Kite Runner & the History of Afghanistan

  • 1. Hassan threatens Assef

    . During a verbal fight between Assef, Hassan, and Amir, Hassan threatens Assef saying that he is “the one holding the slingshot [and if Assef makes] a move, they’ll have to change [Assef’s] nickname…because [he has] this rock pointed at [Assef’s] right eye” (42). Hassan tells Assef that if he tries to hurt Amir he will end up with no eye. This threat stays with Assef and is carried out by Hassan’s son, Sohrab, many years later. Overall, Hassan demonstrated his loyalty by protecting Amir.
  • 2. Assef vows revenge on Amir

    Following the first fight (noted in the book) between Assef, Hassan, and Amir, Assef vows that the fight “isn’t the end for [Amir and that] someday, [he will] make [Amir] face [him] one on one” foreshadowing a future run in between Amir and Assef (43). This vow informs the reader that Assef will be in the book later on and that he is still living. This quote also foreshadows future violence between Amir and Assef.
  • Hassan shouts “for you a thousand times over”

    Before going to run Amir’s kite, Hassan shouts to Amir that he will bring the kite back for Amir “a thousand times over” (67). In other words, Hassan is giving Amir his word in telling him that no matter what stand in his way he will bring that kite to Amir. This quote was a secret way of Hassan telling Amir how much he truly cares for him and how he would do anything for Amir. This quote also foreshadows that something unpleasant is most likely going to happen to Hassan.
  • Hassan violated

    When Assef “flung himself at Hassan” and was violating him, Hassan dealt with it and did not fight back (73). In other words, Hassan was brave. He did not give into Assef and show him how much he was hurting. Hassan promised Amir that he would return with the kite no matter what and he did not break that promise. In that moment, when Hassan is abused, he proved to be a stronger and better-hearted man than Amir would ever be. Overall, Hassan demonstrated what a true friend/ brother is.
  • 5. Rahim Khan giving Amir the book

    At Amir’s birthday party, Rahim Khan gives Amir “a brown leather-bound notebook [with] gold-colored stiching on the borders”, the only present Amir keeps and treasures throughout the story (99). By giving Amir this notebook, Rahim Khan indirectly told him that he believed in him and his dreams of becoming a writer. He gave Amir hope and this hope stayed with Amir throughout his life and eventually he became a very successful writer.
  • 6. Hassan taking the blame for Amir’s wrong doing (watch)

    When framing Hassan for stealing his watch and money, Amir doesn’t expect Hassan to say “Yes” when Baba is asking Hassan if he stole the money and watch (105). In that moment, Hassan revealed his true respect, love, and loyalty for Amir even when he didn’t have to. At this point in the story, Hassan knew that Amir had seen him get violated yet he still helped Amir and lied so Amir would not get in trouble with Baba. Overall, this scene was very important because it showed how strong Hassan is.
  • The Soviets Invade

    Afghanistan was a fairly peaceful country until "1979 when the Soviet Union invaded" from there the ocuntry "has known little peace" since then (1).
  • The Soviets arrive

    The Afghanistans thoroughly corrupted area mainly started when "the first Soviet troops parachuted into Kabul on Dec. 27, 1979, to assist Babrak Karmal" and from her Afhanistan started its downfall (2).
  • 7. Amir and Baba leave Kabul

    When Baba and Amir leave Kabul to “[live] in America” it gives them a new start at their relationship (125). Baba and Amir never had a strong relationship, yet as they both came to America their bond grew stronger because they were all the other had left. This scene is important because this is where Amir and Baba start having a true and real father-son relationship. They learn to start depending on the other and accepting that they need each other to survive.
  • 8. Amir marries Soraya

    Amir marrying Soraya made a huge impact on his life because he had never truly felt the “tenderness of a woman” due to being surrounded by men as he was growing up (171). In other words, Amir found a companion, partner, and friend in Soraya-someone who would stick by him and not leave him like Baba, Hassan, or Rahim Khan had. Soraya gave him the courage and will-power he lacked. She was brave and that also helped Amir in his growing/learning experiences and in many of the decisions he made later
  • The Soviets leave

    After staying in Afghanistan for over 9 years and many peace talks "moderated by the United Nations, the last Soviet troops left Afghanistan in February 1989" yet this still did not help the country becasue it was left in complete ruins (2).
  • After the Soviets

    After the Soviets left, "Afghanistan descended into vicious internecine strife" and throughout the summer of 1994, the country's power was divided among "competing warlords and individual fiefdoms" still leaving Afghanistan in absolute chaos (2).
  • The Pakistani intelligence

    The Taliban power in Afghanistan would have "withered" if it were not for Pakistan (a neighboring country). In 1994, Pakistani intelligence officers started to funnel "arms, money, and supplies" to Mullah Omar's men "as well as military advisers to help guide them in battle" (3).
  • Taliban takes control

    Through the chaos happening in Afghanistan, "the Taliban by 1996 had taken control of Afghanistan" and started to impose strict and tight rules on the Afghan people (3).
  • The Taliban and Mr. bin Laden

    The Taliban and Al Queda were actually pretty civil towards one another. For example, "the Taliban also provided a haven for Mr. bin Laden, who arrived by chartered jet at Jalalabad Airport in May 1996" even though they were both ruling powers they still managed to help each other out (3).
  • 2001 invasion

    U.S. Military forces made the "2001 invasion [a success] in dislodging Al Queda adn removing the Taliban from power", yet it did not eradicate either group (1).
  • 9/11 attack on the Twin Towers

    In 2001, there was an "attack on the World Trade Center in New York on Sept. 11,2001" by Al Queda (3).
  • 9. Amir’s call from Rahim Khan

    One of the biggest events in the book is when Amir receives “a [call] from Pakistan” from his friend Rahim Khan telling him that “there is a way to be good again” (1-2). Rahim Khan was giving Amir an opportunity to atone for his mistake. If Rahim Khan hadn’t called Amir, Amir wouldn’t have gone back to Kabul, wouldn’t have saved Sohrab, and he wouldn’t have reached peace within himself. By making this phone call, Rahim Khan gave Amir a chance to start over and wipe the slate clean.
  • Finding out Hassan is his brother

    Amir finding out “[Hassan] and [him] were brothers” further gives him a reason to find Sohrab and rescue him (322). From here, Amir has more of a will to help out, redeem himself, and atone for what he did to Hassan. Amir's passion to help Sohrab overpowers his guilt and makes him stronger as a person. Overall, Finding out Hassan was his brother made Amir realize that people were counting on him and it gave him the final push to make amends.
  • Amir leaving money and watch for family

    Amir “[plants] a fistful of crumpled money under [the] mattress” of the couple he is staying with in Jalalabad (242). Amir’s act of planting the money under the mattress just like he had done twenty six years before shows his growth as a person. Amir had originally done this to frame Hassan when he was younger and now he was doing it again to help people. In a way, Amir was making amends for what he had done to Hassan and overall this action represented Amir’s change as a man.
  • Amir finding Sohrab

    When Amir makes up his mind to “[go] to Kabul” to find “Hassan’s son” he accepts that he has to atone for what he has done (227). A new sense of determination overcomes him and in finding Sohrab. When Amir sees what happens in the arena and what Sohrab looks like for the first time, Amir immediately wants to take him away from all that has been hurting him. This shows how much Amir has changed as a man both spiritually and mentally over the course of a couple days.
  • Amir laughing when getting beaten up

    As Amir is getting beaten up by Assef, he “[starts] laughing and laughing” (289). In other words, Amir “felt at peace” because he believed he finally got what he deserved (289). In other words, Amir starts laughing because he feels a sense of relief and healing while getting beaten up by Assef. By getting beaten, Amir, in a way, is paying for all the actions he committed against Hassan and that brings him a sense of healing and happiness knowing that he had gotten what he deserved.
  • Adopting Sohrab

    Originally when General Taheri told Amir and Soraya that “this adoption thing [was not] for [them] Afghans” Amir and Soraya completely agreed (187). But when Amir finds, rescues, and meets Sohrab, he asks him to “come live in America” with him and his wife despite his previous words (320). Going to get Sohrab prompted Amir to change his mind. By adopting Sohrab and accepting him as a son Amir had fully atoned for his mistakes committed against Hassan and this is what gave him peace.
  • Amir shouts “For you a thousand times over”

    Towards the last pages of the book when Amir is running Sohrab’s kite he shouts, “For you a thousand times over”, the same line Hassan shouted to him when he was running Amir’s kite (371). This was Amir’s hidden promise to Sohrab. Hassan had promised Amir that no matter what he would return with the kite and he kept that promise. Amir’s promised he would never leave or let anything hurt Sohrab again. By saying this line, Amir finally found his peace and redemption in life by facing his past.
  • Hamid Karzai starts his rule

    Hamid Karzai was a stron supporter of the exiled king of Afghanistan and at first "he took office as an interim president in June 2002" but later he "was elected to a 5 year term as president in 2004" (3).
  • Obama's speech of 2009

    Obama gave a "speech deliverd Dec. 1, 2009 at West Point" saying that he was going to "deploy 30,000 additional troops" and that he would start bringing the forces home (4)