The Kite Runner is a novel about social standards and the growth from child to man. Set in Kabul, Afghanistan in 1975,before the Russian invasion, we look into the lives of Amir, Baba, Hassan, Rahim kahn and Ali, boys and men living in separation by cast, poor and rich.
The Main character, Amir, tells the story of his childhood in Afghanistan and the influences put upon him and how they influenced his adult life. Amir is a young boy born into wealth and is known as a “high cast” muslim. In their religion, people are ranked by cast, high and low. This is one of the largest separations in their culture and contributes to wealth, loyalty and how they are treated. Amir is a sunni muslim or Pashtun , of high cast and rank, Hassan , Amirs best friend and servant is Shi’a muslim, low cast and ill respected, also known as a Hazara.
We see how Amir craves attention from his power hungry, successful but cold father, Baba. Baba is disappointed in his son, scolding him for his lack interest in sporting business. However Baba can see similarities in Amir to his mother who died, this pains Baba and furthers the distance between him and Amir. He loves poetry and the art of knowledge which is uncommon in families like his. He gets called rude Farsi words, Farsi is the language spoken in Afghanistan. However he knows he is privileged to have the gift of knowledge, others are not so lucky. Rahim Khan is a dear friend and adviser to Baba, he is kind and shows interest to Amir giving him the attention he longs for.
For example, Hassan, being a Hazara he is uneducated and must spend his life as a servant to others. Amir reads to him, books left to him by his mother. Doing this is both kind and cruel, Hassan learns a little but Amir takes delight in watching Hassan misunderstand and wrongly interpret stories. Hassan was born with a cleft lip, a disformity of the face, like his father Ali work has other disabilities. Both Ali and Hassan work for Baba.
As the story progresses, we can see that Amir envies Hassan. With a the winter kite running tournament coming up, Amir feels the pressure to impress his father and beat Hassan, who is an amazing kite runner.