29th March 2018

2.9 Reading Response

Student Name: Fred Zafalon

Text Title: The Kite Runner

Author/Director: Khaled Hosseini

Text Type: Extended Written Text

Date Finished: January 2018

The Kite Runner is settled in Afghanistan where a boy, Amir, who belongs to the medium-high society, abandons Hassan, who is Ali’s son who is Amir’s father’s servant, because too scared of fighting the aggressor, the ordinary bully, Assef, who was trying to destroy their lives; Hassan and Amir were best friends. Later on, Amir and his dad Baba run away from Afghanistan because of war and they go to Pakistan and then California, but, taken by guilt, Amir decides to go back to his home to find Hassan who, unfortunately, had already died and, talking to a man, Amir found out that Ali was sterile and Hassan was actually Baba’s son, so Hassan was Amir’s half-brother. Therefore Amir decides to go to an orphanage to adopt Hassan’s son to fix what he had done and to do that he has to face Assef, so the past and all his fears come back, but this time he can’t run away.

When I read the Kite Runner I laughed, cried, wanted to shout, smiled, remained speechless, I couldn’t stop reading, I wanted to be inside the book to talk to the characters. I believe I’ve never felt so many emotions while reading a book; of course books convey to me a lot, but never that deep emotions such as crying and the anger. I will never read the Kite Runner ever again. Why? Because I love it that much that, if I read it another time, I would hate it. I would hate reading again what Amir did because I would be hoping that something different happens, that Amir decides to help him, but in the end, Amir will always do the same thing.

This is an emotional book which grabs the reader’s attention because when Amir abandons Hassan I wanted to shout at him, he couldn’t do that, he was his best friend, it really hurt me; then the moment when he found out Hassan died is probably one of the saddest and most emotional passages I’ve ever read. In the end there is the rebirth of all the good feelings when Amir fights the bully to adopt Hassan’s son to give him the life his best friend deserved.

I don’t like Amir and I feel sorry for that, but even if he understood his mistakes, he went back, he adopted Hassan’s son, he did everything he could to repair what he did, I still don’t like him because of his decision of abandoning his best friend, it’s something I can’t forgive, because if Amir hadn’t abandoned Hassan, he might have survived. But if I were Hassan and I met him again, assuming that Hassan hadn’t die, I would hug Amir and I would forget all what happened and I would forgive him.

 

The Kite Runner basically is about a broken friendship which will be the reason of all Amir’s “adventures.” Friendship is the key word. When I hear this word the first thing which comes to my mind is trust, trust that has been broken by Amir by abandoning Hassan, trust which everyday is broken by people who are called friends when they are everything but real friends. In my opinion friendship is many things, but the main one is trust, because if someone is a friend of mine, it means I trust him/her; in the Kite runner it is a best friendship, so the trust is even greater, if someone is my best friend, it means that I fully trust him/her and, as Hassan, I would do anything for my best friend. Friendships are made by little things that show happiness, trust, love. The Kite Runner ends with a sentence that is probably the best explanation to what I’ve just said: “It was only a smile, nothing more. It didn’t make everything all right. It didn’t make ANYTHING all right. Only a smile. A tiny thing. A leaf in the woods, shaking in the wake of a startled bird’s flight. But I’ll take it. With open arms. Because when spring comes, it melts the snow one flake at a time, and maybe I just witnessed the first flake melting.” Hassan’s son smiles for the first time to Amir, it was a smile, nothing more, but it showed that he trusted Amir, that he loved him.

 

I have a particular relationship with friendships and the reason is easy. I care. I care a lot. It’s something I really like about me, but sometimes it can be painful, because I care that much that when the friendship, or whatever I thought it was, breaks, I really struggle accepting that. Friendships are forever, money is not, love is not sometimes. I’m used to trust people really quickly which means that usually I trust people before they actually do something to be trusted and in 8 cases out of 10, after 1 months I had known them, I don’t talk to these ever again which involves that people I don’t consider friends know me better that I would like them to do. This also involves that I usually feel something about someone who is not feeling the same about me or that I have conflicted feelings about someone and I don’t know what they really are for me; in the Kite Runner Amir says “If I changed my mind and asked for a bigger and fancier kite, Baba would buy it for me, but then he’d buy it for Hassan too. Sometimes I wished he wouldn’t do that. Wished he’d let me be the favourite” but he also says “Over the years, I had seen a lot of guys run kites. But Hassan was by far the greatest kite runner I’d ever seen.” This shows Amir’s conflicted feelings about Hassan, he loves him, but at the same time he is jealous about him. This shows how a friendship can be, how hard it can be. This involves that I am there when I shouldn’t; just because I care. Hassan cares, so even if Amir makes fun of him he’s still there, ready to help and to love his friend.

 

When Amir abandons Hassan, all the trust, hope, love that Hassan was feeling for him went destroyed and he found himself alone, facing not only a bully, but also and most important, the pain of being abandoned by his best friend. This has been the key moment of the book, the moment I realized that it was an amazing book, the moment I realized I would have loved the Kite Runner forever.

I see myself in Hassan, not because I lost a friend, luckily it never happened so far or when I lost someone I then realized it wasn’t a real friend, but because, to Hassan, the friendship with Amir was probably the most important thing in the world and, to me, friendships are the most important things in the world because I could survive without a partner (I currently am) but I could never deal with not having friends. I need to be talking to someone I can trust about my problems knowing that he or she will always be present for me, ready to help. I have a best friend. I used not to have a best friend. The difference? Now my problems are not only mine, so there is someone else who can help me. I can share all my thoughts I wanted to share with someone. Her problems are not only hers. She can share all her thoughts she wanted to share with someone. I feel safe, she feels safe. Hassan was feeling safe, Amir was feeling safe. Then something happens, something unexpected, something that will prove the strength of the friendship, something that will decide if you will stand or fall. “I opened my mouth, almost said something. Almost. The rest of my life might have turned out differently if I had. But I didn’t.” “I had one last chance to make a decision. One final opportunity to decide who I was going to be. I could step into the alley, stand up for Hassan – the way he’d stood up for me – and expect whatever could happen to me. Or I could run. In the end, I ran.” Amir fell. And this made me hate him. It’s stronger than me.

Join the conversation! 1 Comment

  1. Fred, I especially like your personal reflections on trust and friendship. I would suggest reconstructing this response slightly by beginning with your summary and then moving directly into your discussion of this “friendship” theme. You can then decide whether you would like to add (after this developed discussion), aspects of your other reflections.

    What is also needed in your main discussion is quotations to support your ideas.

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