Week One (Chapters 1 – 4) - Classroom Materials

Guiding Questions
1. Who is Hassan?
2.Where did Amir live during his childhood?
3. Ali and Hassan are Hazaras. How are Hazaras treated in Kabul?
4. How did Baba make his money?
5. How did Ali come to live with Amir’s family?
6. Describe the two tricks Amir plays on Hassan in chapter 4.

Plot Events

  • Rahim Khan calls Amir in San Fransico and tells him he has a way to be good again.
  • The action flashbacks to Amir’s childhood and describes how Hassan’s mother left him.
  • Amir and Baba go to a Buzkashi tournament and Baba is angry at Amir’s weak behavior.
  • Another flackback, and the action describes how Ali came to live with Amir’s family.
  • Amir and Hassan go to the pomegranate tree and Amir plays a trick on Hassan because he is illiterate.

Important Passages

“There is a way to be good again.” (p. 2)

“Then he would remind us that there was a brotherhood between people who had fed from the same breast, a kinship that not even time could break. Hassan and I fed from the same breasts. We took our first steps on the same lawn in the same yard, And, under the same roof we spoke the same words. Mine was Baba. His was Amir. My name.” (p. 11)
“With me as the glaring exception, my father molded the world around him to his liking. The problem, of course, was that Baba saw the world in black and white. And he got to decide what was black and what was white. You can’t love a person who lives that way without fearing him too. Maybe even hating him a little.” (p. 15)

“”When you kill a man, you steal a life,” Baba said. “You steal his wife’s right to a husband, rob his children of a father. When you tell a lie, you steal someone’s right to the truth. When you cheat, you steal the right to fairness. Do you see?”” (p.18)

Vocabulary Set

“Hassan never want to, but if I asked, really asked, he wouldn’t deny me. Hassan never denied me anything.”
“(she was) a woman nineteen years younger, a beautiful but notoriously unscrupulous woman who lived up to her dishonorable reputation.”
“She was the descendent of the royal family, a fact that my father playfully rubbed in the skeptics’ faces by referring to her as “my princess.””
“”Look, I know there’s a fondness between you and him and I’m happy about that. Envious, but happy. He needs someone who…understands him, because God knows I don’t”
“The police brought the dead couple’s five-year-old orphan before my grandfather, who was a highly regarded judge , and a man of impeccable reputation.”
“Hassan helped Ali with the day’s chores: hand-washing dirty clothes, sweeping the floors, buying fresh naan from the bazaar, marinating meat for dinner, watering the lawn.”