The Kite Runner


  • Amir is the protagonist and narrator of the novel. Khaled Hosseini acknowledged that the character is "an unlikable coward who failed to come to the aid of his best friend" for much of the duration of the story; consequently, Hosseini chose to create sympathy for Amir through circumstances rather than the personality he was given until the last third of the book.[17] Born into a Pashtun family in 1963, his mother died giving birth. As a child, he enjoys storytelling and is encouraged by Rahim Khan to become an author. At age 18, he and his father flee to America following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, where he pursues his dream of being a writer.
  • Hassan is Amir's closest childhood friend. He is described as having a China doll face, green eyes, and a harelip. Hosseini regards him as a flat character in terms of development; he is "a lovely guy and you root for him and you love him but he's not complicated".[16] The reader eventually discovers that Hassan is actually the son of Baba and Sanaubar, although Hassan never discovers this during his lifetime. Moreover, it would make Hassan a Pashtun according to tribal law and not Hazara as he's actually the son of Baba, and ironic for Assef to bully him as both Assef and Hassan are half Pashtuns. Hassan is later killed by the Taliban for refusal to abandon Amir's property.
  • Assef is the main antagonist of the novel. He is the son of a Pashtun father and a German mother, and believes that Pashtuns are superior to Hazaras, despite himself not being full Pashtun. As a teenager, he is a neighborhood bully and is described as a "sociopath" by Amir. He rapes Hassan as a means of getting revenge against Amir. As an adult, he joins the Taliban and abuses Hassan's son, Sohrab.
  • Baba is Amir's father and a wealthy businessman who aids the community by creating businesses for others and building a new orphanage. He is the biological father of Hassan, a fact he hides from both of his children, and seems to favor him over Amir. Similar to Hosseini's father,[11] Baba does not endorse the religiosity demanded by the clerics in the religion classes attended by Amir in school. In his later years, after fleeing to America, he works at a gas station. He dies from cancer in 1987, shortly after Amir and Soraya's wedding.
  • Ali is Baba's servant, a Hazara believed to be Hassan's father. In his youth, Baba's father adopted him after his parents were killed by a drunk driver. Before the events of the novel, Ali had been struck with polio, rendering his right leg useless. Because of this, Ali is constantly tormented by children in the town. He is later killed by a land mine in Hazarajat.
  • Rahim Khan is Baba's loyal friend and business partner, as well as a mentor to Amir. Rahim persuades Amir to come to Pakistan to inform him that Hassan is his half brother and that he should rescue Sohrab. He later dies peacefully.
  • Soraya is a young Afghan woman whom Amir meets and marries in America. Hosseini originally scripted the character as an American woman, but he later agreed to rewrite her as an Afghan immigrant after his editor did not find her background believable for her role in the story.[18] The change contributed towards an extensive revision of Part III.[18] In the final draft, Soraya lives with her parents, Afghan general Taheri and his wife, and wants to become an English teacher. Before meeting Amir, she ran away with an Afghan boyfriend in Virginia, which, according to Afghan tradition, made her unsuitable for marriage. Because Amir also had his own regrets, he loves and marries her anyway.
  • Sohrab is the son of Hassan. After his parents are killed and he is sent to an orphanage, Assef buys and abuses the child. Amir saves and later adopts him. After being brought to the United States, he slowly adapts to his new life. Sohrab greatly resembles a young version of his father Hassan.
  • Sanaubar is Ali's wife and the mother of Hassan. Shortly after Hassan's birth, she runs away from home and becomes a gypsy. She later returns to Hassan in his adulthood. To make up for her neglect, she provides a grandmother figure for Sohrab, Hassan's son.
  • Farid is a taxi driver who is initially abrasive toward Amir, but later befriends him. Two of Farid's seven children were killed by a land mine, a disaster which mutilated three fingers on his left hand and also took some of his toes. After spending a night with Farid's brother's impoverished family, Amir hides a bundle of money under the mattress to help them.

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