Set in Afghanistan (approx1970-81; 2004)and the US (1984 Coming-of-age novel or story of personal redemption
Amir – central character – a Pashtun boy who betrays and is betrayed; finds escape from his sins in the US; has to come to terms with them Hassan: Hazara boy – he is self- sacrificing and “true”; courageous and loyal. Baba: father of Amir – hypocrite(!) and victim; courageous and cowardly Rahim Khan – Baba’s friend, Amir’s conscience and father-figure Soraya: Amir’s wife – victim of a patriarchal society (and like her mother) of a patriarch! Rescued by Amir. Sohrab: Hassan’s son; rescued(?) by Amir
Assef – psychopathic bully of German/Pashtun parentage; persecutor of Hassan and Amir Farid- Taxi driver who takes Amir back to Kabul General Taheri – Soraya’s father Khanum Jamila Taheri – Soraya’s mother Sanaubar – Hassan’s mother
the central concept of loyalty and betrayal – how could Amir leave Hassan in the alley with Assef? the concept of growing up and accepting yourself, your limitations and the limitations of your heroes the concepts of love and jealousy between fathers and sons the concept of redemption – ‘there is a way to be good again’ the concept of patriotism – what it means to love a country and its culture... but to also live in another country and maintain your identity racism and its consequences. courage – what is it?
Afghanistan of the 70’s: ◦ a monarchy that becomes a republic that turns to Communism... ◦ a society split by a racial hierarchy Patriarchy, and the role of, and treatment of women. Contrast and compare with the US
Patterns – “sin and redemption” Slingshot – the hare-lip; Sanaubar/Soraya; theft (watch and money); Assef; Running the Kites Fathers and sons