to scream; an ambulance took him and Sohrab to the hospital.
Why does Amir laugh when Mr. Fayyaz tells him that Afghanis are reckless?
The laughter comes from pain and a sense of irony. Amir is far from reckless, and yet he’s just accomplished the most reckless feat of his life, that being the rescue of Sohrab.
What does it mean when Amir says, “There are a lot of children in Afghanistan, but little childhood,” and
how does it relate to Sohrab?
He means that the children have experienced things that have taken away their innocence. They are young in years and unfairly educated by life.
Why would Baba have been ashamed of himself regarding Hassan and Amir?
While picnicking, Amir blurts out that Hassan was his brother. Sohrab is surprised: Hassan never said he had a brother. Amir explains. At first, Sohrab doesn’t understand why people would “hide it from Father and you” (24.112). Sohrab catches on pretty quickly: Hassan was a Hazara. Neither mention that Baba betrayed Sohrab’s grandfather.
Explain the significance of the television show that is on when Amir and Sohrab return from their picnic.
“Later that afternoon, back at the hotel, Sohrab and Amir watch TV and talk about San Francisco. While they talk about America, two clerics on TV discuss whether or not a Muslim will go to hell for wearing baggy pants.”
What is significant about the decision Amir makes to be completely truthful with Soraya?
To be truthful means he has to share everything with her and tell her secrets he’s never uttered. Let’s face it…… he did plenty of things to be ashamed of; he also felt guilt for those things. To tell Soraya is to free himself from the regrets of the past.
Why does Amir ask Soraya to not tell her parents of Sohrab’s origins?
because of his relationship to Amir. Soraya’s parents knew his father, and it isn’t worth hanging any shame of Sohrab’s head.
Why does Amir ask Mr. Andrews if he has children; what is the outcome of the question?
The next day, Amir took Sohrab to the American Embassy to see an official named Raymond Andrews. Amir told him he wanted to take his half-nephew to America, omitting all the information about Assef. Raymond Andrews told him that his chances of getting a visa for Sohrab were slim. He would have to prove that Sohrab was legally an orphan by providing death certificates for Hassan and Farzana; this would have been impossible even in pre-Taliban Kabul. Before leaving, Amir snapped at Raymond Andrews, “They ought to put someone in your chair who knows what it’s like to want a child.” As he and Sohrab left, the receptionist told Amir that Raymond Andrews’s daughter had committed suicide.
Why does Sohrab not ask about the meeting between Amir and Andrews?
He’s feeling as if things didn’t go well, and he is terrified of being abandoned.
What obstacles arise about Amir’s trying to bring Sohrab to the United States?
A man at the American Embassy in Islamabad says adopting Sohrab is impossible, due to the fact that Amir would need death certificates of his parents (Hassan and Farzana), when most people in Afghanistan hardly had birth certificates. Also, he would need to prove that Sohrab is really his half nephew, which was nearly impossible as well. However, he still gives them the name of an immigration lawyer. Amir meets with the lawyer who says Sohrab may have to wait in an orphanage.
What does the sour apples story say about Sohrab?
It means that he has learned to have patience;

One time, when I was really little, I climbed a tree and ate these green, sour apples. My stomach swelled and became hard like a drum, it hurt a lot. Mother said that if I’d just waited for the apples to ripen, I wouldn’t have become sick. So now, whenever I really want something, I try to remember what she said about the apples.

What happens at the end of the chapter?
Amir meets with the lawyer who says Sohrab may have to wait in an orphanage. He is willing to help. Soraya arranges for a humanitarian visa to get Sohrab into the U.S. Later, Amir tells Sohrab that he would need to go to an orphanage again. Terrified, Sohrab becomes very upset. Later that night, Sohrab was taking a bath; Amir enters to talk with Sohrab, but finds that he has slit his wrists with a razorblade. It was said that Amir was still screaming after the ambulance arrived.
What is significant about Amir praying in the hospital?
the significance come from the fact that he is finally asking for forgiveness;

“Amir kneels down and prays to Allah, promising he’ll fast and pray and make a pilgrimage if only God will save Sohrab. (Amir also asks forgiveness.)”

What is the significance of the various characters sleeping so much?
they’re exhausted………. I’m not sure what else you’re looking for on this one. You have a boy who’s attempted suicide, a guilt ridden man who has bother saved and almost lost him, and a lot of guilty feelings on all ends. But they’re exhausted…… mentally and physically.
What does Amir make sure the General understands?
The General asks about Sohrab – why did Amir bring a Hazara boy back? Khanum Taheri and Soraya try to intervene, but Amir stands up for himself and tells the General very bluntly that Sohrab is his nephew. He tells the General about Baba and Sanaubar and Hassan. And gives the General a little piece of advice: “You will never again refer to him as ‘Hazara boy’ in my presence. He has a name and its Sohrab” (25.98).
What kind of child is Sohrab?
Sohrab is silent; he doesn’t speak. He’s sad, and he sleeps a lot. The incident that offers hope is the kite flying…..

Amir buys a kite. He walks over to Sohrab and shows him the kite. He tells Sohrab about the old days when Hassan was the best kite runner in all of Kabul.

Amir asks Sohrab if he wants to help him fly the kite. No answer. So Amir takes off running and the wind lifts his kite into the air. Amir notices Sohrab is standing right beside him. Although Sohrab doesn’t answer when Amir asks if he wants to hold the string, Sohrab does take the string in his hands. It’s a big moment.

A green kite starts closing in. (Don’t forget the fighting part of Afghan kite flying!) Sohrab hands the string to Amir and Amir, very confidently, says he going to teach the green kite a lesson.

While Sohrab holds the spool, Amir does Hassan’s “old lift-and-dive” trick. Amir is transported back to Kabul – Hassan, crows, mulberries, sawdust, and Ali dragging his foot. Amir cuts the green kite!

The people watching applaud. Sohrab smiles. And when Amir asks Sohrab if he wants Amir to run the green kite for him, Amir thinks he sees Sohrab nod. Before he takes off, Amir says to Sohrab, just like Hassan said all those years ago in Kabul, “For you, a thousand times over” (25.164).

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