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The Kite Runner Discussion > Questions to think about

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message 1: by Rose (last edited Sep 15, 2010 06:24AM) (new)

Rose | 10 comments Mod
1. Why does Baba treat Hassan so well, almost like his own son?

2. What is the importance/significance of the kite fighting? Why coat the string in glass (aside from benig able to cut down other kites)?

3. Is Amir capable of guilt?

message 2: by Mitch (new)

Mitch (wwwgoodreadscommitchrange) | 11 comments I guess this answers my questions. ;)

Who'd a thunk that it would behoove me to read on the book site.

I will weigh in with my answers in a week.

message 3: by Tracy (new)

Tracy | 5 comments Even though i have read it and loved it, i would really like to participate...please keep me updated...thanks!


message 4: by Tracy (new)

Tracy | 5 comments 1. Won't answer! ;)
2. Kite flying symbolizes freedom. The strings of the kites are coated with ground glass not only for real strenght, but for the repersentation of the inner strenght of the flier himself.
3. the coming pages in particular...errg, was that a spoiler...hope not!!! :(

message 5: by Tracy (new)

Tracy | 5 comments 3. Part 2 Amir practically "bleeds" guilt in his thoughts....however, his actions would seem to speak otherwise.

message 6: by Rose (new)

Rose | 10 comments Mod
1. Not having read the book before, the set up makes me think that Hassan actually IS Baba's son... somehow.

As a side note- I find it interesting that the author chose the color of the kite to be blue. This is symbolic of water, as in Hassan's dream. And Amir is the monster holding the string of the kite. The author presents it in a different way, but this also works.

But I get ahead of myself...

message 7: by Tracy (new)

Tracy | 5 comments The color of the kite and the water in the dream...excellent, i never thought of that. Have you been to the "Kite Runner" site? i wonder if it is still is/was amazing.

message 8: by Mitch (new)

Mitch (wwwgoodreadscommitchrange) | 11 comments 1. I'm also gonna guess that Hassan is Baba's illegitimate son. But, in the short term, I think that Baba sees something in Hassan, a strength of spirit, that he feels that Amir is lacking.

2. I believe that the significance of the glass is that it serves as a representational manifestation of the kite flyer's prowess. The more glass one has on the string for all to see, the "stronger" the kite is in the mind of the opponent.

There is also a lot of literary symbolism tied into the appearance of the kites, with respect to the central characters. It's a mixture of the representation of strength (as mentioned above) but also of individual freedom and happiness - the joy of childhood pursuits. They seem to be symbolic of a time of innocence that is lost to the adult Amir.

3. Amir, as a child, is a sensitive but spoiled rich kid. However, I do believe that as he grows and matures, he comes to understand the nature of guilt and regret. Indeed, during the opening passage of the book, Amir seems to pratically dwell in guilt.

message 9: by Mitch (new)

Mitch (wwwgoodreadscommitchrange) | 11 comments I find some of the parallels between the two main characters interesting. For example, both are bereft of a maternal figure, yet they handle it in different ways - Amir seems to lament it more than Hassan.

Also, there is an interesting dichotomy between Amir, who has all the material things in the world but no love or understanding, and Hassan, who is poor in worldly goods but rich in spiritual wealth.

message 10: by Mitch (new)

Mitch (wwwgoodreadscommitchrange) | 11 comments Now that I've read a little further, I see that my earlier statement was only partly correct. If anything, the kites represent innocence lost to Amir.

message 11: by Tracy (new)

Tracy | 5 comments Visit the "Kite Runner" movie site. The book didn't translate that well to film, however the site is amazing. try to find the "Fly Your Own Kite" spot.
It's amazing to see all the kites flying and read the messages people have written.

Be well,

message 12: by Rose (new)

Rose | 10 comments Mod
Does anyone have any questions of their own to post?

message 13: by Don (new)

Don Murphy | 3 comments I found this book similar to "To Kill a Mockingbird". Both are very beautiful books, full of great symbolism and whatnot. But, as I state in my review, reading this was like taking a brick to my forehead.

message 14: by Mitch (new)

Mitch (wwwgoodreadscommitchrange) | 11 comments Does anyone think that Baba is a sympathetic character, or purely a tragic one?

message 15: by Don (new)

Don Murphy | 3 comments I vote for sympathetic. He stands up to people and is flawed, but I wouldn't say he's being protrayed as a tragic character. I think the author wants us to feel that he's trying to do the right thing but can't/won't on many issues.

message 16: by Rose (new)

Rose | 10 comments Mod
I found it hard to sympathize with Baba. Sure, Amir is a "spoiled, rich kid," but he is also emotionally neglected by Baba, except on a few occasions when Amir feels close to him. Am I supposed to sympathize with a character who treats one boy with affection as best he can (e.g., facial surgery), but is critical of and rejects the other for who he is (e.g., writer, non-athletic)? Baba's internal struggle with his relationship to both boys seems tragic.

message 17: by Mitch (new)

Mitch (wwwgoodreadscommitchrange) | 11 comments I found Baba to be a complex and multifaceted character. In the early part of the book, he seemed to be a demanding taskmaster. But shortly before his death, he seemed to have developed a fairly close relationship with Amir.

I think that his one tragic flaw was pride. If he had been able to rise above cultural perceptions, he may have been able to give the young Hassan a chance at a productive and fulfilling life.

message 18: by Mitch (new)

Mitch (wwwgoodreadscommitchrange) | 11 comments An interesting theme of the novel is the role of culture in the development of the individual.

In what ways do you think that the author reveres Afghani culture? In what ways does he condemn it? Also, what do you think his views are on American cultural attitudes?

message 19: by Rose (new)

Rose | 10 comments Mod
The author seems to uphold the importance of family relationships, revering the parents, showing respect to other elders, even the adults making sacrifices for the children. An interesting relationship is the dynamic between adults and children as friends. But he seems to condemn the submissive wife role, and value the Americanized relationship of spouses as equals.

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