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The Kite Runner
Key Questions and Answers
What Does the Ending Mean?
Summary & Analysis
Point of View
Important Quotations Explained
Quotes By Theme
Betrayal & Redemption
Racism & Ethnicity
Quotes By Section
Quotes By Character
Quotes By Symbol
The Cleft Lip
The Kite Runner and The Taliban
The Kite Runner and Coming-of-Age Stories
Full Book Quiz
Analysis of Major Characters
Chapters Eight and Nine
Chapters Eighteen and Nineteen
Chapters Four and Five
Chapters Fourteen and Fifteen
Chapters One to Three
Chapters Six and Seven
Chapters Sixteen and Seventeen
Chapters Ten and Eleven
Chapters Twelve and Thirteen
Chapters Twenty and Twenty-One
Chapters Twenty-Two and Twenty-Three
Themes, Motifs, and Symbols
Suggestions for Further Reading
How to Write Literary Analysis
Suggested Essay Topics
How to Cite This SparkNote
Full Book Quiz
Full Book Quiz
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1. What is a kite runner?
Someone who competes in the kite-fighting tournament
Someone who makes and sells kites
Someone who retrieves the losing kite of a kite battle
Someone who is exceptionally skilled at flying kites
2. How did Ali come into Baba’s family?
Ali’s parents were killed and Baba’s father, who judged the murder trial, took him in
He was born to the Hazara servant of Baba’s father
He killed a sheep belonging to Baba’s family and was forced to become their servant as punishment
Baba and Ali had the same father
3. What is it that worries Baba about Amir?
He isn’t certain who Amir’s mother was
A boy who can’t stand up for himself becomes a man who can’t stand up to anything
Boys at school bully Amir
Amir could disappoint him by losing the kite-fighting tournament
4. How is Hassan’s cleft lip fixed?
Amir uses his birthday money to pay for the surgery
Baba pays for the surgery as a birthday gift to Hassan
Hassan steals Amir’s birthday money and uses it for the surgery
Ali steals Amir’s birthday money to pay for the surgery
5. Why does Amir think Baba doesn’t love him fully?
Baba holds him responsible for the death of his wife (Amir’s mother), who died giving birth to Amir
Because Amir never did well in the kite-fighting tournament
Baba questions whether Amir is his biological son
Baba prefers to fly kites with Hassan
6. Why doesn’t Amir stop Hassan’s rape?
He believes Hassan, who is a Hazara, deserves to learn a lesson
He thinks Hassan wouldn’t have helped him if the roles were reversed
He and Hassan make eye-contact and Hassan silently tells Amir to run
He is afraid and also wants the blue kite, which he can only get by not interfering
7. What does Amir put under Hassan’s mattress to frame him?
His favorite book and the watch Baba gave him
The kite Baba bought him that he used to win the kite-fighting tournament
Money he received for his birthday and the watch Baba gave him
A ski mask, a length of rope, and a handful of gold coins
8. Why do Baba and Amir leave Kabul?
One of Baba’s old enemies has found Baba and wants to take revenge
The new president created a totalitarian dictatorship when he took power
The Taliban threaten to kill Baba
The invasion by the Russians has turned the country into a dangerous war zone
9. When Baba and Amir flee Kabul, what does Baba say to the Russian guard who tries to rape the woman in the truck with them?
He tells the guard that rape is a sin against God
He calls the guard a coward who couldn’t get a woman without a gun
He says decency is even more important in times of war
He threatens to kill the guard if the guard touches the woman
10. Where do Baba and Amir end up in the U.S.?
Los Angeles, California
Newark, New Jersey
11. What does Amir decide to study in college?
12. Where does Amir meet Soraya?
The local mosque
A gathering of Afghans in the park
The flea market
13. When Baba is diagnosed with lung cancer and Amir says he doesn’t know what to do without him, what does Baba tell Amir?
Amir needs to quit crying and accept that he will be alone soon
That he has been trying to teach Amir how to live without him for Amir’s whole life
Amir needs to have faith that God will provide for him
That Amir should find Hassan to make up for the ways he wronged him
14. Which accurately describes the traditional Afghan way of proposing marriage, which we see in the novel?
The man proposes to the woman in front of her family
The man asks for consent from the woman’s father
The man’s father asks consent from the woman’s father
The man tells the woman’s mother his intentions, then proposes to the woman
15. What do Amir and Soraya want to do but are not able to?
Move back to Kabul
Buy a house
Leave Afghanistan behind and live as Americans
Have a baby
16. What does Rahim Khan say to Amir to convince Amir to go to Pakistan
There is a way to be good again
The past is gone and buried
Hassan wants to see you
I have money that is yours
17. Who is Hassan’s real father?
18. Why does Rahim Khan want Amir to go to Kabul?
So he can check on Baba’s house, which has been claimed by the Taliban
So he can confront Assef about his rape of Hassan
So he can get Sohrab and bring him back to Pakistan
So he can find Hassan
19. Why does Farid initially dislike Amir?
Amir was condescending towards him
Rahim Khan told Farid what Amir had done to Hassan
Amir is Sunni, while Farid is Shia
Farid thought Amir was returning to Kabul to sell property
20. What do Farid and Amir see during the half-time show of the soccer game in Kabul?
A man and a woman stoned to death
A thief who has his hand cut off
A display of horse-riding by members of the Taliban
A wedding ceremony
21. Why does Amir laugh when Assef beats him?
He has gone crazy
He has been drugged
He feels relief from his guilt
He feels Assef can’t hurt him
22. Why is it significant that Sohrab shoots out Assef’s eye with his slingshot?
Amir and Hassan used to hunt birds with a slingshot as children
Hassan once saved Amir from Assef with a slingshot
Assef used to threaten Amir and Hassan with a slingshot
Amir taught Hassan how to shoot a slingshot when they were children
23. Why does Amir have difficulty adopting Sohrab?
Amir is no longer a citizen of Afghanistan
Amir has no papers proving Sohrab’s parents are dead
Amir refuses to pay the bribe demanded by the adoption officials
Amir is considered a traitor for having fled Afghanistan
24. What will Sohrab no longer do after he attempts suicide?
Use his slingshot
Fly his kite
25. What metaphor does Amir use to explain the importance of Sohrab smiling?
The longest journeys begin with a single step
When spring comes, it melts the snow one flake at a time
The storm is most dangerous just before it clears
Every wound has its purpose
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