The kite runner

The Kite Runner - Chapters 1-7

  • 1) Characters are introduced, the story is set - (Chapter 2)

    1) Characters are introduced, the story is set  - (Chapter 2)
    The 2nd chapter of the book begins by introducing the main character, Amir, and tells of his unusual friendship with his servant, Hassan - Although they are from two different worlds, Amir is wealthy, literate, Sunni Muslim, while Hassan is poor, a Hazara, and a Shi'a Muslim. Despite all of their differences, however, the boys grow up playing together and become inseparable. "...there was a brotherhood between people who had fed from the same breast, a kinship that not even time could break."
  • Symbolism

    In the first chapter, as Amir walks by the lake, he sees two kites flying in the sky, reminding him of Hassan and himself. To Amir, the kites symbolize freedom, and the way things used to be.
  • Foreshadowing

    The first chapter of the novel is filled with foreshadowing:
    "I became what I am today at the age of twelve... crouching behind a crumbling mud wall, peeking into the alley..."
    This tells the reader that some life-changing event took place, and completely changed the life of Amir.
  • 2) Amir overhears Baba's disapproval of him - (Chapter 3)

    Sitting outside of Baba's study, Amir overhears him voicing his disapproval to Rahim Khan. Baba is a large, intimidating man. He is well liked by everybody, and as a child, was very athletic. Amir, however, is completely opposite. He can be very spacy, and much prefers books to soccer balls.
    " 'But something about Amir troubles me in a way that I can't express. It's like..... If I hadn't seen the doctor pull him out of my wife with my own eyes, I'd never believe he's my son.' "
  • 3) Amir discovers his talent as a storyteller, and writes his first story - (Chapter 4)

    One day, while playing with Hassan, instead of reading to Hassan from a book, Amir makes up his own story. Hassan praises him for this, and Amir decides to write his own. Amir's first written story is about a poor man who finds a cup. When he cries into this cup, his tears turn into pearls.
    " 'Some day, Inshallah, you will be a great writer,' Hassan said. 'And people all over the world will read your stories.' "
  • Imagery

    Amir's talent as a storyteller is clearly evident throughout the novel, based on his detailed description of people and places. The descriptions given for the characters Ali, Baba, and Hassan, all give the reader a life-like image of the character.
  • 4) The Communist coup d'etat begins in Afghanistan - (Chapter 5)

    At the time, this does not really affect Amir and his story, but in the future, it will play a huge role. One night, they are awoken by the sound of gunfire, a sound that will be come part of their routine for years.

    "Huddled together in the dining room and waiting for the sun to rise, none of us had any notion that a way of life had ended. Our way of life. If not quite yet, then at least it was the beginning of the end."
  • 5) Amir and Hassan have their first run-in with Assef - (Chapter 5)

    One day, while walking in the streets, Amir and Hassan are approached by Assef, an intimidating, ruthless child, known for his brass knuckles and short temper. The boys escape, though narrowly, However, their escape has a price, as Assef now feels he has a score to settle with Hassan. " 'You should know something about me, Hazara,' Assef said gravely. 'I'm a very patient person. This doesn't end today, believe me.' "
  • Irony

    For his birthday, Hassan is given the gift of a surgery to fix his hare-lip. This defect, present since birth, had given him a permanent 'smile' which went well with his happy nature. However, shortly after hsi surgery, things took a turn for the worse.
    "Then his lips twisted, and, that time, I knew just what he was doing. He was smiling.... Which was ironic. Because that was the winter that Hassan stopped smiling."
  • 6) For his birthday, Hassan is given the gift of surgery by Baba - (Chapter 5)

    For his birthday, instead of being given the usual gift of a toy from Baba, Hassan is given the gift of a surgery to fix his hare-lip. The surgery goes well, and Hassan is left with nothing but a faint scar. "The surgery went well. We were all a little shocked when they first removed the bandages, but kept our smiles on just as Dr. Kumar had instructed us. It wasn't easy, because Hassan's upper lip was a grotesque mesh of swollen, raw tissue."
  • 7) Hassan reveals his dream to Amir - (Chapter 7)

    On the morning of the big kite contest, Hassan tells Amir of a curious dream he had.
    " 'We were at Ghargha Lake, you, me... and thousands of other people... it was warm and sunny, and the lake was clear like a mirror. But no one was swimming because they said a monster had come to the lake. It was swimming at the bottom, waiting.' "
  • 8) Amir wins the kite contest - (Chapter 7)

    After a long day of intense competition, Amir emerges victorious! "Then the moment came. I closed my eyes and loosened my grip on the string. It sliced my fingers again as the wind dragged it. And then... I didn't need to hear the crowd's roar to know. I didn't need to see either. Hassan was screaming and his arm was wrapped around my neck."
  • 9) Hassan is raped by Assef - (Chapter 7)

    After Hassan runs the kite for Amir, he is cornered in an alley by Assef and his cronies. When he refuses to give up the kite, Assef gets his revenge, and rapes him. Amir is given the oppurtunity to do something about it.
    "I had...One final opportunity to decide who I was going to be. I could step into that allaey, stand up for Hassan - the way he'd stood up for me all those times in the past - and accept whatever would happen to me. Or I could run. In the end, I ran."
  • 10) Amir and Hassan return home - (Chapter 7)

    Amir returns home, victorious. Neither he or Hassan speak of the incident in the alley. For once, Baba is proud of Amir.
    "... a smile plated on my father's lips. He opened his arms. I put the kite down and walked into his thick hairy arms. I buried my face in the warmth of his chest and wept... In his arms, I forgot what I'd done. And that was good."
  • Thoughts..

    The first 7 chapters of this novel provide an excellent set up for the rest of the novel. I thought that the character development and introduction was phenomonal. All of the characters seem very relatable, as well as very deep. Also, the large amount of foreshadowing, especially in the first few chapters, leaves the reader wondering if there is more hidden within the words on the page.