2Background of Khaled Hosseini Born in Kabul, Afghanistan 1965In 1980 Khaled moved to San Jose, California & attended Santa Clara University.In 1988 he earned a bachelors degree in biology.The following year he entered The University of California Medical School & earned a Medical Degree in 1993.In March 2001 Khaled published The Kite Runner.
3Characters Amir: Narrator. Baba: Amir’s father. Hassan: Amir’s friend/servant. Son of Ali.Ali: Servant to Baba.Rahim Khan: Baba’s best friend and business partner.Assef: Neighborhood bully.
4Vocabulary1. Hazara: “They are reputedly descendants of the Mongolian conqueror, Genghis Khan. They are overwhelmingly Shia Muslims, with a Sunni minority, and comprise the third largest religious ethnic group of Afghanistan with about 10% of its population.”-2. Agha: “An honorific title for high officials used in Turkey and certain Muslim countries.”-en.wiktionary.org/wiki/agha3. Laaf: Afghan tendency to exaggerate.4. Babalu: Boogeyman.5. Farsi: “Modern Iranian language of Iran and western Afghanistan.”6. Hadj: Pilgrimmage to Mecca.7. Jan: “A word of endearment.”-http://www.cliffsnotes.com/study_guide/literature/The-Kite-Runner-Study-and-Homework-Help-Full-Glossary-for-The-Kite-Runner.id-199,pageNum-97.html
5Background of Chapter 1The narrator has a flashback. His friend, Rahim Khan calls him from Pakistan to atone for his sins, which comes into play later in the book as a main point. He sees a kite in the sky and thinks about what happened in the alley.
6Background of Chapter 2Describes the friendship of Amir and Hassan and how they spent their days together. Remembers how good Hassan was with the slingshot, which comes into play later in the book. Baba, the main character’s father, is an important man who is well respected and has a mansion. Hassan and his caretaker are the servants to Baba and Amir. Baba talks about business, politics, and soccer. Baba has never really liked his son Amir, because he feels like he is weak and not masculine, and is not good at anything. He also feels that Amir killed his wife, because she died giving birth to him. Hassan is made fun of because he is a Hazara and comes from a certain ethnic group that is discriminated against.
7Background of Chapter 3Baba is a rich merchant and a well respected business man who commands attention wherever he goes and everyone listens to him. He owned a carpet exporting business, two pharmacies, and a resturaunt. He marred a beautiful woman who was highly educated & very popular. Amir admires his father but begrudges that he is never given the attention of affection he wants from him. Baba hates it when Amir cries and sees it again as a sign of weakness. When Amir is made fun of or hit, Hassan always steps in and defends him. Baba says, “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.”
8Background of Chapter 4Amir disrespects Hassan and never thinks of him as a friend despite his dog like loyalty to him, b/c he is a Sunni and Hassan is a Shi’a and he is a Pashtun and Hassan is a Hazara. He makes fun of Hassan and kind of only used/him or includes him in games when he wants to really doesn’t think of him as equal, just as his father did of Hassan’s caretaker, Ali.
9Background of Chapter 5Talks about Assef, the bully, who was half white and half Afghani. He was a boy with racist ideals who admired Hitler and was very violent and picked on people. One day as Assef is picking on Hassan and Amir, and is about to beat Hassan w/brass knuckles, Hassan pulls out a rock and his slingshot and stops him. Assef says this is not over & will get him back for this comes into play twice later in the book. Then, the Soviet Expansion of Afghanistan is also covered in this chapter.