The novel I’m reading is called The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. This book is narrated and told in first person. I’ve never read a book by this particular author but I’ve heard many good things about his work also I’ve heard this book is interesting from many different people . So far the book talks about a young boy named Amir who is from the wazir Akbar khan district of kabul. Amir talks about how him and his fathers relationship isn’t so good. I haven’t gotten so far in the book but I find it interesting already.
Amir talks about a phone call he receives last summer from his friend Rahim Khan who lived in Pakistan. Later that day Amir was walking through San Francisco where he lives now and he noticed kites in the sky and that made him think about his past and his friend Hassan because he called him “a kite runner”.
He talks about how as a child him and Hassan would climb trees and use mirrors to reflect sunlight.
Later on in the book Amir talks about how Hassan’s father Ali was a servant to his “baba” which means father and how neither Hassan nor Amir have a mother. Amir’s mother died giving birth to him and Hassan’s mother ran away 5 days after having him.
Hassan is referred to as Hazara which is a ethnic group in Afghanistan but Amir and Baba are Pashtun.
In the past if you were Apart of the Hazara you were brutally suppressed by the Pashtuns. They would call them names like “mice-eating” or “flat nosed” because Hazara are Shia Muslims while Pashtuns are Sunni Muslims.
As a Sunni Muslim I feel like I can relate really well to this book so far because even in this century and generation Sunnis and Shias are still fighting and are still being called rude names.
Amir talks a lot about his father and how he built an orphanage even after everyone said he had no business sense but it made him one of the most successful business men in the city.
One day the religious teacher Mullah Fatiullah Khan at Amir’s school talks about how it is a sin to drink alcohol. Later on Amir watches his baba pours himself a glass of whiskey. Amir told him baba what his teacher says and his father tells Amir that “men like him are idiots” and there only one sin which his theft.
In my opinion I disagree with Amir’s father because in the Quran which is the holy book that Muslims follow is says that drinking is a sin but also so is theft. My mom use you tell me that back in the day not a lot of people would follow the book and they would question it a lot.
I feel like Amir looks up to his father a lot and tried to please him by being more like him but he never feels successful. He knew his father likes soccer so he tried it but it wasn’t for him and he was unsuccessful.
Amir found a passion which was poetry but he knew his father wouldn’t accept t because it was unmanly.
When Amir was a child he couldn’t stand up for himself which made his father think that if he can’t do it now then when he’s older he won’t be able too.
I think it’s really sad that Amir has to try to get attention from his father by doing things his father likes and not him himself.
I also think it’s very stereotypic for Amir’s father to think that poetry isn’t manly. Back home if you’re a man you’re usually doing hard working jobs like construction or something and I think that Amir’s father thinks like that because of others judgment.
In this part of the story Amir talks about one night when gunfire erupts on the streets and him, Ali and Hassan hid in the house until the next morning . Amir says that night was the end of the Afghanistan they knew.
He talks about the communist taking over in 1978 and then in 1979 when Russia invaded.
Amir was bullied by A boy named Assef and his 2 other friends for being friends with a hazara.
I find that really wrong in my opinion because at the end of the day whether you are a hazara or a pushtun you are a Muslim. And even now in this time and this century people are still being bullied for what they are.
Adult Amir is the one telling the story and you can tell by the way he explains things that he recognizes a lot of the things about his younger self like how he always wanted to be better at everything. He didn’t want Hassan to be better than him at anything and when he was he stopped whatever it was for example if Hassan was better at board games Amir wouldn’t play them anymore.
The best part of the winter was the annual kite flying tournament. The boys would cover their strung in broken glass and when the string is cut, the kite flies and they chase it all across the city until it falls. The last kite to fall is a trophy for honor. Amir says that Hassan is the best in all of Kabul.
One day baba took Amir and Hassan to buy a kite from a blind old man because he made the best in the city.
In this part of the novel Amir talks about how when he was younger he witnessed Hassan being raped by Assef. He talks about how during the rape he debated on doing something but instead he ran. Fifteen minutes later he sees Hassan bleeding and crying. Hassan handed him the kite and didn’t say anything. When they got home baba hugged Amir while he cried.
This part of the novel was really emotional for me. I feel like at that moment Amir was too in to much shock to say or do anything and that’s why he ran. Also because the fact that one is hazara and the other is pushtun I think Amir thought that if he did speak up they would consider him a hazara and bully him even more.
Amir and Hassan started to spend less time together after the rape. Amir and baba took a trip to a cousin’s house and while they were there baba brought up the kite tournament and how much he enjoyed it. Amir stayed silent.
They all laid down in bed in the same room and slept but Amir couldn’t sleep. He said out loud he watched Hassan get raped but no one heard him. And said that was the night he became an insomniac.
I think Amir feels extremely guilty for what happened to Hassan especially because he didn’t do anything to stop him.
When they returned him Hassan made many attempts to hang out with Amir but Amir just didn’t want to so he started avoiding him.
Amir no longer wanted Hassan in his home so he asked his father for a new servant but his father refused to get one. Amir later takes his birthday money and a watch that baba got him and tried to set Hassan up by putting under his mattress. When baba found out Hassan “stole” from Amir he confronted Hassan. Hassan didn’t deny it and said he did take it and apologized. Baba forgave him which made Amir upset.
I think Amir was uncomfortable with Hassan living with him after everything that happened and that’s why he wanted him gone. He couldn’t deal with the fact that he was raped and a lot of guilt was bottled up from it and I think Amir felt like the only way to move on was if Hassan didn’t live there anymore.
In this chapter the story jumps forward to baba and Amir living in California, where they have been for the past 2 years. Baba works at a gas station and is having lots of problems trying to adjust his new life style because it’s so “different”.
Amir had ask his baba if it would be a good idea to go back to Pakistan because of how things weren’t working out in the U.S.. His baba told him that they had moved here for his education so that Amir could finish high school and go on to college.
The day after Amir’s graduation he talks to his baba and tells him how he wants to study writing but his baba disapproves. Amir already had his mind made though.
I feel like as Amir is growing up he is realizing what he wants to do with his life and he’s not going to let this baba stop him.
The story goes to about a year later when baba bought a new van. On Sunday’s they would set up at the flea market to sell some stuff.
On morning baba was speaking to a man named general Taheri. Baba told general that his son Amir was going to be a great writer one day. General Taheri’s daughter Soraya and Amir made eye contact. Later on when baba and Amir were in the car Amir asked baba about her. He didn’t know too much, only that she was once In love with a man. Amir stayed up that night thinking about Soraya.
After a year of Amir trying to find the courage to talk to Soraya he finally did yet they only talked when General Taheri was away. One day Amir was telling Soraya a story when General Taheri arrived. He threw out the story and walk amir away.
Amir later started focusing on his father who was found to be diagnosed with lung cancer. Baba refused to get treatment even when Amir doesn’t know what to do. Amir’s father forbid him to tell anyone about his illness. Baba slowly starts to weaken as the months go by until one day he collapsed. Afghans came and drove him to the hospital.
Later on Amir asks his baba if he would go to General Taheri and ask for spray as hand for him. His father was happy and went the next day. General Taheri accepted. Baba goes to call Amir to tell him the good new then gives Soraya the phone. She’s happy but wants Amir to know about her past because she doesn’t want any secrets.
When Soraya was 18 she ran away with an afghan guy and lived with him for almost a month. Her father found her and a took her home. When Soraya ran away her mother Jamila had a stroke. After Amir heard this he was bothered but still wanted to marry her.
Because baba was so sick they wanted to plan the wedding quickly. Baba rented out an afghan banquet hall and other things for the wedding. As Amir and Soraya are sitting on the sofa with a veil over them Amir tells Soraya he loves her for the first time. Shorty after Amir’s baba passed away. Many afghans showed up to the funeral to pay their respects.
Slowly Amir starts to learn different things about General Taheri and his family like how he didn’t want to work because he thought he was above that so he put his family on welfare or how Sorayas mother has a Beautiful voice but General doesn’t allow her to sing in public.
Soraya tells Amir more about what happened when she ran away. She’s tells him how her father came with a gun to get her and once they got home he made her cut off all her hair.
In the summer of 1988 Amir finished and published his first novel. Later on him and Soraya kept trying to get pregnant but couldn’t. They went to multiple doctors but they couldn’t find the reason. The considered adopting but General Taheri didn’t like that idea.
The story jumps to the year 2001 when Amir reviewed a call from Rahim khan. Rahim is ill and wants to see Amir in Pakistan. Amir tells Soraya and a week later he leaves to Pakistan. Once Amir lands in Peshawar the cab driver talks to him about what’s happening in Afghanistan and how horrible it is.
They reach a neighboring old called “afghan town” and Amir realizes the extent of what has happened to the people of Afghanistan and what has destroyed Kabul. He starts remembering the last time he saw Rahim khan which was 20 years ago when baba left Kabul. Baba and Rahim kept in touch but Amir had not spoken to him since Baba’s death.
When Amir arrived at Rahims house he saw how thin and sick he looked. They sat down and Amir told him about Soraya and how he is a novelist now. They then started talking about what happened to Afghanistan since the Taliban took over. Rahim tells Amir the story behind the scar on his eye. A man was cheering loudly at a soccer game next to Rahim when a guard patrol heard the noise so he walked over and smashed him with the rifle.
Rahim had been living in Baba’s house in Kabul since 1981, when baba and Amir left. He took care of it expecting baba to return.
Kabul became dangerous as the afghans caught for control of the city. Rahim says the alliance ruined the city more the sharawi did. By alliance he refers to different non-Pashtun ethnic groups.
Rahim starts to cough up blood and Amir asks how well his is. He doesn’t think he’ll make it to summer. He wanted to see Amir that’s why he asked him there but he also wanted something else. While living in Baba’s home he has Hassan with him and before telling Amir the favor he had to talk about Hassan.