Summary of the Kite Runner Outline
In the Kite Runner the overall theme of redemption is constantly present. The story is narrated through Amir; (except for chapter 16) who is recalling his childhood in Kabul Afghanistan in 1975 until current day. The main characters include Amir, a young upper class boy and his father Baba; a wealthy business man. Amir and Baba have servants in their house which are Ali and his son Hassan. The novel is divided into three timeframes; Amir’s childhood in Kabul, then him and his father’s arrival to California, next his return to Kabul. Amir grows up alongside Hassan even know Hassan is a Hazara. In Kabul and surrounding areas of Afghanistan, Hazaran men and woman are extremely persecuted. Although Hassan is bullied by village kids Amir is somewhat of a brother and Baba shows a fatherly role toward Hassan. In beginning of the novel we learn that Amir’s mother died giving birth to him and Hassan’s mother ran off with a band of Gypsies. Therefore Amir and Hassan were both fed from the same wet nurse; which is shown in Amir and Hassan’s close relationship. Baba never treated Ali or Hassan unfairly; instead he shows much attention to Hassan which conjures feeling of resentment and jealously through Amir. Hassan was born with a clef lip which Baba pays to have surgically repaired. Amir being the protagonist of the story try’s to win his father’s affection throughout his childhood years but feels like he never gains his father’s admiration. Amir wonder’s if Baba blames him for his mother’s death. In Afghanistan; people have Kite competitions where they battle brightly colored Kites in annual tournaments. Amir decides that he and Hassan would make a good team. The overall objective for Amir was to show his father that he could make him proud. Amir actually wins the competition. Being a loyal teammate Hassan runs off to find the fallen kite. Some of the notorious neighborhood boys (Assef, Kamal, and Wali) that bully Hassan find him in alleyway looking for the missing kite. What happens next shapes the rest of the novel dramatically. Assef the main bully ordered the other boy to hold Hassan down and rapes him brutally. Amir confused as to where Hassan had gone happens to walk in on the assault. Amir panic’s and runs away.
Following the rape Amir is confused as to what he should have done to stop what happened. Hassan does not speak of what happened with Amir but appears shaken. The two boys act as if the assault never happened. Amir being a young child; begins thinking heavily on his role in the assault. Amir feels like a coward. The guilt haunts him heavily. Amir believes the only solution is to make Hassan and his father leave Baba’s house. Amir purposely stuffs a wad of cash under Hassan’s mattress in hope that Baba would be so angry he would make Ali and Hassan leave. Amir’s plan worked. As one last act of sacrifice Hassan admits to stealing money and a watch that was planted by Amir. Baba being the wise man he was forgave Ali and Hassan; then took them to the bus stop to leave his house.
In the five years between Amir’s betrayal and his departure out of Afghanistan to California, many things changed in Afghanistan politically. Tensions between the Soviet Union increased and Baba and Amir escaped to Pesawar Pakistan to avoid the terror reign that was happening in Kabul.
During the transit this part of the novel we realize how things have changed for Baba and Amir. No longer does Baba possess the wealth he once had. His position in the upper class of society has been stripped. Baba made his escape alongside all classes of people. As they traveled to Pakistan they arrived upon a particular checkpoint in which Russian guards were occupying. One of the guards demands to have thirty minutes with a fellow female passenger. Baba stands up to the guard and saves the woman’s virtue regardless of Amir’s protest. The difference in morals between