The Kite Runner Essay

‘Analyse how the experiences of one or more characters were used for a particular purpose

“It may be unfair, but what happens in a few days, sometimes even a single day, can change the course of a whole lifetime.”  In Khaled Hosseinis novel “The Kite Runner”, Amir, Baba and Hassan go through different experiences  throughout the novel to reinforce the main theme of the book, betrayal. In this essay, I will discuss the several events the characters went through, these include the actual betrayal of Hassan, Baba and Amir fleeing to America, then finally saving Hassan’s son back in Afghanistan.

Amir’s decision to leave his friend Hassan in the alley way twenty six years ago, still goes on to fill him with guilt years on and is the main theme of the book. “I ran, I ran because I was a coward… maybe that was the price I had to pay, the lamb I had to slay to win Baba.” Not only does Amir abandon Hassan but he does so in a selfish way. Amir’s betrayal was a purposeful  sacrifice for a closer relationship with his father, to prove that he won the kite. That day, Amir made the choice to betray Hassan, as well as his loyalty and his right to live an innocent and happy life. Amir’s failure to deal with his guilt revealed his cowardness, which ended up being the cause to the end of Hassan and Amir’s friendship. His lack of self control led him to framing Hassan for stealing, which only resulted in others suffering.Ali and Hassan lost their jobs and home, meanwhile Baba lost his son and nephew because of Amirs reckless and once again selfish actions. The experience that Amir and Hassan went through during the betrayal, are very different, but both have a valid purpose in the novel. Hosseini included this significant event to take the reader on an emotional journey, where the reader is able to experience both of the friends emotions and views. More importantly, the reader is then left feeling sympathetic for Hassan, so will feel a common hatred towards Amir. 

Although there are several reasons why Amir and Baba moved to America, the most obvious one is Amir’s inability to deal with his guilt. As a consequence of Amir’s lack of courage, he and Baba had to move to America and restart their lives. When Amir framed Hassan, it further worsened the betrayal. It broke up their extended family, which meant Baba had no support, no friends, and no social status. However, like his son, Baba had also betrayed his best friend, Ali, by fathering Hassan with Ali’s wife. Their flee to America was a way for both of them to runaway from their guilt, their problems and a way to wash away the past. Because America is commonly known as the place where dreams are made to come true. When Amir first arrived he thought that, “America was a river…unmindful of the past. I could wade into this river, let my sins drown to the bottom, let the waters carry me someplace far.” Amir thinks that he has escaped his past, his guilt, the betrayal, he thinks that America is this amazing place where you become a different and new person. Whereas in reality, his sins and guilt from the betrayal will follow him no matter where he goes, until he recognises them and compensates for the damage he has caused. Hosseini has included this escape to America because it is something the reader can relate to. Everyone has something that they want to escape or forget about, therefore by including Amir and Baba’s experience, it makes the book partially relatable and engages the reader. 

Amir’s final experience is when he returns to Kabul after his father figure and family friend, Rahim Khan calls him to say, “There is a way to be good again”. During Amir’s journey from guilt to redemption over the twenty-six years, he has finally found a way to free himself from his sins and guilt. Once Amir arrives in Afghanistan he is made aware that his nephew Sohrab is in an orphanage and comes to a realisation that this is his opportunity to redeem himself and do something good. The betrayal had haunted Amir for a majority of his life and has caused him to do some outrages things. He has, at last, realised that ” true redemption is…when guilt leads to good.” Amir is after all satisfied with himself and the person he has become because he has stopped running away from his past. He confronted his guilt which has led him to do something valuable, such as caring, loving and looking after Hassan’s son. Amir’s final way of acknowledging the betrayal is by taking Sohrab outside to do kite flying. This was the activity that Amir and his brother once loved to do until the betrayal caused Amir to be reminded of his cowardliness act in the alleyway. Amir’s last experience is important because it highlights how he changed as a person from the betrayal. Before this event, he was a young boy who thought that he was more important than others and he had no loyalty. After the betrayal, as amir grew up he became more selfless, caring, kind and most importantly loyal. Through thes experiences the author gives the reader a message that good can come from the bad. We should all acknowledge our mistakes and be truthful about them because as Baba says, “It’s better to be hurt by the truth than confronted with a lie.”

Overall the three experiences that Amir, Baba and Hassan go through are purposeful within the novel because they have key messages for the reader but importantly they all highlight the main theme. The betrayal is showcased through Hassan’s rape because Amir leaves his friend who has stood up for him his entire life and would do anything for Amir. Although Amir’s weaknesses got the better of him and he ends up running away. Amir and Baba’s flee to America, point out a different stage of betrayal because it shows how the father and son both try to escape their horrible pasts and they end up betraying their real image. In the final experience, betrayal is underlined through the concept of redemption. It shows how Amir’s guilt from the alleyway has built up and has caused him to change as a person and do something good. Khaled Hosseini has included these experience because he wants the reader to understand what the characters lives are like in Afghanistan. The novel “The Kite Runner” gives an insight to the reader into what it is really like living in a country where the economy is low and everyone is classed into social statuses. The people in Afghanistan don’t see Hassan and Amir’s experience as abnormal or shocking, because their culture is different to ours. This is why the reader is captured into reading the book because Amir’s behaviour is appalling and as the reader, we want to know more about what his consequences are and how this is going to affect their inclosed community.  

The Kite Runner Essay

In the novel, The Kite Runner written by Khaled Hosseini uses the effective language feature of symbolism to help develop the themes of the book which are guilt and redemption. Kites, the sacrificial lamb and Hassan’s dream are the symbols used in this novel to showcase Amir’s life and just how he betrayed his best friend to then try and redeem himself as well as his relationship with Hassan. The first paragraph is about how the author uses Kite running as a symbol to represents Amir’s betrayal and how he later goes on and redeems himself from his guilt. Secondly,.Hassan’s dream  foreshadows what is to come in the future and highlights Amir’s true traits. Finally, the sacrificial lamb is a symbol of how Amir sacrificed Hassan for a better relationship with baba.

Throughout the novel, Khaled uses kite running to emphasise the themes of the book which is betrayal and redemption.When Amir and Hassan first enter the kite fighting competition towards the beginning of the novel it all seems very innocent and fun to the brothers. These happy memories soon change for Amir, when the kites become a constant reminder of how he let down his only friend and brother: Hassan, because of his cowardness. This scaring memory overwhelms the reason he betrayed Hassan in the ally 20 years ago;  he used the kite to try and prove himself to his father as well as earn his pride and love. Baba has always wanted a sporty, tough son; the opposite of Amir. Kite running was Amir’s opportunity to prove to his father his worthiness and show him that he is the son that he always wanted. “We won! We won!” was all I could say. This wasn’t happening. In a moment, I’d blink and rouse from this beautiful dream… Back to my old life. Then I saw Baba on our roof…pumping both of his fists. Hollering and clapping. And that right there was the single greatest moment of my twelve years of life, seeing Baba on that roof, proud of me at last.” This quote is after Amir made the sacrifice for a closer relationship with Baba that will only last for a brief amount of time. Instead of helping Hassan his only ‘friend’ who was getting rapped after he ran the kite. The choice Amir made that day to leave Hassan will go on to haunt him for the rest of his life. Another example of kite running as a symbolism is at the end of the book when Amir adopts his nephew and is on the road to redemption.“Do you want me to run that kite for you…For you, a thousand times over, I heard myself say. It was only a smile, nothing more… A tiny thing… But I’ll take it. With open arms. Because when spring comes, it melts the snow one flake at a time, and maybe I just witnessed the first flake melting.” This quote is at the end of the novel after Hassan dies and his son becomes an orphan, Amir adopts him and takes him outside to do kite flying. At this point, Amir feels like he has redeemed himself because he couldn’t talk to Hassan and apologise to him, so instead, he did the activity Amir and his best friend once loved with his nephew. Therefore the kites are also a symbol for redemption throughout the novel, as they go through Amir’s journey of how innocent they both were at the start, how he lost Hassan and become filled with guilt, then at the end when Hassan is gone and Amir has once and for all redeemed himself.

Another symbol that Khaled uses to outline the themes is Hassan’s very memorable and vivid dream.Hassan’s dream foreshadows the betrayal that is to come as well as revealing the real Amir and his weakness to stand up for what is right because he is outspoken. Hassan told Amir the next day that they: “were at Gharga Lake, you, me Father, Agha sahib, Rahim Khan and thousands of other people… no one was swimming because they said a monster had come to the lake. It was swimming at the bottom, waiting… And before I can stop you, you dive in and I follow you and we’re both swimming away… We make it to the middle of the lake and we stop swimming. We turn toward the shore and wave to people. They look small like ants but we can hear them clapping. There is no monster, just water.” Hassan had this dream on the night before the famous kite running competition which tells us there is something significant to come. When Amir dives into the lake to show he is not afraid of the monster Hassan follows and then goes onto say “Don’t worry there is not a monster waiting for you in the streets of Kabul”.This symbolises Assef as he is the one that raped Hassan, he says that there isn’t a monster waiting for Amir because its instead waiting for him. Like in the dream when Hassan followed Amir into the lake the lake is just like the alley way but this time Amir doesn’t have the same loyalty for Hassan so therefore doesn’t stand up to Assef to help his friend and doesn’t follow Hassan into the ‘lake’.  The symbols of Hassan’s dream helps the reader understand what kind of friendship the boys have.It shows that they don’t have a loyal friendship because when Amir dived in to the lake Hassan followed Amir to rescue him from the ‘monster’, whereas in reality when Hassan dived into the water ( water being the ally way) Amir didn’t follow and instead left Hassan with the monster.The clapping and cheering in Hassan’s dream when both of the boys swim out to the middle of the lake also symbolises what should be Amir and Hassan winning the kite running competition and the people of Kabul celebrating their victory. Instead the reality is Amir is on the top of the lake taking in the glory and pride of his victory meanwhile Hassan is underwater fighting with the monster. This just shows that Hassan’s dream is his perspective of their friendship and the loyalty they have for eachother for example they both get acknowledged in the dream but later on Hassan realises that their friendship wasn’t loyal and his dream was in fact a dream and not reality like he had hoped.

The use of the sacrificial lamb is a symbol of Hassan and Amir’s relationship and how Amir betrayed Hassan. While retrieving the kite, Hassan refused to give up the kite for his best friend and as a consequence he got raped by Assef. During this part in the novel Hosseini made a reference to the sacrificial lamb saying : “I had seen it before. It was the look of the lamb.” In this quote Amir is referring to the look in Hassan’s eyes like when he saw the lamb being slaughtered, he could tell that Hassan was being selflessly sacrificed for his friendship and loyalty with Amir. Instead of being a good loyal friend and standing up for Hassan, Amir stood there and allowed his only friend to sacrifice his innocence for him. He left him there because he was weak and wanted the victory of the kite running all to himself. Amir then realised that: “Hassan was the price I had to pay, the lamb I had to slay, to win Baba.” This quote explains that Amir allowed for this to happen because he wanted to please baba and make him happy, if he had helped Hassan he wouldn’t have had to go through all those years of guilt and as a consequence of that he wouldn’t have had a successful relationship with baba. During this moment Amir realised that he couldn’t do both and he had to choose between a better relationship with Baba or proving his loyalty to his friend Hassan. The decision that Amir made that day shows who he is as a character and that he values living up to baba’s expectations rather than having a solid friendship. The sacrifice that Amir made that day was successful in mending his relationship, although it was only temporary because baba was filled with his own guilt about not telling Amir that him and Hassan are brothers. Once Amir was made aware of their family relation it filled Amir with even more guilt.

In conclusion, in The Kite Runner the author of the novel  Khaled Hosseini uses symbolism to emphasise the main themes of the books which are guilt, betrayal, and redemption. The use of kite running throughout the novel highlights Amir’s path from the betrayal to the guilt and then finally the redemption. The second symbol used in the novel was Hassan’s dream, this gave the reader an insight into what was to come in the novel and how we knew a betrayal was about to come. Finally, the sacrificial lamb is a representation of how Amir betrayed Hassan and their friendship for a better relationship with his father. Overall the novel has many symbols that give us an insight into the character’s personalities as well as foreshadowing what is to come. The author used symbolism as a language technique in The Kite runner to keep the reader intrigued and interested.

Reading log #6 All the Difference In The world  (Complete)

Student Name: Christina Lamb

Text Title:  All The difference In The world

Author/Director:  Unkown

Text Type :  Short Story

Date Finished:  18th October

A brief outline of the plot (2-3 sentences):  

Jack’s mother creates paper animals to communicate with her son. But when he grows up he stops talking to her as she cant converse english. After a loss, he goes on to discover her story and her hidden messages. 

What theme/s are addressed in the text? How is the theme explored in this text? Use specific examples/quotes

How does this text connect with the rest of the world (socially, culturally, politically, historically) Use specific examples/quotes

How/What does this text teach us/you about society and the world we live in (setting/themes/characters/plot) Use specific examples/quotes

How/does this text connect to your personal experiences or viewpoints?

Explain why you would recommend this text (writing style/ideas/structure/language features used) Use specific examples/quotes

Creative Writing…

Statement of Intent: This Creative writing is written as part of the standard AS91101. It includes figurative language to capture the readers attention and to describe a coastal place in Canada. 

Slowly sinking rays make their way down the smooth rugged bank. Small, green lanterns sprouting from engraved branches gleam from the fading light. Glowing, the rock face is turned into a luminous show highlighting the assorted leafy colors. Spiky like a pineapple top, staggering larch trees climb up the rock face, running from the Beaufort Sea. Birds’ silhouettes flutter across the peachy sky, slicing heaven with their delicate wings as they fly. They scatter a stream of flowing tunes that dance around dressing the air with a summer ballad, soon to be consumed by the darkness of tomorrow as dawn looms.

Concrete-like layers of sun-kissed charcoal crepes, reach for the citrus Canadian sky, almost falling off the never-ending azure platter. Blemished, bites, brush away, plunging into the infinite rippled sheets of sequins. The rock crepes slowly eroding, like the precious memories of today. Soon to be nothing left but a deserted plate with colossal crumbs, sinking to the bottom.

A perfect peach, floating on the surface is cut in half by the edge of the horizon, scattering splashes of tangerine, coral, and bronze onto the blue-royal canvas. Scrambling for the rocks, the clouds are like cotton candy, blushing from the touch of warmness, oozing out of the star in all shades pink and orange, turning the atmosphere into a festive show of vibrant colors. Sinking, the orb of amber leaves behind a trail of frail rays, that gradually fade into the background. Disappearing, like the grains of time falling to the bottom in an hourglass. Remaining threads of light slice the gritty sea. Broken, shattered, like a  mirror, a merged painting of today’s moments is left abandoned on the rough glass.

Rows of rustling, prickly, pine trees, release a delightful scent of freshness that brings back precious memories of the cold-white festive season. Christmas. Sweet and luscious, the perfume of maples,  swirling around the emptiness like a kite gliding through a clear day. Overwhelmed by the aroma of trees, the seas salty tanginess, mingles through the forest developing an interesting smell, that sends shivers into the wind. Sweeping away into the rock side, the breeze picks up wrinkles of water from the surface that skims onto the shore,  erupting into a silver spray of moonlight.

In the distance, a pearl coloured yacht is blown along by the gentle wind from yesterday’s whispers; chasing the never-ending horizon and its days to follow. Its enormous sails as divine as the neatly, carved, dove petals on a rose, capturing the vanished words of the soothing gust. Its solid oak ripping through the water, separating the sea like a zip being undone. The yacht lets out a boisterous sigh, that echoes its harmonies through the thick emptiness, stretching for miles over the lonely shores.

As today’s colorful hues fade way, tomorrow awaits to see the blues of the day. Waiting, for its time to shine as bright as the stars, that scatter across the night skies. As the hours fade by and seasons flow in, the months will keep rolling like tides coming in.


The importance of setting

Explain the importance of the setting (historic, social, cultural, political) and its influence on how the narrator (Amir) tells his story.

Social Castes :

  • Amir (high caste, Pashtun)
  • Hassan (low caste, Hagara)


  • Just before the Russian invasion


  • Islamic Country


  • Baba was a powerful figure in Kabul society

The first three chapters of the novel tell us the basic facts of the story such as who the major characters are, their backgrounds, and what their relationships with each other are like. The section also establishes a context for the information: Amir, our narrator, is an adult living in the United States and looking back on his childhood years in Afghanistan. In fact, history is an important theme in the novel, and looking back on the past is a recurring motif. That’s because, for Amir, the past is not over. He believes it to be a fundamental part of who he is, and no matter how far he is in time or location from his childhood in Afghanistan, the events of that period are always with him, he feels a tremendous sense of guilt about those events, and he believes they shaped him into who he is. This guilt, informs the entire narrative.

“Almost two years had passed since we arrived in the U.S., and I was still marveling at the size of this country, its vastness. Beyond every freeway lay another freeway, beyond every city another city, hills beyond mountains and mountains beyond hills, and, beyond these, more cities and more people.

Long before the Roussi army marched into Afghanistan, long before villages were burned and schools destroyed, long before mines were planted like seeds of death and children buried in rock-piled graves, 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.

If for nothing else, for that, I embraced America.”

What language techniques does Hosseini employ in this passage?

What is the effect of his use of these language techniques?

Explain the importance of the setting and its influence on how the narrator tells his story.

The setting of Kabul, Afghanistan is hugely socially, politically and culturally important in the novel The Kite Runner. The story is told from the point of view of Amir, retelling the years he was growing up in Kabul and events that influenced his life, and his long journey from guilt to redemption.

Because the story is set in Afghanistan and told from the point of view of a local boy, we learn aspects of a different society – Islamic religion, the different classes in Afghani society, local festivals and activities – specifically the sport of kite running. We are also exposed to numerous Farsi (Afghani) and Islamic words and phrases, which add cultural depth and authenticity to Amir’s voice.

We also see life in Kabul disrupted by the overthrow of the monarchy, then the Russian invasion which eventually leads to Baba and Amir having to flee Afghanistan and move to America as refugees. As Amir tells us:

“For me, America was a place to bury my memories. For Baba, a place to mourn his.”


Forgive? But theft was the one unforgivable sin, the common denominator of all sins. When you kill a man, you steal a life. You steal his wife’s right to a husband, rob his children of a father. When you tell a lie, you steal someone’s right to the truth. When you cheat, you steal the right to fairness. There is no act more wretched than stealing. Hadn’t Baba sat me on his lap and said those words to me? Then how could he just forgive Hassan? And if Baba could forgive that, then why couldn’t he forgive me for not being the son he’d always wanted? Why –

Amir decides “one of us has to go” – Why?

Amir says this because every-time he sees Hassan he gets reminded of his own guilt and his cowerdness from the day he witnessed Hasan get raped. Amir needs one of them to go so he can get  closure and doesn’t have to put up with the awkwardness looming in the air.

Amir then says “Then I understand: this was Hassan’s final sacrifice for em” -Explain… 

Hassan is so loyal to Amir that he will do anything to protect him. Everyone knows that Hassan would never lie so they believe him

Hassan says that he did steal the watch- Why?

Why was Baba so upset that he cried?



Events after turning point:


  • Amir barely sees Hassan
  • Hassan is withdrawn and sleeps a lot
  • Amir and Baba’s relationship is better


“It shouldn’t have felt this way. Baba and I were finally friends… except now that I had it, I felt as empty as this unkempt pool I was dangling my legs into”

He feels empty because he doesn’t have a real relationship with anyone. He also let down the one person that cared about him the most which is Hassan.  It is haunting Amir that he didn’t help Hassan but instead left him and now everything reminds him of Hassan.