What are the memories that Amir recalls as he witness Hassan's rape in The Kite Runner?

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accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The disturbing rape scene in this excellent novel occurs in Chapter Seven. They begin as Assef charges at Hassan and overpowers him. As Amir bites on his fist and shuts his eyes, he has three memories. Firstly, he remembers someone telling him how he and Hassan actually fed from the same breast, which, according to the anonymous narrator, creates a "brotherhood." This of course highlights the true betrayal in Amir's inaction to stand up for his friend (who is actually his brother, and not just in a metaphorical sense.)

Secondly, he remembers when he and Hassan went to a fortune teller, and as the fortune teller feels Hassan's palm and face, a "shadow passes across the old man's face" and he returns the money to Hassan, obviously indicating that he predicts something bad will happen to Hassan. The sadness in Hassan's future only begins with the rape of course, as we go on to discover as we read the novel.

Lastly, Amir has a kind of dream when the hand of Hassan, gashed and bleeding, pulls him up and saves him from  asnowstorm. As they hold hands, the scene is replaced with one of beauty and they look up to see a sky full of kites. This could foreshadow the final ending of the novel, which is when Amir is finally able to emotionally connect with Sohrab, Hassan's son.

gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In chapter 7, Amir recalls the snowy day of the kite tournament when he and Hassan miraculously won. Amir is astonished and cheerful after he successfully cuts the blue kite down from the sky and Hassan runs off to retrieve it. When Amir yells to Hassan to come back with the kite, he turns around and says,

"For you a thousand times over!" (55)

Shortly after Hassan runs off to capture the blue kite, Amir follows him through the streets of Wazir Akbar Khan. Near dusk, Amir spots Hassan in a dead end alley surrounded by Assef and his two friends. Unfortunately, Amir is afraid to intervene and watches from behind a wall as Assef's two friends hold Hassan down while Assef rapes him. Amir specifically recalls Assef's friends attempting to stop him as they voice their concern about committing such a sin. However, Assef dismisses their comments and vows to punish Hassan for threatening to knock his eye out.

Amir cannot bear to look and bites down on his fist until it bleeds before he runs away. Later that night, Hassan returns home and gives Amir the blue kite with a dejected, defeated look on his face. All Amir notices is that there are dark blood stains on the snow where Hassan is standing.

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The Kite Runner

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