The Kite Runner begins with our thus-far nameless protagonist explaining that the past cannot be forgotten.home valentin elizalde dies jessi combs pictures
A single moment in time defined him and has been affecting him for the last twenty-six years.
This moment was in 1975 when he was twelve years old and hid near a crumbling alleyway in his hometown of Kabul, Afghanistan.
When the protagonist's friend, Rahim Khan, calls him out of the blue, he knows that his past sins are coming back to haunt him even in the new life he has built in San Francisco.He remembers Hassan, whom he calls "the harelipped kite runner," saying "For you, a thousand times over." Rahim's words also echo in his head, "There is a way to be good again." These two phrases will become focal points for the rest of the novel and our protagonist's story.The protagonist remembers sitting in trees with Hassan when they were boys and annoying the neighbors.Any mischief they perpetrated was the protagonist's idea, but even when Hassan's father, Ali, scolded Hassan, he never told on the protagonist.Hassan's father was a servant to the protagonist's father, Baba and lived in a small servant's house on his property.Baba's house was widely considered the most beautiful one in Kabul.There Baba held large dinner parties and entertained friends, including Rahim Khan, in his smoking room.Though the protagonist was often surrounded by adults, he never knew his mother because she died in childbirth.Hassan never knew his mother, either, because she eloped with a performance troupe a few days after his birth.The protagonist always felt a special affinity with Hassan because he too was motherless.It was not a surprise that Hassan's mother, Sanaubar, left Ali.The only things these first cousins had in common were being of the Hazara ethnicity and the Shi'a religion.Otherwise, Sanaubar was nineteen years younger than Ali, gorgeous, and reportedly promiscuous.Meanwhile Ali was a pious man afflicted by paralysis of the lower face muscles and a crippled leg.Rumor had it that Sanaubar taunted Ali for his disabilities just as cruelly as strangers and refused to even hold the infant Hassan because of his cleft lip.One night, after hearing so many insults thrown at Hassan because he was Hazara, the protagonist secretly read a summary of Hazara history.