The Kite Runner Chapter Summaries

Chapter summaries written up from York Notes by Calum Kerr

  • Created by: Erin
  • Created on: 21-04-14 10:35

Chapter 1

  • Amir, the Afghan narrator of the novel, now lives in San Francisco
  • Amir has received a phone call from his father's old friend, Rahim Khan, asking him to come to Pakistan
  • The phone call has reminded Amir of events from his past
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Chapter 2

  • Amir looks back and remembers how he and Hassan were childhood friends despite Hassan being the son of Amir's family servant, Ali
  • We learn that Amir's mother died during childbirth
  • Amir recounts how Hassan's mother abandoned her family shortly after giving birth to him
  • We learn that the families of Amir and Hassan are from two different ethnic groups: the Pashtuns and the Hazaras
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Chapter 3

  • Amir remembers time spent with his father during his childhood, and how his fathr was disappointed with his lack of manly attributes 
  • Amir's father, Baba, was seen as a great man by the people around him e.g. wrestled a black bear
  • Amir recalls becoming interested in reading and writing as a way to escape his father's lack of interest
  • Amir takes out his resentment and jealousy on Hassan 
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Chapter 4

  • We learn how Ali, Hassan's father, was an orphan raised by Baba's father
  • When they were growing up, Hassan acted as Amir's servant
  • Amir recalls writing his first story about a man who murders his own wife in an effort to gain riches but discovers that riches cannot replace the happiness he has lost by killing her. 
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Chapter 5

  • The king of Afghanistan is overthrown in a coup
  • Amir and Hassan are attacked by 3 bullies- Assef, Wali and Kamal- but Hassan scares them off with his slingshot
  • Baba arranges for Hassan's cleft lip to be corrected as a birthday present
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Chapter 6

  • In the winter the schools close and the children take part in kite fighting tournaments
  • Hassan is a gifted kite runner
  • Amir tests Hassan's loyalty by asking him if he would eat dirt if he commanded to do so 
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Chapter 7

  • Amir wins the kite-fighting tournament and Hassan runs to catch his kite
  • Hassan is captured by Assef and the other bullies in the alley. He is *****.
  • Amir sees the attack on Hassan but does nothing to help him, and runs.
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Chapter 8

  • After the events following the tournament, Amir feels guilty for not having helped Hassan
  • Hassan tries to patch up his relationship with Amir, but Amir rejects him
  • Amir has a birthday party and Assef the bully comes to the party and brings him a biography of Hitler as a present
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Chapter 9

  • Hassan and Ali give Amir a birthday present of a copy of the book Amir used to read to Hassan
  • Amir falsely accuses Hassan of stealing birthday presents
  • Ali and Hassan leave Baba's service
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Chapter 10

  • It is 1981 and Amir and Baba are escaping from Russian-controlled Afghanistan 
  • Baba stands up to a Russian soldier who wishes to **** a female Afghan refugee
  • One of the bullies from the attack in the alley, Kamal, who is also escaping, dies on the journey
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Chapter 11

  • It is the 1980s and Amir and Baba are now living in California
  • Baba is a little unsettled there but is still capable of commanding respect
  • Baba and Amir buy items from garage sales and sell them from a stall in the Afghan section of the San Jose flea market
  • Amir falls in love with a girl named Soraya whom he meets at the flea market 
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Chapter 12

  • Amir is in love with Soraya, but is warned off by her father, General Taheri
  • Baba falls ill with lung cancer
  • Amir asks his father to approach Soraya's family for her hand in marriage, and it is all agreed
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Chapter 13

  • Amir marries Soraya 
  • Baba dies 
  • Amir publishes his first novel
  • Amir and Soraya find that they are unable to have children 
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Chapter 14

  • It is June 2001 and Amir has just recieved a phone call from Rahim Khan
  • Amir and Soraya are still childless
  • Amir flies to Pakistan
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Chapter 15

  • Amir arrives in Pakistan and meets a very ill Rahim Khan
  • Rahim Khan recounts to Amir the terrible changes in Kabul
  • Rahim Khan is dying and he wishes Amir to perform a final favour for him
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Chapter 16

  • Rahim Khan relates the story of what has happened to him since Amir last saw him
  • Rahim Khan brought Hassan and his wife to live with him
  • Hassan's mother, Sanaubar, returned
  • Hassan and his wife had a son, Sohrab
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Chapter 17

  • Rahim Khan gives Amir a letter from Hassan
  • Hassan and his wife have been murdered by the Taliban and their son, Sohrab, is now in an orphanage
  • Rahim Khan asks Amir to retrieve Sohrab and informs him that Hassan was his half-brother
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Chapter 18

  • Amir considers the news that Hassan was his half-brother
  • He wonders if his betrayal of Hassan led to his friend's death
  • AMir makes the decision to go to Kabul to find his nephew
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Chapter 19

  • Amir returns to Taliban-held Afghanistan to rescue Sohrab
  • Farid, the driver, accuses Amir of always having been a visitor in his own country
  • Wahid, Farid's brother, gives Amir all the food he and his family have to eat
  • Farid agrees to help Amir once he realises the reason for his return
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Chapter 20

  • Kabul has been severely damaged by 20 years of war
  • The Taliban patrol the streets looking for people to punish 
  • Amir discovers that Sohrab has been sold by the orphanage director to a prominent member of the Taliban
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Chapter 21

  • Amir's old neighbourhood is largely undamaged because it has been taken over by the new leaders
  • Amir climbs the hill to the old cemetry and discovers that the pomegranate tree has died
  • Amir and Farid watch the man in sunglasses - the man who bought Sohrab from the orphanage- stone two people to death at a football match
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Chapter 22

  • Amir meets the man in the sunglasses who has bought Sohrab
  • The man reveals himself to be Assef, who ***** Hassan
  • Assef fights Amir and hurts him badly, but Amir is saved by Sohrab and his slingshot, which hits Assef in the eye
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Chapter 23

  • Amir is in hospital after his beating
  • Rahim Khan has left to die in peace and there is no sign of the adoptive parents he promised for Sohrab
  • Amir decides to take Sohrab with him to Islamabad while he considers what to do with him
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Chapter 24

  • Amir invites Sohrab to go back to the USA with him
  • Soraya is happy for Amir to bring Sohrab home
  • The process of adoption is difficult and Amir admits to Sohrab that he may have to go into another orphanage for a time
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Chapter 25

  • We learn that Sohrab has attempted suicide but has survived
  • Amir takes Sohrab back to the USA, but the boy is now withdrawn and uncommunicative
  • Helping to fly a kite fights the return of Sohrab's spirit as he smiles.
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