The Kite Runner Discussion Paper
1. Why did Amir set Hassan up by framing him for stealing his birthday money and watch?
a. This began with Amir’s asking Baba if he would terminate Ali’s job so Ali and Hassan would have to leave? What was he afraid would be disclosed?
b. Why did Ali leave without challenging Amir whom he knows is lying?
c. Discuss Ali’s subservience as being rooted in two sources:
1. Baba & Amir are family; Ali and Hassan are not.
2. Baba & Amir are Pashtun; Ali and Hassan are Hazara.
d. Examine this event in the context of the following saying, “Honor is the only thing of
value that a poor man has.”
2. Chapter 11: The Flea Market in California, 1984.
a. Discuss the men who were important in Afghanistan now tending stalls at the flea market? Why was it their importance that compelled them to leave Afghanistan? What had happened by the early 1980s that compelled them to leave?
b. How does their flea market activity help keep them connected to one another and
their homeland: What do they get out of this activity? How does it act to reinforce
and validate customs and traditions back home?
c. Do you think most of these men continued to look at Afghanistan as “home” and
their stay in America as temporary? Comment on this.
3. Describe the “traditional” courtship and marriage of Amir and Soraya:
a. How did the couple become engaged?
b. Despite having to rush the time frame because of Baba’s failing health, describe their
courtship between the engagement and the wedding.
c. Even during the wedding ceremony and the celebration following it, describe how
Amir and his bride were still not permitted to look directly at one another.
d. At what point were they finally allowed to be alone for the first time?
4. This is a story of very complex relationships and secrets.
a. What was Soraya’s secret? Why was it so scandalous that her father was thrilled
she would marry in a respectable manner?
b. How did the memory of that one day in 1975 haunt Amir for so long, never saying
anything about it until he finally tells Soraya? How might those intervening years
have been different if Amir had tried to chase off Assef and his friends or at least
admit what had happened?
c. The story opens with Amir desperately longing for a relationship with his father.
By the end of the book we find that this relationship is far more complex than
he ever imagined. Describe the Baba-Amir-Hassan relationship and the
Ali-Hassan-Baba relationship. Considering Afghan society, do you think the silences
were appropriate or should the truth have been disclosed all along? Explain.
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