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

  • main character and narrator
  • Best friend of Hassan, son of Baba, husband of Soraya
  • Makes a decision as a child which haunts him in adulthood
  • Half brother of Hassan (both Baba's progeny)
  • Adoptive father of Sohrab

Hassan

  • Best friend and servant of Amir
  • Thought to be the son of Ali, but it is revealed in chapter 17 he is actually Baba's son
  • Loyal to Amir despite any impact it may have on himself
  • Sohrab's father
  • Was raped as a teen, Amir witnessed, This is one of the most important parts of the novel
  • Dies because of a Taliban search. Killed in a back ally along with his wife

Baba

  • Father of Amir (and Hassan)
  • Wealthy citizen of Kabul who is known for his public works
  • Has a strained relationship with his son, Amir
  • Respected by citizens of Kabul
  • Dies of lung cancer

Ali

  • Servant of Baba, supposed father of Hassan
  • Like a brother to Baba
  • Leg crippled from Polio
  • Poor
  • Dies from a landmine explosion
  • Hazara
  • He can not have kids because of the Polio (Which Amir Learns Later)

Rahim Khan

  • Business associate and close friend of Baba
  • Has a close relationship with Amir
  • Also the main reason Amir returns back to the middle east

Assef

  • Antagonist
  • Neighborhood bully who hates Hassan because he is of Hazara descent.
  • Firm believer in the ways of Adolf Hitler.
  • Future leader of Taliban
  • Takes Sohrab from orphanage in Kabul

Soraya

  • Afghan living in California
  • Wife of Amir

Sohrab

  • Orphan son of Hassan
  • Enslaved and abused by Assef
  • Rescued and adopted by Amir
  • Amir's half-nephew
  • Suffers from depression, and attempts suicide by cutting his wrist

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