Our story is set in Kabul, Afghanistan in 1975, before the Russian invasion. The main character, Amir, is looking back at his childhood and how it has has a profound effect on his life. Amir is the leader and Kabul the shi’a muslim is a follower and son of Ali the loyal servant. Amir’s father Baba who is a successful businessman but he is also a cold, hard man who is disappointed in his son They are of the high-cast Pashtun, and are Sunni muslim. Amir’s best friend is Hassan, who is son of the loyal servant Ali. They are low-caste Hazara, and are Shi’a Muslim. Hassan in uneducated, whereas Amir loves poetry, reading and writing – Which disappoints his father who wants him to like football. Rahim Khan is Baba’s friend who is kind and shows an interest inAmir and his writing. Farsi is the language of Afghanistan and there are numerous farsi and muslim words used in the novel. For example, Inshallah = Nomads, Buzkashi = Annual tournament featuring horseman, Namaz = Daily prayers

The first main turning point in the novel is when Amir witnessed Hassan’s rape and makes the decision to do nothing. He just wanted to get to the kite to please Baba. Hosseini has built up to this event by foreshadowing that something happens that will change their lives forever, in a negative way. Even in the first paragraph of the novel, Hosseini is hinting at what is to come

“That was the winter hassan stopped smiling”

“Get ready to lose again”

“Suddenly Afghanistan was changed forever”

Amir: Desperate to please Baba. Selfish, jealous of Hassan, Loves to write, wealthy

Hassan: Loyal, Obedient, Illiterate, poor

Assef: Nasty, Bully, Violent, German mother, Blonde, Blue eyes

Events after the first turning point

How do things change?

Amir didn’t see much of Hassan for a week and normally they would talk at the breakfast table

Amir has a better relationship with baba because he won the kite thing

Hassan is withdrawn and sleeps a lot

“It shouldn’t have felt this way. Baba and I were finally friends …. Except now that I had it, I felt as empty as this unkempt pool I was dangling my legs into”

Amir always wanted Baba’s attention, but he did a really bad thing to get it. He feels guilty and what he has done is haunting him to the point that he is physically sick. He now feels that he doesn’t deserve Baba’s attention.

Would you – Confess? Try to keep hiding from it? Is . it going to continue to haunt you?

What we will see is that Amir will spend the rest of his life trying to live with what he has done, and he will finally go on to redeem himself – he tries to make up for what he did to hassan

Forgive? But theft was the one unforgivable sin, the common denominator of all sins. When you kill a man, you steal a life. You steal his wife’s right to a husband, rob his children of a father. When you tell a lie, you steal someone’s right to the truth. When you cheat, you steal the right to fairness. There is no act more wretched than stealing. Hadn’t Baba sat me on his lap and said those words to me? Then how could he just forgive Hassan? And if Baba could forgive that, then why couldn’t he forgive me for not being the son he’d always wanted? Why –

  1. Explain Amir’s thoughts and feelings in the above quote.  –   Amir is feeling so much guilt and he wants to get rid of hassan from his life so that the feelings of guilt will all disappear.
  2. Why did Hassan say he had stolen the watch?
  3. Why is Baba brought to tears by Ali and Hassan leaving?  –  Because Ali was like a brother to him and he loved Hassan like a son and he also forgave hassan for stealing the watch and money.

The setting of Kabul, Afghanistan is hugely socially, politically and culturally important in the novel The Kite Runner. The story is told from the point of view of Amir, retelling the years he was growing up in Kabul and events that influenced his life, and his long journey from guilt to redemption.

Because the story is set in Afghanistan and told from the point of view of a local boy, we learn aspects of a different society -Islamic religion, the different classes in afghani society, local festivals and activities – specifically the sport of kite running. We are also exposed to numerous Farsi and islamic words and phrases, which add cultural depth and authenticity to Amir’s voice.


Analyse how language features were used to capture the reader’s imagination

Amir’s narrative point of view


First language words, festivals and cultural references

Symbolism – Kites, lamb to the slaughter, the cleft palate

In his novel The Kite Runner, author Khaled Hosseini uses numerous effective language features such as narrative point of view, foreshadowing, and symbolising to capture the readers imagination. Hosseini also includes first language Farsi words and references to cultural and religious events to add to the authenticity to the novel.

Paragraph one – Narrative point of view – first person amir talks about cultural

Paragraph two – Foreshadowing – Hints at events to come

Paragraph 3 – Symbolism, themes – Kites, cleft lip

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