Summary of the Kite Runner
Hosseini’s depiction of pre-revolutionary Afghanistan is rich in warmth and humor but also tense with the friction between the nation’s different ethnic groups. Amir’s father, or Baba, personifies all that is reckless, courageous and arrogant in his dominant Pashtun tribe. He loves nothing better than watching the Afghan national pastime, buzkashi, in which galloping horsemen bloody one another as they compete to spear the carcass of a goat. Yet he is generous and tolerant enough to respect his son’s artistic yearnings and to treat the lowly Hassan with great kindness, even arranging for an operation to mend the child’s harelip.
The story starts by highlighting the enduring nature of sin in this society. Amir says, “It’s wrong what they say about the past, I’ve learned, about how you can bury it. Because the past claws its way out” (Hosseini 1). What creeps back from the past? It is sin in this context. Amir betrays Hassan twice despite the fact that they are friends. The first incidence occurs when he finds Assef raping Hassan in the alley. Even though Hassan had stood for Amir in the past, Amir does not help him from his predicament or report the issue to Ali for he would help Hassan! Amir is sinning by betraying his close friend. During his thirteen birthday celebrations, Amir betrays Hassan once again by plotting to bring him out as a thief. Again, sin abounds. As the story unfold, it becomes clear that everyone is almost guilty of sin and he or she needs redemption. Assef is a sinner for he rapes Hassan. Amir learns later in the story how Baba, his father sinned. After Rahim Khan discloses Baba’s secret to Amir, he realizes that everyone is sinful and the reason why Baba was tough on is that he was guilty of his sin.
Then with Amir’s guilt he could not bare Hassan but if he had just taken the beating back then the friendship would never have been broken and Amir and Hassan might still have been friends.
Hosseini, Khaled. “The Kite Runner.” New York: The Berkeley Publishing Group, 2003.