The Kite Runner

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 numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer 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:

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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:

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“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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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)
Fathers and Children Theme Icon
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
Politics and Society Theme Icon
...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
Fathers and Children Theme Icon
...was when the orphanage opened, and how he was jealous when Baba would sometimes praise Hassan over Amir. (full context)
Chapter 4
Memory and the Past Theme Icon
Politics and Society Theme Icon
...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)
Memory and the Past Theme Icon
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)
Redemption Theme Icon
Violence and Rape Theme Icon
...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)
Fathers and Children Theme Icon
Politics and Society Theme Icon
...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
Violence and Rape Theme Icon
Politics and Society Theme Icon
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)
Violence and Rape Theme Icon
Politics and Society Theme Icon
Amir and Hassan distract themselves from a political radio show by going off to climb a tree, but... (full context)
Betrayal Theme Icon
Violence and Rape Theme Icon
Politics and Society Theme Icon
...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)
Fathers and Children Theme Icon
Politics and Society Theme Icon
...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)
Politics and Society Theme Icon
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
Betrayal Theme Icon
Memory and the Past Theme Icon
On the morning of the tournament, Hassan tells Amir about the dream he had the night before. In the dream the two... (full context)
Redemption Theme Icon
Fathers and Children Theme Icon
...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)
Fathers and Children Theme Icon
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)
Betrayal Theme Icon
Violence and Rape Theme Icon
Memory and the Past Theme Icon
Assef tells Hassan that they will let him go if he hands over the blue kite. Hassan refuses,... (full context)
Betrayal Theme Icon
Violence and Rape Theme Icon
Memory and the Past Theme Icon
...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
Violence and Rape Theme Icon
Politics and Society Theme Icon
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
Betrayal Theme Icon
Fathers and Children Theme Icon
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
Memory and the Past Theme Icon
...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)
Betrayal Theme Icon
Memory and the Past Theme Icon
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)
Betrayal Theme Icon
Fathers and Children Theme Icon
Memory and the Past Theme Icon
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)
Betrayal Theme Icon
Fathers and Children Theme Icon
Politics and Society Theme Icon
...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)
Betrayal Theme Icon
Redemption Theme Icon
Violence and Rape Theme Icon
Memory and the Past Theme Icon
One afternoon after school Amir asks Hassan to walk up the hill with him so Amir can read a story he has... (full context)
Violence and Rape Theme Icon
Politics and Society Theme Icon
...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
Betrayal Theme Icon
Fathers and Children Theme Icon
...was better in the end that she was dismissed. He decides that either he or Hassan must leave the household. (full context)
Betrayal Theme Icon
Memory and the Past Theme Icon
...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)
Betrayal Theme Icon
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)
Betrayal Theme Icon
Memory and the Past Theme Icon
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)
Betrayal Theme Icon
Fathers and Children Theme Icon
Memory and the Past Theme Icon
Politics and Society Theme Icon
Baba forgives Ali and Hassan, which also surprises Amir – as Baba had considered theft the worst of sins –... (full context)
Betrayal Theme Icon
Memory and the Past Theme Icon
...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
Violence and Rape Theme Icon
Memory and the Past Theme Icon
Politics and Society Theme Icon
...to think of something happy, and Amir immediately thinks of a day flying kites with Hassan. (full context)
Chapter 11
Betrayal Theme Icon
Fathers and Children Theme Icon
Memory and the Past Theme Icon
...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
Redemption Theme Icon
Memory and the Past Theme Icon
...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
Betrayal Theme Icon
Memory and the Past Theme Icon
...to read. Amir feels guilty then, remembering how he had used his education to mock Hassan, not to help him. (full context)
Betrayal Theme Icon
Redemption Theme Icon
Memory and the Past Theme Icon
Politics and Society Theme Icon
...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
Politics and Society Theme Icon
...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
Redemption Theme Icon
Memory and the Past Theme Icon
...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
Redemption Theme Icon
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
Fathers and Children Theme Icon
Memory and the Past Theme Icon
Politics and Society Theme Icon
...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)
Redemption Theme Icon
Fathers and Children Theme Icon
Rahim Khan invited Hassan and his wife to come back to Kabul and stay in Baba’s house, but Hassan... (full context)
Fathers and Children Theme Icon
Memory and the Past Theme Icon
Politics and Society Theme Icon
When they arrived in Kabul, Hassan and Farzana insisted on staying in the servants’ hut instead of the big house. Hassan... (full context)
Betrayal Theme Icon
Redemption Theme Icon
Fathers and Children Theme Icon
Memory and the Past Theme Icon
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)
Fathers and Children Theme Icon
Violence and Rape Theme Icon
Politics and Society Theme Icon
...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)
Violence and Rape Theme Icon
Politics and Society Theme Icon
...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
Fathers and Children Theme Icon
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)
Violence and Rape Theme Icon
Memory and the Past Theme Icon
Politics and Society Theme Icon
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)
Redemption Theme Icon
Fathers and Children Theme Icon
Memory and the Past Theme Icon
Politics and Society Theme Icon
Hassan describes his son Sohrab, and how much he loves him. They still walk up to... (full context)
Violence and Rape Theme Icon
Memory and the Past Theme Icon
Politics and Society Theme Icon
...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)
Redemption Theme Icon
Fathers and Children Theme Icon
Politics and Society Theme Icon
Amir cannot help imagining Hassan’s execution, and he is wracked with grief. Rahim Khan continues – the Taliban moved into... (full context)
Betrayal Theme Icon
Redemption Theme Icon
Fathers and Children Theme Icon
Memory and the Past Theme Icon
Politics and Society Theme Icon
...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
Betrayal Theme Icon
Fathers and Children Theme Icon
Memory and the Past Theme Icon
Politics and Society Theme Icon
...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)
Betrayal Theme Icon
Redemption Theme Icon
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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)