Susan Snookal 2010, from an assignment by Letitia Hughes, Barren County High School
The Kite Runner Envelope Assignment
Each student will be given an envelope with one of the following close reading topics on it.
Throughout his/her reading, the student is to copy passages onto index cards or small slips of paper and
put them in the envelope. Groups will meet and share the contents of their envelopes and discuss why
the passage was selected and the effect of the quoted passage on the meaning of the work. Envelopes
may be used in various activities over the course of the novel.
Envelope 1: Examine Amir’s relationship with Baba. Why does Baba have difficulty in his relationship
with Amir? How does this affect Amir?
Envelope 2: What is the significance of the kite flying? Trace its significance throughout the novel,
not ignoring the end. How does it change?
Envelope 3: Discuss the relationship between Baba and Ali and between Amir and Hassan. Are Baba's
and Amir's relationships (and betrayals) of their servants (if you consider Baba's act a betrayal) similar
or different? Do you think that such betrayals are inevitable in the master/servant relationship, or do
you feel that they are due to flaws in Baba's and Amir's characters?
Envelope 4: What examples of guilt do you find in the novel? What is their significance? What, if
any, redemption do you see?
Envelope 5: Examine the allusion/symbol of Romstan and Sohrab. Trace its presence throughout the
Envelope 6: Animals, especially the sheep and a bear, serve as symbols throughout the novel. Trace
their use and discuss their importance.
Envelope 7: Besides the pomegranate tree, what other natural elements are used as symbols
throughout the novel? What is their significance?
Envelope 8: How does the novel present the immigrant experience, especially in America?
Envelope 9: Farid tells Amir, “You’ve always been a tourist here [Afghanistan], you just didn’t know
it”(232). Discuss this statement. Is it true for Amir? Find examples to support your opinion.
Envelope 10: What physical characteristics of the characters are found throughout the novel? How do
these characteristics function? Baba’s towering presence versus Ali’s crippled leg? Hassan’s cleft and
Envelope 11: What role does Assef fill in the novel? What function does he serve?
Envelope 12: The servants in this novel play pivotal roles. Trace their loyalty and its causes and
effects. What service, besides the physical actions, do they provide?
Envelope 13: How is honor defined in the book? Cite events that explain the definition. Who actually
has honor in the book?