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The Kite Runner By: Khaled Hosseini

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1 The Kite Runner By: Khaled Hosseini
PowerPoint By: Jarad Held and Gabe Adorni

2 Author’s Date of Birth and Cultural Perspective
Khaled was born in Kabul, Afghanistan on March 4, 1965. In 1975 he moved to Tehran, Iran for 3 years, and then moved back to Afghanistan. They moved again in 1976, this time to Paris. In 1978 the Afghan Government was overthrown and the family moved to America and applied for political asylum.

3 Opposing Forces in the Conflict
Amir must reconcile himself with his past after he lets his best friend, Hassan, get raped and then betrays him soon after.

4 Important Places Kabul, Afghanistan-Amir grew up here and it was the first influence on him. San Francisco, America-The area that Amir moved to when he left Afghanistan. This is where he attempts to drown himself in the American culture to forget his past.

5 Symbols The stories of Rostan and Sohrab in the Shahnamah represent Hassan. The Blue Kite-It represents Hassan’s loyalty to Amir, as he holds onto the kite even when he is getting raped by Assef. Sohrab- Hassan’s son, he is an example of the story of David and Goliath. Also, by using the slingshot just as his father had to protect Amir, he represents how his father is reborn through him.

6 Conflict With Self He must reconcile himself with his past and atone for his sins. Letting Hassan get raped as he watched and then betraying him immediately afterwards are his two major inner conflicts.

7 Conflict With Society Amir must attempt to retain his Afghan heritage even when he is in America. In the process though, he must Americanize some in order to become successful. He must also come to terms with the new culture of Afghanistan.

8 Setting Influence Anyone?
Kabul, Afghanistan was where Amir grew up. As a result he is very used to the Afghanistan culture and its traditions. However, he must become used to the American culture once he moves there and find a balance between the two cultures. Baba has a hard time adjusting to America, however, because he was too used to the culture of Afghanistan.

9 Anyone Under an Illusion?
Amir is under the illusion that he can drown himself in the American culture to forget his transgressions in Afghanistan. He later comes to realize that this is not possible, though. Assef is under an illusion, or delusion, that Hitler was great and should be imitated. He believes that he has absolute power in the new Afghanistan and can abuse whoever he wants.

10 Anyone Idealistic? Rahim Khan-He is the one who tells Amir that “there is a way to be good again.” Even after all the years that Amir has spent running from his past, Rahim still believes that Amir can save himself. Hassan-He remains loyal to Amir no matter what ways Amir abuses or neglects him.

11 Anyone Make an Important Mistake?
Amir makes two huge mistakes. The first is when he lets Hassan get raped, while he watches. The second is when he betrays Hassan to try and get him out of his life by framing Hassan for stealing his possessions.

12 Anyone Change? Amir changed a lot throughout the story. Originally he was a young boy in Afghanistan who was primarily focused on protecting himself at the expense of others. He was fairly selfish. At the end of the story he is able to make some great sacrifices, even going to the length of saving Sohrab in Afghanistan even though it could possibly take his life. Baba’s relationship with Amir changed as well. Baba originally was not proud of Amir, however, after they moved to America and Amir began to succeed there, Baba began to be proud of Amir and their relationship improved.

13 Is There a Villain? Assef is the villain in the story. He is a sadistic boy who lives in Amir’s neighborhood during Amir’s early childhood in Afghanistan. He believes that Hitler was a great man and that his policies should be followed. He loves to abuse people, and is one of the new corrupt leaders of the Afghan people after the revolution.

14 Is Friendship Important
Amir and Hassan are the primary example of how friendship can be important. The two are fast friends, although Hassan is more loyal to Amir than Amir is to Hassan. Hassan will repeatedly defend Amir no matter what it takes, giving everything to their friendship. Even after Amir betrays him Hassan still remains loyal to him.

15 Is the Narrator Important?
The narrator is Amir, so the story is told from his point of view. As a result you can see his inner feelings and thoughts. A more personal view of the situation and the world is allowed through Amir being the narrator.

16 Are Family Relationships Important?
Baba and Amir- A typical father son relationship where the son is trying to gain the approval of his father. Amir seeks to live up to Baba’s standards in order to make him proud, and it is a constant struggle for him. However, he does manage to succeed with time and the two build a strong relationship. Amir and Hassan- Although not known at the beginning of the story, the two are actually half brothers, with Hassan being illegitimate. There is a sense even at the beginning of the story that the two are closer than friends, that they are more like siblings, showing how strong their familial bond was even if it was not known.

17 Some Human Value Asserted?
Forgiveness and Reconciliation are two human values that are constant throughout the book. Hassan is able to forgive Amir for his betrayal, but Amir must find a way to reconcile his betrayal with himself. Rahim Khan is the character who brings this struggle with reconciliation within Amir into the light when he tells Amir that “there is a way to be good again.”

18 Anyone Lost or Alienated?
The Afghan refugees are lost and alienated to a certain extent because they were forced to leave their homeland. However, they are able to form communities in America, reducing this feeling of loss and alienation. Sohrab- Hassan’s son, who is currently and orphan. His father is dead, and so is all of his family. He is abused by Assef, and is severely depressed. Without a family and with a horrifying history of abuse, he is incredibly lost and alienated from society.

19 Cultures at Odds? The best example of this would be the immigration of the Afghan refugees to America. Afghan and American cultures are very different, and in some cases the culture did not mix well. For example, Baba was never able to adjust to American society very well, retaining his Afghan heritage. Most Afghans reacted by forming their own communities in America as well. Amir on the other hand adjusts very well to American society.

20 Parallels or Contrasts to Other Works?
This is similar to Things Fall Apart with the clash of cultures. As in Things Fall Apart, the culture of the Afghans in The Kite Runner does not mix well with the new culture that they encounter. It is also similar to Owen Meany in that the main characters of each book were strongly influenced by their best friend and end up changing because of them.

21 Tone? Diction? Genre? Irony?
Tone- It is thoughtful with a twinge of regret. Diction-It is written in American English, however, there is a large amount of Arabic in the story as well. Genre-Manipulative Fiction/Historical Fiction Irony- Baba always said that it was wrong to steal anything from anybody else, however, he committed this sin himself by stealing another man’s wife. Also, Hassan had a cleft lip when he was born, which was later surgically fixed. When Amir goes to save Hassan’s son, he also gets a cleft lip, which is once again surgically corrected.

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