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The Kite Runner A Level

Chris Barcock | Monday November 16, 2020

Categories: KS5 Resources, KS5 Literature

Why read and study 'The Kite Runner'?

Whether you were born before, on, or after September 11th 2001; whether you were in New York, Kabul or neither; and whether you are an atheist, agnostic or religious believer you cannot fail but be familiar with the images of the destruction of the World Trade Centre on that day.

This brilliant novel is not an account of that day and nor does it purport to be. Nonetheless it explains the fanaticism and murderous monomania that lay behind it better than any textbook or non fiction account could possibly do. That is because throughout the novel the writer, Khaled Hosseini makes us both see and feel the consequences of the decline and fall of civilisation in Afghanistan from 1963 to 2002.

Edusites 'The Kite Runner Resources

  • The Kite Runner - A Level Guide
  • The Kite Runner - Lessons

  • The Kite Runner - Questions and Indicative Content

The central characters, Amir and Hassan are born and grow up into a relatively stable society as the son and servant of a wealthy middle class Afghan businessman. Despite the rigid caste differences and the difference in their religious faiths the two boys are friends. At the climactic moment between them they win the major Kite fighting competition in Kabul. But at the moment of victory the seeds of fanaticism sprout out into a vicious act of class and caste violence which destroys their friendship forever and leaves Amir with a lifetime of shame and bad conscience.

In 2001 Rahim Khan, a friend of Amir's by now gives him the chance 'to be good again'. The last movement of the novel shows Amir doing just that. He faces fearful odds and terrifying experiences in Afghanistan and Kabul under Taliban rule but eventually achieves redemption and atonement in rescuing Sohrab, Hassan's son from perdition.

The first time you read this you will not put it down. The second time you will see that the thrilling plot is the servant of Hosseini's examination of a...

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