The Kite Runner By Khaled Hosseini Summary and Analysis Chapter 9

Summary

The day after his birthday party, Amir feels as if all of his gifts — except the notebook from Rahim Khan — are blood money gifts. Although Amir receives a new copy of Shahnamah from Ali and Hassan, that generous gift is not enough for Amir to change his plans. One night, he casually asks his father if he has seen his new watch. The next morning, when Hassan and Ali are shopping, Amir enters their living quarters and plants the watch and some money under Hassan's mattress.

Amir does not anticipate Hassan lying about stealing the money and watch. Amir realizes that Hassan is sacrificing for him one last time. And Amir does not anticipate Baba forgiving Hassan. Unbeknownst to Baba, Amir realizes that Ali now knows the truth about what has happened and must have been convinced by Hassan to not accuse Amir.

Amir watches as Hassan and Ali pack all of their worldly belongings into one suitcase before Baba drives them to the bus station. Amir describes this scene as if it were a movie, yet this movie has no happy ending.

Analysis

Baba's "half-hearted" invitation receives a "half-hearted" thank you from Amir, indicating that they are more alike than either is willing to notice or acknowledge. Winning the kite fight has not changed Amir or his relationship with Baba. In fact, it has made everything worse.

The depths of Amir's desperate actions are revealed. It is one thing to be a passive observer of events and do nothing to attempt to stop them, but being an active participant in a wrongdoing is often considered even worse. Even though, emotionally, we cringe at what Amir is doing, we logically realize that he is a thirteen-year-old attempting to deal with his views in an almost-impossible situation. Amir is wracked with guilt, and, when attempting to receive a physical punishment does not work, he needs to find another way of making life more endurable, more bearable. Hassan's presence is a physical reminder; thus, Hassan must be made to leave.

The juxtaposition of Hassan's bravery with Amir's cowardice is a final contrast between the two characters. With Hassan's leaving, readers know for certain that the rest of The Kite Runner is about Amir's attempt at atonement. Rahim Khan's assertion in the opening chapter that "there is a way to be good again" indicates that Amir has not yet atoned, and thus his return to Afghanistan will play an important part in his redemption.

Baba's forgiveness of Hassan's admitted actions also serves as foreshadowing. Readers need to ask themselves why Baba would seemingly forsake his moral code or demonstrate a level of forgiveness, compassion, and understanding that he has not revealed. Baba is illustrating the old adage that "actions speak louder than words."

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According to Amir, what are the things that most connect him to his father?




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