The Kite Runner

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Hassan Character Analysis

Amir’s childhood playmate and companion, a Hazara boy with a cleft lip. Hassan is an excellent kite runner, and is naturally intelligent, but illiterate because of his social class. He is always loyal to Amir, even when Amir betrays him. Hassan eventually marries Farzana, and has a son named Sohrab.

Hassan Quotes in The Kite Runner

The The Kite Runner quotes below are all either spoken by Hassan or refer to Hassan. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Betrayal Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Riverhead Books edition of The Kite Runner published in 2013.
Chapter 4 Quotes

The curious thing was, I never thought of Hassan and me as friends either… Never mind that we spent entire winters flying kites, running kites. Never mind that to me, the face of Afghanistan is that of a boy with a thin-boned frame… a boy with Chinese doll face perpetually lit by a harelipped smile. Never mind any of these things. Because history isn’t easy to overcome. Neither is religion. In the end, I was a Pashtun and he was a Hazara, I was Sunni and he was Shi’a, and nothing was ever going to change that.

Related Characters: Amir (speaker), Hassan
Related Symbols: Kites, The Cleft Lip
Page Number: 25
Explanation and Analysis:

Here Amir reflects on his relationship with Hassan, who was like a brother to him, but whom he never really thought of as a friend because of their ethnic, cultural, religious, and economic differences. Amir is a Pashtun (an Afghan ethnic group) and a Sunni Muslim, while Hassan is a Hazara (a persecuted minority) and a Shi'a Muslim. Furthermore, Hassan and his father work for Amir and his father—they are all very close, but Hassan and Ali are also clearly the subordinates of Baba and Amir. These political and social differences then ultimately affect the actual relationship between Amir and Hassan, although otherwise the two would be best friends. Testament to this is the fact that when the adult Amir remembers Afghanistan, he thinks of Hassan's face and of the two boys' time together. His present vision of the country is primarily an image of a lost past.

Here Amir also mentions the symbols of kites and Hassan's cleft lip. In this particular memory, kites represent Amir's idyllic past in an Afghanistan that was at peace, while the cleft lip is one of Hassan's distinguishing features—and particularly distinguishing for the Hassan who existed before Baba had his lip fixed, and before Amir betrayed him.

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Chapter 7 Quotes

He stopped, turned. He cupped his hands around his mouth. “For you a thousand times over!” he said. Then he smiled his Hassan smile and disappeared around the corner. The next time I saw him smile unabashedly like that was twenty-six years later, in a faded Polaroid photograph.

Related Characters: Amir (speaker), Hassan (speaker)
Page Number: 67
Explanation and Analysis:

This is the moment just before the central tragedy and betrayal of the book. Amir has just cut down the last remaining kite in the tournament, and Hassan, the "kite runner," runs off to find the fallen kite and bring it back to Amir. This scene is then immediately juxtaposed with the adult Amir's later memories and experiences. Thus this is both a scene in Hosseini's narrative and a "flashback" into a happier past that Amir is remembering. After this moment, in which Hassan seems to declare his total devotion to Amir, Amir will go on to abandon Hassan as he is raped by Assef, changing both boys' lives forever.

“But before you sacrifice yourself for him, think about this: Would he do the same for you? Have you ever wondered why he never includes you in games when he has guests? Why he only plays with you when no one else is around? I’ll tell you why, Hazara. Because to him, you’re nothing but an ugly pet…”

“Amir agha and I are friends,” Hassan said.

Related Characters: Hassan (speaker), Assef (speaker), Amir
Page Number: 72
Explanation and Analysis:

Here the wealthy, sadistic Assef taunts Hassan, who has just found the tournament's last kite and is trying to bring it back to Amir. Assef not only racistly scorns Hassan because Hassan is a Hazara, but also tries to undercut Hassan's relationship with Amir. Assef suggests that Amir doesn't really consider Hassan to be his friend. Though Hassan stoutly defends Amir, the tragic part of this scene is that Assef is partly right—Amir is incredibly close to Hassan, but still always considers himself somehow separate from and superior to Hassan, and would be ashamed to openly declare himself "friends" with his Hazara servant. This is the root of betrayal, as Amir will go on to abandon Hassan as Assef rapes him—partly because Amir is afraid, but partly because society has always taught Amir to see Hassan as inferior to himself.

In the end, I ran.

I ran because I was a coward. I was afraid of Assef and what he would do to me… I actually aspired to cowardice, because the alternative, the real reason I was running, was that Assef was right: Nothing was free in this world. Maybe Hassan was the price I had to pay, the lamb I had to slay, to win Baba. Was it a fair price? The answer floated to my conscious mind before I could thwart it: He was just a Hazara, wasn’t he?

Related Characters: Amir (speaker), Baba, Hassan, Assef
Page Number: 77
Explanation and Analysis:

This is one of the most crucial scenes in the book, as Amir abandons Hassan to be raped by Assef. Not only is Amir essentially betraying his best friend and brother-figure, a boy who is totally loyal and devoted to him, but he is also doing so in a selfish and almost premeditated way. Amir is afraid of being beaten up or mocked by Assef, certainly, but more than that Amir decides in this moment that he is willing to abandon Hassan to violence and rape in order to bring back the kite and impress Baba. Amir basically sacrifices his relationship with his friend for the sake of his relationship with his father—betraying Hassan as a part of earning Baba's love.

Another element of this scene is how social divisions and prejudice allow Amir to justify his decision to himself. Because Hassan is a Hazara, he is seen by many Pashtuns as inferior, and even as less than human. Taking this prejudiced view (which Amir doesn't really believe in his heart) would allow Amir to feel a little less guilt for his actions—if the person he's betraying isn't really a person, then it isn't really a betrayal.

Chapter 8 Quotes

I thought about Hassan’s dream, the one about us swimming in the lake. There is no monster, he’d said, just water. Except he’d been wrong about that. There was a monster in the lake… I was that monster.

Related Characters: Amir (speaker), Hassan
Related Symbols: The Monster in the Lake
Page Number: 86
Explanation and Analysis:

Amir has just betrayed Hassan, abandoning him to be raped by Assef. Now Amir remembers a dream about a lake monster that Hassan claimed to have had the night before the kite tournament. At the time, Amir suspected that Hassan told him about the dream to comfort him, but now Amir finds himself thinking about the dream again, and considers himself to be the monster in the lake that Hassan dreamed about. Amir feels so guilty about what he has done, and simultaneously so afraid of admitting it, that he feels he has become something monstrous and grotesque. The nature of his betrayal, as well—a scene involving violence and rape—also seems especially inhuman.

Chapter 9 Quotes

I flinched, like I’d been slapped… Then I understood: This was Hassan’s final sacrifice for me… And that led to another understanding: Hassan knew. He knew I’d seen everything in that alley, that I’d stood there and done nothing. He knew I had betrayed him and yet he was rescuing me once again, maybe for the last time.

Related Characters: Amir (speaker), Hassan
Page Number: 105
Explanation and Analysis:

This quote takes place just after Amir has gotten Hassan falsely accused of stealing money and a watch. Baba confronts Hassan and asks him directly whether or not he took the money. Hassan, though obviously aware of what Amir has done, immediately admits to the crime, and Amir is shocked. In this moment Amir realizes that Hassan also knows that Amir saw him being held down and raped, and did nothing. Instead of being angry, Hassan has only proven his devotion by seemingly forgiving Amir and now sacrificing himself for Amir's sake yet again. Amir betrays Hassan for the second time (the first being abandoning him to be raped), and with more premeditation this time, but Hassan's only response is to meekly accept the punishment he doesn't deserve.

Chapter 11 Quotes

Long before the Roussi army marched into Afghanistan, long before villages were burned and schools destroyed… Kabul had become a city of ghosts for me. A city of harelipped ghosts.
America was different. America was a river, roaring along, unmindful of the past. I could wade into this river, let my sins drown to the bottom, let the waters carry me someplace far. Someplace with no ghosts, no memories, and no sins.

Related Characters: Amir (speaker), Hassan
Related Symbols: The Cleft Lip
Page Number: 136
Explanation and Analysis:

Amir and Baba have now left Afghanistan and moved to America, driven away from their home by violence and Soviet rule. While Baba is distraught at having to leave his beloved home, Amir feels almost relieved to be away from the place where reminders of his past betrayals (abandoning Hassan to be raped, and then framing Hassan for theft) are everywhere. Once again Hassan is associated with his cleft lip (harelip), which at this point is a symbol of a lost, happier past. Amir is still consumed by guilt and self-hatred for his betrayals, and so he is eager to forget the past and try to lose himself in the strange, overwhelming new world of America and its fast-paced society.

Chapter 12 Quotes

I envied her. Her secret was out. Spoken. Dealt with. I opened my mouth and almost told her how I’d betrayed Hassan, lied, driven him out, and destroyed a forty-year relationship between Baba and Ali. But I didn’t.

Related Characters: Amir (speaker), Baba, Hassan, Ali, Soraya
Page Number: 165
Explanation and Analysis:

Amir has just asked Soraya to marry him, and she has agreed, but she said she had something to confess to first. Soraya then tells Amir about how she ran away with a man when she was a young woman, and how her father had to forcibly bring her back. Amir feels somewhat shaken by this revelation, but realizes that it pales in comparison to his own secret betrayals. Amir then has this opportunity to confess, and to start working towards redemption—but he finds that he can't bring himself to tell Soraya the truth. Both Amir and Soraya have pasts that haunt them, but Soraya now at least doesn't have to bear the burden of secrecy along with the burdens of memory and guilt.

Chapter 14 Quotes

My suspicions had been right all those years. He knew about Assef, the kite, the money, the watch with the lightning bolt hands. He had always known.

Come. There is a way to be good again, Rahim Khan had said on the phone just before hanging up.

Related Characters: Amir (speaker), Hassan, Assef, Rahim Khan
Related Symbols: Kites
Page Number: 192
Explanation and Analysis:

Rahim Khan is dying, and he has just called Amir to ask him to come to Pakistan and see him. Amir has been building a new, happy life in America with Soraya, but with this phone call it's as if his past catches up with him once more. Rahim Khan's phrase "there is a way to be good again" then becomes a kind of mantra for the second half of the novel, as Amir tries to redeem himself for his past betrayals through taking action of his own. This moment is also important because Amir realizes that his past has not been as secret as he thought—Rahim Khan knew all along what Amir did to Hassan. This is crucial because it shows that Rahim Khan never gave up on Amir despite his sins, and even now feels that Amir has the opportunity to create something good out of his past mistakes.

Chapter 16 Quotes

“The war is over, Hassan,” I said. “There’s going to be peace, Inshallah, and happiness and calm. No more rockets, no more killing, no more funerals!” But he just turned off the radio and asked if he could get me anything before he went to bed.
A few weeks later, the Taliban banned kite fighting. And two years later, in 1998, they massacred the Hazaras in Mazar-i-Sharif.

Related Characters: Rahim Khan (speaker), Hassan
Page Number: 213
Explanation and Analysis:

This quote comes from Rahim Khan's explanation of his own past, which he is describing to Amir in Pakistan. Rahim Khan found Hassan and invited him (along with Hassan's wife and son) to come live with him in Kabul. At this point the Soviet-Afghan War was raging, and Kabul was a very dangerous place to be. The Taliban (an Islamic fundamentalist group) finally drove out the Soviet forces, and many Afghans (like Rahim Khan, here) felt hopeful that peace would come at last. Instead, the Taliban began a reign of terror, enforcing their rigid interpretation of Sharia (Islamic) law through violence and terrorism. Hassan, a Hazara (an ethnic minority), rightfully recognizes that the Taliban won't make things better at all—especially for Hazaras, who are Shi'a Muslims, while the Taliban are Sunni. Indeed, the Taliban went on to slaughter thousands of Hazaras, as Rahim Khan sadly notes here.

This tragic passage is a clear condemnation of the war that has ravaged Afghanistan for decades, and it also continues the theme of violence and rape on a political scale. The first part of the book dealt mostly with this subject on a personal level, focusing on Assef's rape of Hassan. In the novel's second part, however, this theme expands and Hosseini connects the idea of rape to Afghanistan itself, as the country is violently violated by external forces like the Soviets and the Taliban. This idea is made even more poignant by Hosseini's mention of kite fighting. Kites symbolized Amir and Hassan's happy childhood days, then they also became associated with Hassan's rape, and now their absence represents the Taliban's brutal rule.

Chapter 18 Quotes

As it turned out, Baba and I were more alike than I’d ever known. We had both betrayed the people who would have given their lives for us. And with that came this realization: that Rahim Khan had summoned me here to atone not just for my sins but for Baba’s too.

Related Characters: Amir (speaker), Amir, Baba, Hassan, Rahim Khan
Page Number: 226
Explanation and Analysis:

Amir has just learned that Hassan was actually his half-brother—Baba was Hassan's father. This is a huge revelation for Amir, as he realizes that the loyal friend he scorned and betrayed was actually a brother, and he also realizes that Baba committed a great sin and betrayal in sleeping with his best friend's (Ali's) wife. This adds a new layer of complexity to the father-son relationships in the book: Baba and Amir (who were both more alike than either thought), Baba and Hassan (who didn't know Baba was his real father), and Ali and Hassan. It's also suggested that all of Baba's philanthropy and charity work was partly inspired by a desire to redeem himself for his betrayal of Ali. Amir now has his own chance at redemption, in going to save Sohrab, and so it is especially moving that he now recognizes the true parallels between his own life and his father's. Once again time seems almost cyclical in the events of the novel, as the past is always returning to the present, and the present seems to echo the past.

Chapter 25 Quotes

If someone were to ask me today whether the story of Hassan, Sohrab, and me ends with happiness, I wouldn’t know what to say.

Does anybody’s?

Related Characters: Amir (speaker), Hassan, Sohrab
Page Number: 357
Explanation and Analysis:

Hosseini starts drawing the book to a close, and Amir, who has been looking back and reflecting on his past, now catches up to his present in the narrative—he is back in the U.S., and Sohrab is living with him and Soraya. There is no neat conclusion here, and Amir's and Sohrab's future is uncertain. Sohrab still won't speak, and seems traumatized beyond repair, but as Amir has learned, there is always a possibility of redemption and turning bad into good. Hassan's part in the narrative has ended, as he was killed by the Taliban, but he seems to live on in his son, and Amir continues to live out his own relationship with Hassan and cycle of betrayal/redemption through taking care of Sohrab.

I looked at Hassan, showing those two missing teeth, sunlight slanting on his face. Baba’s other half. The unentitled, unprivileged half. The half who had inherited what had been pure and noble in Baba. The half that, maybe, in the most secret recesses of his heart, Baba had thought of as his true son… Then I realized something: That last thought had brought no sting with it… I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded, not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up, and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night.

Related Characters: Amir (speaker), Baba, Hassan
Page Number: 359
Explanation and Analysis:

In this beautifully-written passage, Amir learns one of the main "lessons" of the book—that forgiveness and redemption often do not involve concrete acts or dramatically-satisfying conclusions, but rather consist of slow, unnoticeable changes to messy, complicated situations. In this case, Amir realizes that he has finally reached some closure in his relationship with Baba, but he also sees that there was no defining moment that the closure arrived. All his life Amir has been struggling both against his father and to earn his father's love and respect, and now Amir acknowledges that perhaps Hassan was more truly Baba's son than Amir himself—something the young, jealous Amir would never have dared consider. Once again Hosseini shows how the past is always present, but here he also shows how past pain doesn't have to be painful forever—even memories can be redeemed.

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Hassan Character Timeline in The Kite Runner

The timeline below shows where the character Hassan appears in The Kite Runner. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Betrayal Theme Icon
Redemption Theme Icon
Memory and the Past Theme Icon
...The kites make Amir think of his past in Afghanistan, and especially a boy named Hassan, a “kite runner” with a cleft lip. (full context)
Chapter 2
Memory and the Past Theme Icon
As children in Afghanistan, Amir and Hassan would climb trees and reflect sunlight into their neighbors’ homes to annoy them, or else... (full context)
Fathers and Children Theme Icon
Politics and Society Theme Icon
Outside Amir’s house is a little mud hut where Hassan and his father Ali live. Though Amir and Hassan play together every day, Amir has... (full context)
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Politics and Society Theme Icon
One day Hassan and Amir were out walking when a soldier confronted them and claimed to have had... (full context)
Violence and Rape Theme Icon
Memory and the Past Theme Icon
Politics and Society Theme Icon
...the children mock Ali’s appearance and limp, and call him Babalu, or Boogeyman. Ali and Hassan are Hazaras, an ethnic minority in Afghanistan that is looked down on by the Pashtun... (full context)
Betrayal Theme Icon
Fathers and Children Theme Icon
Memory and the Past Theme Icon
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...children did, but that Ali never retaliated with anger against his tormentors. Amir says that Hassan was born smiling, and had a cleft lip. Sanaubar saw her son, mocked him, and... (full context)
Chapter 3
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...was when the orphanage opened, and how he was jealous when Baba would sometimes praise Hassan over Amir. (full context)
Chapter 4
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...are still close, but Baba never calls Ali his friend and Amir never thinks of Hassan as his friend – their ethnic and religious divides seem too great. Nevertheless, when Amir... (full context)
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Politics and Society Theme Icon
Despite their closeness, Hassan spends the day cleaning the house and preparing food while Amir goes to school in... (full context)
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...begins to make up his own story while pretending he is still reading out loud. Hassan says it is one of the best stories Amir has ever read to him. Amir... (full context)
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...encourages Amir to keep writing. Amir is exhilarated by the praise, and he wakes up Hassan, who is downstairs, and reads the story to him. Hassan says the story is wonderful... (full context)
Chapter 5
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That same night there is the sound of gunfire in the streets. Amir and Hassan are frightened, but Ali embraces them and says it is just people hunting ducks. Later... (full context)
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Amir and Hassan distract themselves from a political radio show by going off to climb a tree, but... (full context)
Betrayal Theme Icon
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...his brass knuckles and says that Amir is making things worse by being friends with Hassan. Amir cannot help but think that Hassan is his servant, not his friend, but he... (full context)
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...normal, and there is hope of reform and economic growth. One winter (1974) Ali calls Hassan inside, saying that Baba wanted to speak with him. Amir describes how Baba got a... (full context)
Chapter 6
Fathers and Children Theme Icon
...and flying kites together is when he and Baba are closest. Baba takes Amir and Hassan to a blind old man who makes the best kites. He always buys the same... (full context)
Betrayal Theme Icon
Amir says that Hassan is the best kite runner in Kabul – he always seems to know exactly where... (full context)
Betrayal Theme Icon
While they wait Amir tests Hassan’s loyalty by asking him if he would eat dirt for Amir, but as he asks... (full context)
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The night before the tournament Hassan and Amir are playing panjpar, a card game. In the other room the radio is... (full context)
Chapter 7
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On the morning of the tournament, Hassan tells Amir about the dream he had the night before. In the dream the two... (full context)
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...to watch. Amir is so nervous that he almost wants to quit the tournament, but Hassan reminds him that “there’s no monster,” and Amir is again amazed at Hassan’s intuition. Amir... (full context)
Redemption Theme Icon
Fathers and Children Theme Icon
Memory and the Past Theme Icon
The tournament lasts for hours, but Amir (and Hassan, who controls the spool of string) do well and keep flying. One blue kite in... (full context)
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Memory and the Past Theme Icon
...blue kite into a bad position and then cuts it, winning the tournament. Amir and Hassan cheer and embrace, and then Amir sees Baba on the roof yelling and clapping, and... (full context)
Redemption Theme Icon
Fathers and Children Theme Icon
...Rostam and Sohrab, father and son locking eyes dramatically. Amir runs off to look for Hassan, and he asks some neighbors if they have seen him. (full context)
Fathers and Children Theme Icon
Memory and the Past Theme Icon
...that Amir is looking for a Hazara, but he finally tells Amir that he saw Hassan going south, chased by three boys. Amir searches everywhere and finally finds Hassan in an... (full context)
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Assef tells Hassan that they will let him go if he hands over the blue kite. Hassan refuses,... (full context)
Betrayal Theme Icon
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...talking about a Hazara woman called Sakina, who was the nursemaid of both Amir and Hassan. Ali says that there “is a brotherhood between people who’ve fed from the same breast.”... (full context)
Betrayal Theme Icon
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The narrative returns to the alley. Assef and the others have pinned Hassan to the ground and removed his pants. Wali and Kamal say what Assef wants to... (full context)
Betrayal Theme Icon
Fathers and Children Theme Icon
Violence and Rape Theme Icon
Memory and the Past Theme Icon
Politics and Society Theme Icon
...blue kite was his key to winning Baba’s love, and Amir was willing to sacrifice Hassan for that love. (full context)
Betrayal Theme Icon
Fathers and Children Theme Icon
Violence and Rape Theme Icon
Fifteen minutes later Amir sees Hassan walking slowly past, and Amir pretends he has been looking for him. He can’t help... (full context)
Chapter 8
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For a week after the tournament, Amir hardly sees Hassan. He asks Ali where he is, and Ali says that Hassan just wants to stay... (full context)
Betrayal Theme Icon
Redemption Theme Icon
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...room, but Amir lies awake tossing and turning. He says out loud that he watched Hassan get raped, but no one hears him. He thinks about Hassan’s dream about the monster... (full context)
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When Amir and Baba return to Kabul, Hassan asks Amir to go up to their favorite hill. They sit under the pomegranate tree... (full context)
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The rest of the winter passes with Amir avoiding Hassan and pretending his new, close relationship with Baba will last forever, even though it is... (full context)
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...is furious at the question and says that he will never replace Ali, and that Hassan is not going anywhere. After that things grow cool again between Baba and Amir. Amir... (full context)
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One afternoon after school Amir asks Hassan to walk up the hill with him so Amir can read a story he has... (full context)
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...Rahim Khan hurry back to the house. In the glow of the fireworks Amir sees Hassan serving drinks to Wali and a grinning Assef. (full context)
Chapter 9
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...was better in the end that she was dismissed. He decides that either he or Hassan must leave the household. (full context)
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...on his new bike, Ali stops him and gives him a present from him and Hassan – a glossy new book of old Persian stories (including “Rostam and Sohrab”) called the... (full context)
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The next morning Amir waits for Ali and Hassan to go out grocery shopping, and then he hides some of his birthday money and... (full context)
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The four gather in the study, and Baba asks Hassan directly if he stole the watch and money. To Amir’s surprise, Hassan says that he... (full context)
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Baba forgives Ali and Hassan, which also surprises Amir – as Baba had considered theft the worst of sins –... (full context)
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...hardly ever rains in the summer in Kabul, but it rains the day Ali and Hassan leave. Amir watches from inside his bedroom as Baba tries one last time to convince... (full context)
Chapter 10
Fathers and Children Theme Icon
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...to think of something happy, and Amir immediately thinks of a day flying kites with Hassan. (full context)
Chapter 11
Betrayal Theme Icon
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...take to college. Amir is moved with gratitude, but then Baba says he wishes that Hassan was there too and Amir feels suddenly suffocated. (full context)
Betrayal Theme Icon
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...his past – his memories of war-torn Kabul and his guilt for his betrayal of Hassan. America is huge and moves quickly like a river, and Amir embraces the country because... (full context)
Chapter 12
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...to read. Amir feels guilty then, remembering how he had used his education to mock Hassan, not to help him. (full context)
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...has been confessed and dealt with. He is still too afraid to tell her about Hassan. (full context)
Chapter 13
Memory and the Past Theme Icon
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...in the banquet hall, and then back at Baba’s apartment. Amir cannot help wondering if Hassan had also been married. Late that night Amir and Soraya make love for the first... (full context)
Chapter 14
Betrayal Theme Icon
Redemption Theme Icon
Memory and the Past Theme Icon
...his son, and two kites flying overhead. Amir feels that Rahim Khan knows everything about Hassan, and that he is inviting Amir to return as a way of redeeming himself. (full context)
Betrayal Theme Icon
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...future children, but now they talk of other things. Amir falls asleep and dreams of Hassan running in the snow, saying over his shoulder “For you, a thousand times over!” A... (full context)
Chapter 15
Betrayal Theme Icon
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Memory and the Past Theme Icon
...another reason. When Rahim Khan was living in Baba’s house, he was not alone – Hassan was there too. Rahim Khan wants to tell Amir about Hassan, and then ask him... (full context)
Chapter 16
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...first person as he tells his story. In 1986 he went to Hazarajat to find Hassan, both because he was lonely and because he was getting too old to take care... (full context)
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Rahim Khan invited Hassan and his wife to come back to Kabul and stay in Baba’s house, but Hassan... (full context)
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When they arrived in Kabul, Hassan and Farzana insisted on staying in the servants’ hut instead of the big house. Hassan... (full context)
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One day that same year Sanaubar, Hassan’s mother, showed up at the gate of the house starving and with her face cut... (full context)
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...were gone, and Kabul was ruled by rival Afghan groups that were constantly at war. Hassan taught Sohrab to read and write, so that he would not grow up illiterate like... (full context)
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...took over, and they banned kite fighting. Rahim Khan was optimistic about the Taliban, but Hassan knew that their regime meant danger for Hazaras – and two years later, the Taliban... (full context)
Chapter 17
Betrayal Theme Icon
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Memory and the Past Theme Icon
...Khan thinking of the huge repercussions of his actions so long ago. Amir asks if Hassan is still at Baba’s house. Rahim Khan does not answer, but hands Amir an envelope.... (full context)
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Amir reads the letter, which is addressed to him from Hassan. Hassan says that the Afghanistan of their childhood is gone, and that fear and violence... (full context)
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Hassan describes his son Sohrab, and how much he loves him. They still walk up to... (full context)
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...in Kabul explaining what had happened. The Taliban had gone to Baba’s house and found Hassan living there. Hassan said he was taking care of the house, but the Taliban accused... (full context)
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Amir cannot help imagining Hassan’s execution, and he is wracked with grief. Rahim Khan continues – the Taliban moved into... (full context)
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...one last piece of information – Ali was unable to have children. Amir asks who Hassan’s father was then, but then he understands that it was Baba. Hassan never knew either... (full context)
Chapter 18
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...was a lie, but now he can recognize the many signs – Baba always buying Hassan presents, fixing his cleft lip, becoming enraged when Amir suggested they get new servants, weeping... (full context)
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Amir cannot help thinking that he is responsible for Hassan’s death. If he had not driven Ali and Hassan from the house, they might have... (full context)
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...the way he realizes that he is not too old to start fighting for himself. Hassan was gone, but part of him lives on in Kabul. Amir finds Rahim Khan praying,... (full context)
Chapter 19
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That night Amir dreams of Hassan’s execution, but in the dream the executioner is Amir himself. He wakes up and looks... (full context)
Chapter 21
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...sees Baba’s old house, and then the narrative slips into Amir’s memory of him and Hassan finding a little turtle, painting its shell red, and pretending it is a monster they... (full context)
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...to the old pomegranate tree, and finds his old carving in the trunk: “Amir and Hassan. The Sultans of Kabul.” Amir sits down and looks down over the city, remembering it... (full context)
Chapter 22
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...bells on his ankles and mascara lining his eyes. To Amir, he looks exactly like Hassan did at that age. (full context)
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...for free. Assef says he and Amir have unfinished business, and Amir remembers the day Hassan pointed the slingshot at Assef’s eye and Assef promised revenge. (full context)
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...laughing, as he suddenly feels at peace for the first time since his betrayal of Hassan back in 1975. He is finally getting the punishment he deserves, and he feels healed,... (full context)
Chapter 23
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...sticks with him is the lip injury – it is split down the middle like Hassan’s cleft lip. (full context)
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...reads Rahim Khan’s note. Rahim Khan says that he knew what happened with Amir and Hassan, and though what Amir did was wrong, he was too hard on himself afterward. He... (full context)
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...but part of the reason for this was Baba’s own guilt. He could not love Hassan openly as a son, and Amir represented his privileged half, so when Baba was being... (full context)
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...day playing a card game, panjpar, with Sohrab, who still rarely speaks. Amir asks what Hassan had said about him, and Sohrab says that Hassan told him Amir was the best... (full context)
Chapter 24
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...about his parents, and then Amir talks about Baba. Amir gives Sohrab the snapshot of Hassan. (full context)
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...Assef. Amir says that Assef deserved it and more, and explains that Assef had hurt Hassan very badly when he was a boy. Sohrab says sometimes he is glad is parents... (full context)
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...playing cards and Sohrab asks about San Francisco. Then Amir tells him the truth about Hassan – that they were half-brothers, but neither of them knew. Sohrab guesses it is because... (full context)
Chapter 25
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That night Amir finds the photo of Hassan under Sohrab’s pillow. Looking at Hassan’s face, Amir realizes how Baba was torn between his... (full context)
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...Amir explains simply – Baba slept with his servant’s wife and had a son named Hassan, who is dead now. Sohrab is Hassan’s son, Amir’s nephew, and Amir warns General Taheri... (full context)
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...he takes it over to Sohrab. Amir checks the string and talks to Sohrab about Hassan, and his skill at kite-flying and kite-running. Amir asks if Sohrab wants to fly the... (full context)
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...but he looks alert and alive, interested in the kites. Amir shows Sohrab what was Hassan’s favorite trick, and soon they have trapped the green kite, with Amir flying and Sohrab... (full context)