“It is better to be in chains with friends than to be in a garden with strangers.” --Persian Proverb
Protagonist: AMIR Born 1963 in Kabul Born 1963 in Kabul Son of Baba Son of Baba Pashtun (majority) Pashtun (majority) Educated, privileged Educated, privileged Emigrates to America Emigrates to America Narrator of the novel Narrator of the novel
Foil: HASSAN Born 1964 in Kabul, in a shack on Baba’s property Born 1964 in Kabul, in a shack on Baba’s property Son of Ali Son of Ali Hazara (ethnic minority) Hazara (ethnic minority) Not educated, illiterate Not educated, illiterate Servant to Baba and Amir Servant to Baba and Amir Friend (?) to Amir Friend (?) to Amir
What can we intuit about the novel’s core characters based on direct and indirect characterization? Physical appearance How they act What they say How they treat one another
Discuss the similarities, differences, and relationships between the core characters: Amir & Hassan (sons) – Groups 1 & 4 Baba & Ali (fathers) – Groups 2 & 5 Baba & Amir – Groups 3 & 6 Chart character traits on a Venn diagram, including quotes from the novel to support your observations.
AMIR & HASSAN Amir about Hassan: “Hassan never wanted to, but if I asked, really asked, he wouldn’t deny me. Hassan never denied me anything” (4). Amir to Hassan: “You don’t know what it means?.. Everyone in my school knows what (that word) means… ‘Imbecile.’ It means smart, intelligent” (29). Hassan to Amir: “No. You will be great and famous” (34).
BABA & ALI Amir about Ali: “Ali turned around, caught me aping him. He didn’t say anything. Not then, not ever. He just kept walking” (8). Amir about Baba: “People were always doubting him… so Baba proved them all wrong by not only running his own business but becoming one of the richest merchants in Kabul” (15).
BABA & AMIR Baba to Amir: “I mean to speak to you man to man. Do you think you can handle that for once?” (17) Baba to Rahim Khan: “There is something missing in that boy” (17). Amir about Baba: “Baba was there, watching, and he patted Hassan on the back. Even put his arm around his shoulder” (14).
What qualities do I appreciate in a friend? Do any of the characters in the novel have those qualities? Which characters (if any) do I see as someone I could befriend?