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Kite Runner & the History of Afghanistan

  • The Raping of Hassan

    After Amir and Hassan's win in the Kite flying contest, Amir goes searching for Hassan whom he cannot find. Hassan is found being raped by Assef and Amir shares his emotions as he stands by and witnesses this when he says, "I felt paralyzed. I watched them close in the on the boy I'd grown up with"(71). This illustrates the fear that Amir possessed during this inappropriate situation.
  • Amir and Hassan Win the Kite Flying Contest

    After Hassan takes down that last kite, Hassan exclaims, "'You won, Amir Agha! You won!' 'We won! We won!' Was all Amir [I] could say" (66). This conveys how Amir ultimately took the win of the kite flying contest for both Hassan and himself because Hassan was a Hazara and was not allowed to participate.
  • Kite Flying Contest continued...

    Which emphasizes the power dynamics between Amir the Pashtun and Hassan the Hazara. Where Hassan ​cannot be apart of certain activities because of his ethnicity; while, Amir is of a higher status which allows him to have more opportunities.
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    Kite Runner & the History of Afghanistan

  • Amir's 13th Birthday

    When Amir turned the age of thirteen, Baba planned for a huge celebration. Amir thinks, "It was my birthday, but I knew who the real star of the show was" (94) This depicts how Amir feels that Baba only threw a party for him because it would draw a lot of attention towards Baba and make him look good. Which delineates the father-son relationship challenges they both share.
  • Ali and Hassan Leave

    Ali decides that it is best for them to leave when Hassan gets accused of stealing. Baba protests, "'I forbid you to do this! Baba bellowed. 'Do you hear me? I forbid you!' 'Respectfully, you can't forbid me anything, Agha Sahib,' Ali said. 'We don't work for you anymore'"(106). Since Hassan and Amir are quitting, Baba cannot fathom the fact that he will never see them again. Which justifies the pain that Baba feels as he watches his biological son leave his home forever. ​
  • Invasion of the Soviet Union

    Afghanistan began experiencing little peace when "The first Soviet Union troops parachuted into Kabul..., to assist Babrak Kamal, who had become president in the coup within Afghan Communist leadership"(NYT).
  • Baba defends a women from being raped while leaving Afghanistan- Russian Invasion

    On their journey to Pakistan, a Russian soldier attempts to rape a women riding on the same bus. The Russian defends his actions when he says, "There is no shame in war,'" Baba replies, "'Tell him he's wrong. War doesn;t negate decency. It demands it, even more than in times of peace'" (115). Baba courageously stands up for a woman he does not know but takes this risk anyways. This contrasts from the situation where Amir was too scared to stand up for Hassan when he is being raped.​
  • Baba and Amir Arrive in San Francisco

    After escaping the from Russian invasion, Baba and Amir arrive in San Francisco, California. They were both excited to escape their past and "Baba loved the idea of America. It was living in America that gave him an ulcer" (125). This demonstrates how Baba is excited about the idea of a new place like America because he wants to forget his mistakes. Ultimately, the idea of living in America provides him with the opportunity to move on and distance himself from his past.​
  • Amir Graduates from High School

    When Amir finally graduates from High School at age twenty, Baba expresses his pride for him when "He walked to him [me], curled his arm around my neck, and gave my brow a single kiss. 'I am moftakir, Amir,' he said. Proud" (131). This displays how Baba cares deeply about Amir being successful in life and cares about Amir's future. Which is emphasized​ when Baba sacrifices his lifestyle in Afghanistan to move to America and provide Amir with more opportunities.
  • Baba and Amir begin selling at the Flea Market

    Baba and Amir began selling used goods at a flea market and "By that summer, Afghan families were working an entire section of the San Jose Flea Market" (137). This exhibits how Afghan families working in America need to use many ways of generating income. Since immigrating from another country, fin​ding good and high paying work can be difficult.
  • Amir meets Soraya

    After Amir meets Soraya at the flea market he realizes that he caught feelings for her. He shares, "My heart stuttered at the thought of her. Soraya Taheri. My Swap Meet Princess" (142). This illustrates Amir's first experience with falling in love. Which indicates a turning point in Amir's life when he begins considering her for marriage.
  • Amir and Soraya Get Married

    In Afghan tradition, the groom's father pays for the wedding expenses; which, "Baba spent $35,000, nearly the balance of his life savings, on the awroussi, the wedding ceremony" (169). This indicates how Baba made sure Amir's wedding was a formal Afghan experience. Through Baba's traditional ways, he would do anything to make sure his son's wedding ceremony is up to par. ​
  • Soviet Air Force

    Following the Soviet Invasion, "the Soviet Air Force was also rendered largely useless by advanced Stinger antiaircraft missiles​ supplied by the United States to the rebels" (NT).
  • Baba Dies from Cancer

    After Baba dies from cancer, Amir realizes that "His [my} whole life, he [I] had been 'Baba's son.' Now he was gone. Baba couldn't show him [me] the way anymore, he'd [I'd] have to find it himself [myself]"(174). This conveys how Amir has always looked up to Baba as his role model and, now, he must go on independently. Which emphasizes how much Amir depended on his father throughout his life. ​
  • Soviet Troops Leave Afghanistan

    The last of the Soviet troops left Afghanistan because of "the peace talks moderated by the United Nations,' although this left the ' that was not only devastated by the war but that had become a beacon to Islamic extremists from across the globe" (NYT)...
  • Post Soviet Union Invasion

    Mullah Omar, a Pashtun who fought against the Soviets,​ "had nearly 12,000 followers and was rolling up the warlords to the north and east. With his promise of restoring the centrality of Islam to daily life, he created a genuinely popular movement in a country weary of corruption and brutality" (NYT).
  • Taliban Takes Over

    The Taliban, a Muslim group who took over Afghanistan, started "imposing strict enforcement of fundamentalist Islamic law, banning movies and music and forcing women out of schools into all-enveloping burqua clothing" (NYT).
  • Post 9/11

    As a result of the attack on the World Trade Center in New York, "President George W. Bush gave the Taliban an ultimatum to hand over Mr. Bin Laden. When it refused, the United States joined forces with rebel groups that had never accepted the Taliban rule, notably the Northern Alliance, which represented the minority tribes" (NT).
  • The Karzai Governmenrt

    After the rule of the Taliban, Hamid Karzai became the new leader of the country and he wanted to "secure the peace for Afghanistan and win the country much-needed international aid"(NYT).
  • Amir finds out that he is Hassan's half brother

    When Amir goes back to Pakistan to visit Rahim Khan, he finds out the truth about his relationship with Hassan. After he finds out they are half-brothers he cries, "'How could you hide this from me? From him?'" and Rahim Khan replies, "'It was a shameful situation'" (223). This depicts how Baba never wanted to tell either of his sons because he cared too much about his reputation in Kabul. Which emphasizes the the effect that setting has on one's decisions and morals.
  • Amir Adopts Sohrab

    After Sohrab's parents are killed, Amir takes Sohrab from an orphanage to "atone for his [my] sins and for Baba's too" (226). This delineates how adopting Sohrab was Amir's way of making up for his sins from the past. Ultimately​, this justifies the theme of atonement portrayed throughout the novel.
  • Amir stands up for Sohrab

    When General Sahib insults Sohrab by calling him a Hazara, Amir defends him by saying “You will never again refer to him as a ‘Hazara boy’ in my presence. He has a name and it’s Sohrab” (361). This demonstrates how Amir has learned from his past mistakes of not defending Hassan because he is now able to stand up for Sohrab. This highlights the importance of atonement and making up for your past actions.
  • The Taliban Resurgence

    After the Taliban's defeat in 2001 it then resurged "as the American military focus was diverted to the invasion and occupation of Iraq, the Taliban regrouped and began to extend its influence in the southern part of Afghanistan" (NYT).
  • Amir and Sohrab Fly A Kite

    While flying kites with Sohrab, Amir notices that he had "One corner of his mouth curled up just so. A smile" (370). This highlights being in America and spending time with Amir has helped Hassan get through the loss of his parents. Which underlines the importance of being there for your ​family.
  • General Petraues Takes Charge of Military Operations

    General Petraeus, the successful Iraq commander was granted "with the responsibility for military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and across the region" (NYT).
  • President Obama's Announcement

    President Obama delivers a speech announcing "his plan to deploy 30,000 additional troops. He vowed to start bringing American forces home from Afghanistan in the middle of 2011" (NYT)...