Matt Pawinski's Reviews > The Kite Runner

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
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May 12, 2010

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“My hands are stained with Hassan’s blood; I play God doesn’t let them get stained with the blood of this boy.” (pg. 346)

This is a great quote that I found in The Kite Runner that shows the love and friendship that Amir has towards Hassan’s son. Earlier in the book Amir pulled out a mat and started to pray, something that he hasn’t done in fifteen years. That shows how much he loves the boy. This quote also shows the guilt that Amir has built up after seeing Hassan get hurt by bullies in which Amir did nothing to help Hassan. Throughout this book Amir faces problems most likely caused by his lack of friendship towards Hassan when Hassan was in trouble. Amir wanted to have a baby with his wife but he couldn’t get her pregnant because of the bad karma he had as a child by not helping Hassan. These incidences that Hassan had with the bullies are in Amir’s dreams all the time.

The Kite Runner is about a man by the name of Amir who lives in San Francisco who is reminded by the events that took place while he was a child in Afghanistan. In his childhood he has a friend by the name of Hassan and the two boys play pranks on the neighbors but by far there favorite activity was “kite running”. Amir and Hassan participated in kite running competitions and Amir ended up winning a competition believing that he would earn his father’s respect. Soon after Amir watches his friend Hassan get raped by the neighborhood bullies. Amir does nothing to stop the bullies and help Hassan instead he runs away. Later in the book Amir’s father Baba decides that the two needed to leave Kabul, Afghanistan. They leave Hassan behind. While on their journey through Pakistan they watch as a father kills himself because his boy died. Once the Amir and Baba arrive in America, Baba sends Amir to school and Amir graduates college and meets his wife Soraya. Soraya and Amir get married. A couple months after the two get married Baba dies. When Soraya and Amir try and have kids they are incapable because of the bad karma that Amir has caused by his lack of friendship towards Hassan. Amir receives a phone call from his father’s friend Rahim Khan in Kabul. Rahim says that he is ill and that Amir should come back to Afghanistan for a visit. Amir convinces Soraya that it is his time to do something right so he can restore his happiness and get rid of his guilt with Hassan. Once Amir arrives in Afghanistan he visits Rahim and learns that Hassan and Hassan’s wife were killed by the Taliban. Amir also learns that Hassan has a son and he was in an orphanage in Kabul. Amir travels to Kabul and meets a new friend Farid who is Amir’s means of transportation around Kabul. Amir goes to the orphanage to find that the Taliban have taken Hassan’s son Sorab. Amir and Farid go to the Taliban hide out disguised as Taliban soldiers. They find Sorab chained up in the company of a Taliban soldier. Amir notices that the soldier is about to violate Sorab but he comes face to face with one of his childhood bullies, Assef. Assef discovers that Amir is in the same room and he starts to beat up Amir. Amir is transported to the hospital by Farid and the owner of the orphanage after being left in the room for about fifteen minutes. Amir learns that he had his lip cut in half just like Hassan’s harelip. After being discharged from the hospital Amir promises Sorab that he would never let him go back to an orphanage. Amir calls back home to tell his wife that he is okay and he found Hassan’s son in Kabul and he would like to adopt him and she agrees with the idea. Amir goes to the American Embassy and tries to reason with them to let him adopt Sorab as his son. They disagree because the boy has to be proven a legal orphan. The embassy worker feels bad for Amir and points him in the direction of a professional who might be able to help him adopt Sorab. He goes to the professional and asks him if he could help him adopt this boy. The professional gives him three options that do not let him get adoption rights immediately so he is dissatisfied. While Sorab is taking a bath Amir receives a phone call from his wife that she knows somebody who can make a temporary I.D. for Sorab and that Sorab can come to America. Amir becomes happy again until he finds Sorab bleeding to death in the bath tub. Amir takes Sorab to the hospital and prays that Sorab stays alive. Sorab survives but he doesn’t show a smile when he heard the news that he was going to America. They get to America and Sorab still doesn’t smile or talk. Amir decides to take Sorab kite running. Sorab starts to fly the kite and has a half smile on his face.

This book is told from the eyes of the main character Amir. As a child Amir lives in Kabul with his friend Hassan. They play and have fun together until Amir watches Hassan get bullied and he decides to run away and betray his friend. Amir is faced with dreams of the past and guilt of the lack of friendship towards Hassan. He goes back to Kabul to find that his friend Hassan was dead but he adopts Hassan’s son Sorab.

Sorab is Hassan’s son who isn’t revealed until the middle of the book when Amir goes back to Afghanistan. Sorab was put into an orphanage when his father and mother were killed by the Taliban. The Taliban took Sorab from the orphanage and they turned him into their sex slave. Amir takes Sorab back to America and they adopt Sorab as their son.

One conflict that I found while reading this book was the conflict between Amir and his father Baba. Amir was always trying to impress his father. When Amir won the kite running competition he went to his father and told him all about it and his father sort of ignored him. I believe this conflict was partially resolved when Amir graduated college and when Amir got married. When Baba was about to die he expressed how proud he was of Amir for all the things that he had done. Another conflict that I found while reading this book was the conflict between Hassan and Amir. Before the incident with the neighborhood bullies Amir and Hassan were best friends. After the incident Hassan basically wasn’t as happy as he was before because Amir decided to run away instead of helping Hassan. This incident was never resolved between Hassan and Amir directly but through Hassan’s son and Amir in a way that Amir traveled to Kabul and rescued Hassan’s son.

The part that I enjoyed most while reading this book was when Amir went back to Kabul and found it to be much different than it was before. There were missiles being launched, people begging for food and water, children starving to death because of dead parents. A part that I disliked while reading this book is when he would flashback from past to the present like when he was witnessing Sorab and the soldier he flashed back to the part where Hassan was raped. I thought this was kind of frustrating reading the same thing over and over again.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is high school and older because this book has some mature scenes that might not be suitable for younger people. I would recommend this book to anyone who would like to learn more about how Afghanistan changed over the decades and how much easier we have it over here in America.
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