Khaled Hosseini’s novel The Kite Runner begins in 2001, when Amir, the main character, recalls the events that took place in Afghanistan in 1975 when he was twelve years old. Back then, Amir was friends with Hassan, a boy with a cleft upper lip. Hassan was the son of Ali, the servant of Amir’s father, Baba. Hassan and Ali were both Hazara, while Amir and his father Baba were Pashtun. Hassan’s mother, who was also Hazara, left her son and husband after Hassan’s birth and joined a group of traveling musicians and dancers.
Although the friendship between Amir and Hassan was seen as strange, the two of them continued to be friends. Amir used to get into trouble often, but Hassan was always willing to take the blame. Amir spent his childhood trying to live up to his father’s expectations of him but constantly felt as if he was failing. One time, Amir overheard his father complaining to his friend and business partner Rahim Khan that Amir was too passionate about books and poems and too weak to stand up for himself.
His father’s affection for Hassan, the servant boy, influenced Amir, who felt like a disappointment in Baba’s life. The novel shows that Baba and Ali grew up together after an orphan Ali was taken in by Amir’s grandfather. Just like Baba never thought of Ali as his friend because of their ethnic and class differences, Amir also never truly thought of Hassan as a friend and an equal. After Amir started writing his own stories, he found support in Hassan but continued to see him as nothing but an illiterate Hazara.
One night, the household woke up to the sounds of gunfire and later learned that Afghanistan had become a republic after a coup. Present-day Amir recalls that night as the beginning the end for Afghanistan.
After trying to understand the political implications of the coup, Amir and Hassan climbed a tree and were approached by Assef ...