The Kite Runner Study Guide

The Kite Runner

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

The Kite Runner is the story of Amir and Hassan, two boys in pre-Soviet Afghanistan. Amir is the son of a wealthy merchant, Hassan a servant. The two have an uneven friendship. Hassan is secretly Amir's half-brother, a product of his father's indiscretion with a servant. The two grow apart during the war and the subsequent rise of the Taliban and Amir journeys to America where his father passes away. He returns to Afghanistan to claim Hassan's son in the wake of Hassan's death at the hands of the Taliban.

Baba is a formidable man, both in stature and business. Amir longs to be close to him, but always fears his father is distant because his wife died giving birth to Amir. Some of Baba’s businesses are an orphanage, a restaurant, and a carpet-exporting business. He is one of the richest merchants in Kabul.

Baba says that theft is the one true sin. All other sins (such as murder) are variants of theft. He believes that a murderer robs a wife of a husband, a child of a father. Baba’s father was murdered when Baba was a child.

Amir overhears a conversation between Baba and Rahim Khan. Baba says that he doesn’t understand Amir because he does not stand up for himself. Even when teased and pushed in the streets, Amir lets Hassan defend him. Baba does not respect this quality, and says that if he did not see Amir’s birth, he would not believe Amir is his son.

Rahim Khan says Amir just lacks a mean streak. Baba is glad Rahim Khan understands Amir and can be close to him.

The next day, Amir snaps at Hassan out of jealousy. Amir says he does have a mean streak.

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