I hope no one minds if I roll this out a day early. I'm trying to get ready to go out of town for a long weekend, and I didn't want to forget about the discussion. Before I get to the business at hand though, here are the books to come:
April: Bel Canto by Ann Patchett, moderated by Tyra (tbb113)
May: Lion's Blood by Steven Barnes, moderated by Erika (mrswaz)
June: Princess: A True Story About Life Behind the Veil in Saudi Arabia by Jean P. Sasson, moderated by Sherri (SDMomChef)
Anyone else want to moderate? It would be nice to have several books in line, so we can get ahold of a copy.
The Kite Runner Discussion Questions: (Feel free to add some more!)
1. Early in Amir and Hassan's friendship, they often visit a pomegranate tree where they spend hours reading and playing. "One summer day, I used one of Ali's kitchen knives to carve our names on it: 'Amir and Hassan, the sultans of Kabul.' Those words made it formal: the tree was ours." In a letter to Amir later in the story, Hassan mentions that "the tree hasn't borne fruit in years." What is the significance of this tree.
2. Discuss the difference between Baba and Ali and between Amir and Hassan. Are Baba's and Amir's betrayals and similarities in their relationships of their servants (if you consider Baba's act a betrayal) similar or different?
3. How does kite flying serve as a metaphor in the novel?
4. The Kite Runner opens with a description of kite flying in Kabul in 1975 and ends with Amir and his nephew flying a kite in the Bay area nearly 30 years later. What is the significance?
5. After Soraya tells Amir about her past, she says “I’m lucky to have found you. You’re so different from every Afghan guy I’ve met.” (Page 180) What do you think of this?
6. On the drive to Kabul, Farid says to Amir “You’ve always been a tourist here, you just didn’t know it.” (Page 232) What is Farid implying, and what do you think of the implication?
1. IMO, the tree symbolized their friendship. Just as a tree grows, a friendship grows over time. Their friendship withered from neglect, just as a tree can wither and die without proper nurturing and care.
2. I think Baba and Amir always thought of Ali and Hassan as servants. I think that deep down, they probably both wanted their servants to be recognized as friends, but the outward appearance and ramifications of such prevented them from doing so. We are not certain that Baba’s act was actually a betrayal. They never did go into details… we never get a sense that Ali knew that Hassan was not actually his child.
3. I think that the Kite Flying in this novel represents Freedom, something that Amir doesn’t truly realize until the very end.
4. The significance of the Kite Flying in both the beginning and the end, I think represents new beginnings and starting over, maybe atonement at the end of the novel.
5. It’s actually a little sad. Soraya’s behavior in the past is shameful to most other men in their culture. It says a lot that Amir does look past her problems and wants her regardless.
6. I think Farid is implying that Amir had it good while he was in Afganistan, and was blind to what was really going on around him. I don’t necessarily think it was an implication though…Amir really was blind to the politics and what was going on.