Study Guide for The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini Book Summary|
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The night before the tournament, Amir and Hassan warm themselves under a blanket and play panjpar, a card game. They discuss the fact that Daoud Khan, the new leader, has promised that soon Afghanistan will have television and Hassan notes that they already have TV in Iran. Amir sighs when he mentions Iran, because he knows that the country is a sanctuary of sorts for the Hazara. Most of the Iranians are Shi’as rather than Sunnis and so, many Hazara live there. However, his teacher had once told his class that the Iranians were “smooth talkers who patted you on the back with one hand and picked your pocket with the other.” Baba had told him that the comment was just jealousy, because Iran was a rising power.
Amir promises to buy Hassan a television and Hassan says he will put it on the table with his drawings. Amir is amazed that Hassan is content with the knowledge that he will probably spend the rest of his life in the mud hut behind Baba’s house. Hassan tells Amir that he is going to make Baba very proud the next day. Amir is pleased he thinks so, but he is somewhat uncomfortable when Hassan says he likes where he lives, because it’s his home. Once again, it is almost like Hassan can read Amir’s mind, because he is so close to him.
This chapter introduces us to the event that gives the novel its title: the kite flying tournament. In learning about the event, we see Amir’s jealousy of Hassan who is treated equally by Baba and we continue to understand that Amir just wants his father to make him the favorite. This undeveloped relationship with his father haunts the boy who feels great loneliness because of his father’s inability to accept him for who he is.
Hassan is the best kite runner and this position once again allows him to show his loyalty to Amir. He says he would never lie to him and his fierce acceptance of his position in Amir’s life reflects the great inner beauty of his soul. Hassan also continues to know Amir better than Amir knows himself: he knows that Amir is surprised that he would be content to stay in the same mud hut the rest of his life. But Hassan wants to be there, because it is his home. This foreshadows the terrible day that Hassan and Ali are forced to leave the only home either of them have ever known.
The commentary on the Iranians is interesting, because Americans have had the same type of experience with that country and know that what the teacher says is true.
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Clapsaddle, Diane. "TheBestNotes on The Kite Runner".
. 10 May 2008