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The Kite Runner


The Kite Runner Chapters 4 - 6 Chapter 4 Summary . But in none of his stories did Baba ever refer to Ali as his friend. This chapter opens with Ali s story. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Kite Runner

The Kite Runner
  • Chapters 4 - 6

Chapter 4 Summary . But in none of his stories
did Baba ever refer to Ali as his friend.
  • This chapter opens with Alis story. Baba and Ali
    grew up as quasi-brothers, just like Amir and
    Hassan a generation later. But despite their
    closeness, Baba never considered Ali his friend
    just as Amir never considered Hassan his.
  • At the same time, all these years later, Amir
    says Hassan is "the face of Afghanistan" to him.

  • Hassan is Amirs servant and therefore, does not
    go to school. After school, Amir would read to
    Hassan, who loved books despite his illiteracy.
  • One day Amir tricks Hassan by pretending to read
    a story to him while actually telling his own
    story. When Hassan declares that it is the best
    story he ever heard, Amir writes a story,
    bolstered by the enthusiasm.
  • He goes to show Baba but he is not interested.
    Instead Rahim Khan takes, later declaring that it
    is a story that has achieved irony.

  • Amir is so upset with his fathers lack of
    interest that he wishes Rahim Khan was is father.
    This thought causes him to vomit with guilt.
  • He reads the story to Hassan who loves it but
    reveals an obvious plot hole, to Amirs
  • At this moment, gunfire erupts in Kabul and
    suddenly Afghanistan changed forever.

Commentary ch.4
  • The fact that Babas own father was a
    well-respected judge underpins Amirs feelings of
    inadequacy when it comes to his masculinity.
  • His whole experience and perception of
    Afghanistan is Hassan but despite this he knows
    that nothing can change their social status and
  • We learn that Baba gives the boys an equal weekly
    allowance. He treats them both the same which
    will become an issue for Amir in later chapters.
  • The motif of the tree is important. The eat
    fruit from it on blissful summer days. It may be
    a symbol for Afghanistan itself. That is, that
    at this point in their lives they eat from the
    fruit of this tree, just as the Afghani people
    enjoy the fruits of a peaceful and prosperous

  • We are introduced to a darker side of Amir, one
    that teases Hassan and only bestows upon him
    broken and unused toys in recompense. Is this
    adding to his guilt?
  • The major theme of this chapter is friendship.
  • Amir also provides further insight into his
    relationship with Baba. He fails to see the
    tragic side to a Persian tale that tells of a
    father who unwittingly kills his son, believing
    that all fathers harbour a desire to kill their

Chapter 5 Summary . ...that was the winter that
Hassan stopped smiling.
  • Before Amir could respond to Hassan's criticism
    of his story, gunfire erupted outside. When Baba
    comes home, Amir saw fear on his father's face
    for the first time. He was even glad for the
    violence for a moment, because Baba held him and
    Hassan close.
  • The events of that night, July 17, 1973, were a
    precursor to the end of life as Afghanis knew it.
    What would follow was the Communist coup d'etat
    of 1978, followed by the Russian occupation
    beginning in December of 1979. Afghanistan had
    gone overnight from a monarchy to a republic.

  • Tired of listening to the radio news, Amir and
    Hassan went to climb their favorite tree. On the
    way, a young "sociopath" named Assef and his
    friends confronted them. He said that he wanted
    to finish what Hitler started and rid Afghanistan
    of Hazaras. He called Amir and Baba "a disgrace
    to Afghanistan" for taking in Hazaras.
  • Just as Assef threatened to punch Amir with his
    brass knuckles, Hassan pointed his slingshot at
    the bully and threatened to take out his eye.
    Assef and his friends retreated, but promised to
    come back for Amir and Hassan later.

  • On Hassan's birthday, Baba summoned him to the
    house as usual to collect his present. To Hassan,
    Amir, and Ali's shock, Baba had hired a plastic
    surgeon to correct Hassan's harelip.
  • Amir was jealous that Baba was giving Hassan such
    special attention. The surgery went well and
    Hassan could finally smile an unbroken smile.

Commentary ch.5
  • In Chapter Five, war and political turmoil enter
    the story. Even as a child, Assef is the bastion
    of this theme because he is a violent person who
    has no regard for others' emotions or suffering.
  • This chapter is also notable for its portrayal of
    Hassan as a loyal, courageous and inferior
    person, everything that Amir is not. The author
    emphasizes the moral nature of his story here.

Commentary ch.5
  • From the beginning of the novel, Amir understands
    that things beyond his control have great
    influence over his life. When war enters the
    story, this fact becomes clearer than ever.
    Suddenly, no one is safe, no matter what
    privileges they have or what they believe anyone
    can be killed by a stray landmine, bomb, or
  • The riots in 1973 were a comparatively gentle
    precursor to the devastation that would follow
    under the Russian occupation and then the

Chapter 6 Summary . In Kabul, fighting kites was
a little like going to war
  • Amir loved the icy season because the school was
    shut down for its duration. But he loved winter
    even more because then he flew kites with Baba,
    the only activity that consistently brought them
  • Every year Hassan and Amir took part in a kite
    tournament. Baba would take the boys to a
    specialist for their kites. Amir recalls how it
    would annoy him that they were treated equally
    and that he could not be his fathers favorite.

  • Hassan was an exceptionally good kite runner.
    Once, Hassan convinced Amir to run the opposite
    way that a fallen kite was floating and sit under
    a tree with him to wait. While they sat, Amir
    taunted Hassan a little.
  • Amir was unsettled to see Hassan's face change
    the way it sometimes did, as though there was an
    unfamiliar, sinister, hidden face behind his
    usual expression. After that uncomfortable
    moment, however, Hassan's face changed back to
    normal and the coveted kite came floating into
    his open arms.

  • Amir became determined to win so that he could
    finally prove to Baba that he was a winner and a
    worthy son.
  • Amir promised to buy Hassan a television set one
    day. Hassan responded that he would put it on the
    table in his and Ali's hut. Amir was dismayed
    than Hassan had accepted his fate of always
    living in the hut and being a servant. As though
    he read Amir's mind, Hassan told him, "I like
    where I live."

Commentary Ch. 6
  • The opening of chapter six firmly establishes
    winter as its setting. It is definiant and
    unchangeble both in the text and in the
    narrators memory.
  • The narrator tells us that in Afghanistan there
    is a difference between rules and customs. The
    kite tournament was a good example of this.
  • Kites are an important symbol throughout. Here
    they symbolise the paper-thin slice of
    intersection between the two spheres of Baba and

Commentary Ch. 6
  • Kites are also a symbol of war and of simpler
  • The kites above Kabul as Amir tests a naive
    Hassan are a symbol of his transcendant view of
  • Amir, once again, tests Hassans loyalty,
    ironically and symbolically under a sour cherry
  • More foreshadowing and emphasis on the narrators
    guilt with Babas line But better to get hurt by
    the truth than comforted with a lie.

  • http//
  • Cambridge Wizard Student Guide, 2006

(No Transcript)
Activity for now
  • Write one page on the writers use of imagery to
    create specific moods or frame specific attitudes
    in the opening six chapters.

  • Writing
  • Write a one page response for the following
  • Discuss the fact that the characters' names have
    particular meanings, Rahim compassionate,
    Hassan handsome, Amir prince.
  • DUE September 7th