The Kite Runner

The Kite Runner Essay Questions

  1. 1

    Could the story of the novel exist without the class difference between Amir and Hassan? Make a case, using specific plot points and historical facts to ground your argument.

  2. 2

    Examine the concept of circularity in the novel. What important cycles exist in the characters' lives and histories? How is circularity connected to redemption?

  3. 3

    Explore the way in which courage is portrayed in the novel. What constitutes true bravery? What are the key moments when characters are brave and who is the bravest character, if any? Use specific examples from the text to support your argument.

  4. 4

    Each character in the novel is shaped not only by his particular circumstances, but by the historical and political events that occur during his life. Consider Sohrab, the only character of his generation; how is he different from the other characters and how are these differences a function of what he has experienced?

  5. 5

    Consider the idea of a homeland or "watan." How do you think the novel defines a homeland? Make sure to consider the opinions of Farid and Assef. Also, consider this question in terms of Amir and Sohrab, two characters who leave Afghanistan when they are still growing up.

  6. 6

    Even though countless events occur in the novel, the title refers to kite fighting and kite running. What do these activities represent in the novel and why are they so important? To whom or what does the title, "The Kite Runner," refer?

  7. 7

    Examine what it means to be American in the novel. How do different characters see America and is there one perspective that comes across most definitively? Some characters you may want to consider: Amir, Baba, General Taheri, Omar Faisal, Farid.

  8. 8

    Think about the fathers in the novel. According to the novel, what does it mean to be a father? How can one measure one's success at fathering? Some characters to consider: Baba, Ali, Amir, Hassan, General Taheri, Farid, Wahid, Raymond Andrews.

  9. 9

    "Like father, like son." "The apple doesn't fall far from the tree." "Monkey see, monkey do." Use one of these cliches as a starting point to consider the way characters in the story behave. Characters to consider: Amir, Hassan, Assef, Baba, Sohrab, Rahim Khan.

  10. 10

    Make a list of instances in the novel where someone is forgiven. What constitutes true forgiveness? Why is forgiveness so important? You may want to consider moments between Hassan and Amir, Baba and Hassan, Hassan and Sanaubar, Amir and Sohrab, General Taheri and Soraya, and Amir and himself.

  11. 11

    Think about acts of violence in the novel individually and as a whole. Why is violence so essential to the story? Could the story occur without so much violence? Using your answer from the previous question, explain what you think Hosseini is using violence to say. You may want to consider: Hassan's rape, Sohrab's rape, the stonings at Ghazi Stadium, Assef and Amir's fight, Sohrab's suicide attempt, the story of Kamal and his father, Hassan and Farzana's murders, Sanaubar's appearance at the house, and the activity of kite fighting.