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.

Amir wins the annual kite fight as Baba watches. Amir wonders if Baba is proud of him or proud of Hassan. Hassan runs after the last kite Amir cut, as Amir plans to present the kite to Baba as a trophy.

Amir looks for Hassan and finds him cornered in an alley by Assef and his friends. They want to take the kite and beat up Hassan. Assef tells Hassan that he is not really Amir’s friend, but his servant. They start to beat Hassan as Amir crouches behind a wall, watching because he is too afraid to step in.

Assef rapes Hassan as his friends hold him down. Amir runs away. He later meets Hassan and pretends he doesn’t know what happened. Hassan gives Amir the kite, and Amir wonders if Hassan knows Amir saw. Amir gives the kite to Baba, who is proud of Amir.

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