4 What Book Club should be: Love in the Time of Cholera:Time-of-CholeraCharles Dickens:Webcast-of-Charles-Dickens-Oprahs-Book-Club-Video
5 Main Events Begins with reminiscence by our narrator, Amir Present day: San Francisco; then: AfghanistanMystery is created by vague details from a phone conversation between Amir and a man named Rahim Khan and by two quotations:“There is a way to be good again.”Discussion: Is there?“For you, a thousand times over.”Discussion: To what extent can you devote yourself to someone else?
6 Main Events Amir is recounting life growing up in Afghanistan Amir grows up wealthy; Father (Baba) had “built the most beautiful house in Wazir Akbar Khan district.”Hassan, Amir's “friend” and his father, Ali, live on Baba’s property in a hut – as servantsBoth Amir and Hassan have lost their mothersBoth shared the same wet-nurseAmir’s first word: Baba; Hassan’s: AmirAmir and Hassan are always together
7 Main EventsAmir reads to Hassan – Hassan is evidently bright (e.g., can solve riddles faster and better than Amir); this annoys Amir thus he often purposely reads boring, simple, and uninspiring tales, articles.Amir’s pleasure in teasing Hassan leads to Amir’s first own creative story which both Hassan and Rahim Khan love, but Baba rejects.Spoiler Alert! Father-son conflict!
8 Themes Discrimination, Social Class Distinction Honour Hazaras – historically seen as servants; disrespected; poor jobs and prospects; Hazaras barely mentioned in school system; looked down uponHonourAlluded to only – Amir’s present day duty according to Rahim Khan on the phoneFather and Son relationshipBaba and Amir; Ali and Hassan; Baba and Hassan
9 Themes Friendship Strength of character Resilience of the Human Spirit Amir and Hassan – good and bad. A true friendship?Loyalty and devotion – Hassan to Amir; Baba to AliStrength of characterHassan (takes the blame); Rahim Khan’s attempt to encourage Amir; Ali as he is constantly teased and abusedResilience of the Human SpiritHassan, Ali
10 Discussion Questions: Why do Amir and Hassan have a strained relationship?Can their troubles be attributed to religious differences, as Amir seems to think?If not, what factors may be involved?“We took our first steps on the same lawn in the same yard. And under the same roof we spoke our first words. Mine was Baba. His was Amir. My name.”Discuss the significance of this passage.
11 Setting Present: San Francisco All flashbacks: Afghanistan – starting mid-60sPre-Taliban involvementThis Afghanistan shows prosperity and a life without constant violenceBaba’s big white house – showing a rich life that once was
12 Characters Amir As a child he knew his ‘power’ over Hassan Fact that he describes it now shows he is remorseful and awareAllowed Hassan to take the blameWas spoiled as a child – wealthyFelt neglected by his father (Baba) and felt in constant need of his attention.“I always felt like Baba hated me a little. And why not? After all, I had killed his beloved wife, his beautiful princess, hadn’t I? The least I could have done was to have had the decency to have turned out a little more like him” (20).Clearly jealous of Baba’s fondness of Hassan“He asked me to fetch Hassan too, but I lied and told him Hassan had the runs. I wanted Baba all to myself [O]ne time [we] were skimming stones and Hassan made his stone skip eight time. The most I managed was five. Baba was there, watching, and he patted Hassan on the back. Even put his arm around his shoulder” (15).Avid reader and aspiring writer – his escape from his problems
13 Character Discussion: Agree or disagree with the following statement, and explain your answer:There is more to dislike in Amir than there is to like.
14 Characters Baba Strong, tall, successful, rich and handsome Obvious fondness for Hassan; seems to lack a connection with AmirBuilt an orphanage = admirable qualityBelieves the only sin is theft (refer to page 18)Amir hears Baba speak about him in disappointment. This reveals to the reader Baba’s thoughts about his own son: “A boy who does not stand up for himself becomes a man who can’t stand up to anything” (24).HassanPage 3: physical descriptionUtterly loyal to AmirTruly incapable of hurting anyone (e.g., even in birth; see page 11)Embodiment of innocence and true goodness
15 CharactersAliAfter his parents were killed, he was adopted by Baba’s father (then a judge)Suffered from polio – permanent physical effects from thisMarried Sanaubar (she was known to have a “reputation”; she was 19 years Ali’s junior, and said to have resented Hassan’s birth)Rahim KhanSupports Amir in his writing – understands his plight and the fact that Baba is not fair to himThe only person who can get away with being blunt and honest with Baba.
16 SymbolismSlingshot – weapon of power: abused by Amir, respected by HassanReader understands right away the differences in status between Hazaras and PashtunsHazaras persecuted by PashtunsThe Pomegranate Tree – place of comfort, place to share, place of memories
17 Symbolism Activity As a class, we will create our own pomegranate tree On your leaf, write and complete the following statement:“I became what I am today...”After you have completed your leaf, add it to the tree! (no names please!)
18 Works CitedHosseini, Khaled. The Kite Runner. Canada: Anchor Canada, a division of Random House, 2003.
19 Constructing Criteria Now that you have seen what a book club should look like, decide on what the criteria for a book club should be using the following questions to guide you:What role should each person in the book club have?What should each role entail?What are the essential elements that need to be conveyed for your chapters?How can everyone in the book talk participate AND highlight their individual skills?How will you share your analysis of your chapters with the class?What makes an interesting presentation?What makes a presentation boring?What will a Level 4+ book club talk look like?