The start of the book is written like a detective book. It hints at things that have happened, but doesn’t tell us what. It wants us to ask questions, such as ‘what happened when the narrator was crouching behind the rock in 1975? Copy down the following quotes. What does each tell us about the narrator?
‘…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.’ (1)
‘I knew it wasn’t just Rahim Khan the line. It was my past of unatoned sins.’ (1)
‘I thought about something Rahim Khan had said… There is a way to be good again.’
Chapter 2: Amir and Hassan’s relationship introduced
Complete the following quote…
‘Sometimes… I talked _________ into firing walnuts with his __________ at the neighbour’s one-eyed German shepherd. Hassan _____ ______ __, but if I asked, really asked, he wouldn’t ____ me. Hassan never denied me anything…. He never told on me.’ 3-4
Write 2-3 lines: What does this quote tell us about the relationship between Amir and Hassan?
Pg 8 Name the two ethnic groups in Afghanistan.
What do we learn about each group?
Which ethnicity is Amir?
Which ethnicity is Hassan?
Complete the quote…
‘[Ali]…would remind us that there was a _________ between people who had fed from the same _______, a __________ that not even time could break. ________ and I fed from the same breasts.’
What does this quote tell us about the relationship between Amir and Hassan?
Chapter 3 Amir and Baba’s relationship introduced.
Who does this chapter focus on?
List three things we learn about him
In this chapter we learn that there is some conflict between Amir and Hassan. What is the cause of this conflict?
What does Baba build?
What is Baba’s view on the Taliban? Find a quote to support your answer (15)
According to Baba, what is the only sin?
How does Amir feel towards the children in the Orphanage?
Why does he feel this way?
Why does Amir think Baba hates him a little?
Complete the quote…
Baba “A ______who won’t stand up for __________ becomes a _____ who can’t stand up to ___________.” 20
Chapter 4 Fathers’ relationship reflected in behaviour of sons.
What do we discover about Ali and Baba? 21
Why do you think Baba never referred to Ali as his friend? 22
Why does Baba laugh at Hassan and Amir?
Read through the plot summary of the story Rostam and Sohrab (25), then complete the summary…
_________ wounds and kills his ________ Sohrab. Afterwards, he discovers that _________ is his long lost _____.
On pg 26 Amir is pleased that his first attempt at _______ _ ________ is a success.
Read through the incident on pg 27 that starts ‘That evening, I climbed the stairs…’ What does this reveal what about the relationship between Amir and Baba?
What does Baba do that increases the jealousy Amir feels for Hassan? (45) Quote to support your answer.
The writer continually drops hints about the action that is to come. On page 48 we are told ‘In the winter of 1975, I saw Hassan run a kite for the last time.’
Again, this begs us to ask a question. What does the author want us to ask?
What does Amir hope to achieve through winning the kite tournament? 49?
Complete the quote from pg 51
‘That was the thing with Hassan. He…’
Chapter 7: The incident in the alley-way
This chapter needs careful examination. Do not be surprised that the summary questions are longer.
What are Hassan’s last words to Amir as he disappears to ‘run’ the kite for Amir?
On pg 59, as Hassan disappears to get the kite, the narrator says ‘The next time I saw him smile unabashedly like that was twenty-six years later, in a faded Polaroid photograph.’
What question does this make us ask? In your own words, what effect does Amir think winning the kite tournament will have on his relationship with Baba?
Complete the quote ‘Hassan didn’t ____________. Didn’t even _________. He moved his head slightly and I caught a __________of his face. Saw the __________in it. It was a look I had seen before. It was the look of the __________’. Pg 66.
What is the religious symbolism here?
Chapter 8 Amir consumed with Guilt
What is the new curse that Amir has to live with? 74
Why does Amir want someone to find out his secret?
What result does the rape have on Amir? How does it change the way he relates to Hassan?
Why does Amir suggest that he and Baba get new servants?
Complete the quote from pg 79 ‘But always my mind __________to the __________. To
Hassan’s brown __________pants lying on the __________.’
Thought: the first part of the novel has foreshadowed the rape of Hassan. We had many hints it was going to happen. After the rape, we now have flashbacks to the rape.
Make a note of every time Amir has a flashback to the rape.
Why does Amir want Hassan to throw pomegranates at him? 80
Why does Amir not want any presents? 88
What gift do Ali and Hassan give Amir?
What is Hassan’s ‘final’ sacrifice for Amir? 91
What does Amir do in this chapter to make Ali and Hassan leave?
‘Hassan knew. He knew I’d seen everything in that alley, that I’d stood there and done nothing. He knew I had betrayed him….’
This chapter skips forward to the year ________
In this chapter, Baba and Amir escape Afghanistan for _________ and then finally _________.
What ‘payment’ does the Russian soldier want to allow the Afghani refugees to go to Pakistan?
What does Baba say to the Russian soldier when the soldier says “There is no shame in war.” 100
Write down the phrase that tells us Amir has a flashback to Hassan’s rape.
The story moves to America
How is America different for Baba and Amir? (112) quote to support your answer.
On page 114, Baba refuses ‘food stamps’. What does this tell us about him?
On pages 116-9, find and quote three instances where Amir has a flashback to Hassan, or the rape of Hassan.
On page 122 there is further mention of the story of Rostam and Sohrab. Find the quote that mentions this story, and write it down.
After Baba has got cancer, we discover part of the reason why he has been so hard on Amir. Write down the quote that tells us why he has been so hard on Amir. (134)
143-4 Soraya tells Amir about her past. She asks him if it bothers him, to which he responds...
‘…in the end the _____________that always came back to me was this” How could I, of all people, _____________ someone for their _____________?’
Why is he unable to chastise her for her past?
Find another quote that shows a flashback to Amir’s time with Hassan (144)
When Amir gets married, he muses ‘And I _____________wondering if _____________too had married.’
Page 152 shows the death of Baba. What impact has Baba had on the people he lived with? Find a quote to support your answer.
Why is Amir not concerned about Soraya’s past? 157
Nazr – slaughtering of sheep. What is the religious significance of this ritual? (Mr Edgecombe is happy to help your answer this)
Soraya and Amir try unsuccessfully to have child. ‘I had this: that perhaps something, someone, somewhere had decided to deny me fatherhood for the things I had done. Maybe this was my punishment, and perhaps justly so. It wasn’t meant to be, Khala Jamila had said. Or, maybe, it was meant not to be.’ 164
Why does Amir think he is ‘meant not to have a child’?
Chapter 14 finally catches up to where the novel starts (Rahim Khan’s phone call).
Much is repeated. However, we now understand many of the initial mysteries from the first chapter.
Look back at the questions you asked in chapter 1. How many of these can you now answer?
Why do the kites bring back memories for Amir?
What phrase of Hassan’s does Amir remember in his dream? 169
How is this a flashback to the day Hassan was raped?
Who does Amir link up with in Pakistan?
What is Amir’s overwhelming feeling when he hears Hassan’s name? Find a quote to support your answer. 176
Which character is introduced to us for the first time on page 183?
What was the initial response of Afghan people when the Taliban took power?
Why do you think they respond this way?
In an earlier chapter, Baba has said to the occupying Russian Troops that ‘War doesn’t negate decency, it demands it…’. How do the actions of the Russian lead to Afghani people welcoming the Taliban?
What atrocity is mentioned on page 187.
What does the word watan mean?
What is the name of Hassan’s wife?
What does Rahim Khan ask Amir to do? 193
What has happened to Hassan? 192
What words (initially spoken by Baba) haunt Amir? (194)
What affect do these words have on Amir?
What does Amir discover about Ali? 195
What are the implications of this discovery?
Complete the quote
197‘…I was learning that _____________had been a _____________. And a thief of the worst kind, because the things he’d _____________had been _____________: from me the right to know I had a _____________, from _____________his _____________, and from _____________his _____________.’
How is Baba a hypocrite? (think back to his advice to Amir, that there is only one sin)
Complete the quote (N.B. you don’t need to fill in the dots, just the blanks)
197 ‘…like father, like son…. We had both _____________the people who would have given their _____________for us… Rahim Khan had _____________me here to _____________to just for my _____________but for _____________too.
Think back to the story of Rostam and Sohrab. (chapter 4 will give you a summary). How is Amir’s story similar to the story of Rostam and Sohrab?
Who matches the character of Rostam? Who matches the character of Sohrab?
Copy down the quote
198 ‘…my entire life, long before the winter of 1975, dating back to when that singing Hazara woman was still nursing me, had been a cycle of lies, betrayals and secrets. There is a way to be good again, he’d said. A way to end the cycle. With a little boy. An orphan. Hassan’s son.’
How will Amir end the circle of lies? How will he ‘become good’ again?
What phrase is again repeated as Amir has a flashback to Hassan’s rape? 210
202 We are told that the Taliban rule with Shari’a law ‘…or at least the Taliban version of Shari’ a’ What does this last phrase tell us about the Taliban?
210 Has yet another flashback. What phrase of Hassan’s is repeated?
Amir returns to Afghanistan. Once there he tells us ‘… on this soil, I had fought for my father’s love.’ This reminds us of why Amir allowed Hassan to be raped. Why did he allow it to happen?
On page 221 we are introduced to Zaman – director of the orphanage.
What has Zaman done that enrages Amir’s friend?
Zaman claims of the Taliban official “If I __________him one child, he takes __________. So I let him take one and leave the __________to __________. I swallow my pride and take his goddamn filthy … dirty __________. Then I go to the __________and buy __________for the __________.”
What does Amir witness that he finds abhorent? 235
The author indicates that the actions of the Tailban are different from Muslim beliefs (235) Find a quote that tells us there is a difference between the Tailban and Muslim beliefs.
‘Sohrab’s eyes…. They were slaughter sheep’s eyes. They even had the mascara – I remembered…the mullah in our backyard used to apply mascara to the eyes of the sheep and feed it a cube of sugar before slitting its throat. I thought I saw pleading in Sohrab’s eyes. Pg 249
How is Sohrab similar to Hassan?
What does the author tell us about Sohrab through this incident?
On page 250, Assef claims that he and Amir have some ‘unfinished business.’ Why does he claim this?
On page 252, as he is beaten by Assef, why does Amir start laughing?
On page 252 Amir also tells us ‘My _______was ________… but I felt ________. ________ at last. I laughed.’
Again, there is religious symbolism here.
Rahim Khan’s letter to Amir states ‘A man who has no ______________, no ______________, does not______________.’ 262
Why was Baba hard on Amir? 263 Find a quote to support your answer.
Complete the quote.
265 ‘…good, ______________good, was born out of your ______________remorse. And that, I believe is what true ______________ is, Amir jan., when ______________leads to ______________.’
268 ‘I dreamed Assef was standing in the doorway of my hospital room…”We’re the same, you and I,” he was saying. “You nursed with him, but you’re my twin.”
How are Amir and Assef similar?
270 ends with the thought that there was a way to be good again. How might Amir redeem himself?
278 Why does Sohrab feel dirty?
Amir meets a U.S. official called Raymond Andrews. What tragedy has Andrews gone through?
What happens at the end of this chapter 299?
307-8 Amir visits Sohrab in hospital, with a copy of the Shahnamah (book of tales containing the story of Sohrab and Rostam)
Write four lines comparing the story of Rostam with the story told in The Kite Runner. How is Hosseini’s story similar to Rostam and Sohrab’s story? How is it different? Which characters match up?
What does Sohrab say that indicates he has given up on life? 308
Complete the quote…
‘So I left the __________… unaware that almost a __________would pass before I would __________Sohrab __________another word.’ 310
Complete the quote…
313 ‘I __________ if that was how __________ budded, not with the __________ of __________, but with __________ gathering its things, __________ up and slipping away __________ in the middle of the __________.’
Who has Amir forgiven?
315 when General Taheri asks Amir about Sohrab, Amir tells the truth about his parentage.
How has Amir broken the ‘circle of lies’?
The last page of the novel states ‘…when spring comes, it melts the snow one flake at a time, and maybe I just witnessed the first flake melting.’