The Kite Runner is an incredibly sad and moving tale from Afghan-American author Khaled Hosseini. The book offers a glimpse at what it was like growing up in war-ravaged Afghanistan, as you will see in these The Kite Runner quotes about Afghanistan and America.
However, the book also centers on the themes of guilt, friendship, and forgiveness. Hosseini was inspired to write the novel after learning, through a news report, that the Taliban had banned kite flying in Afghanistan. He had grown up with the sport while living in Afghanistan and felt that this restriction was cruel. The Kite Runner started out as a 25-page short story about two boys who fly kites in Kabul.
The book became so much more than that. Part one of the novel recounts Amir’s childhood with his father, Baba, and Hassan. Hassan is thought to be the son of Baba’s servant. Both boys do not have a mother figure and grow up together. They are friends and Hassan is Amir’s kite runner, fetching Amir’s kite wherever it lands. Soon though, Amir becomes jealous of the fact that Baba treats him and Hassan as equals and even seems to be kinder to Hassan.
One day, following an altercation with a bully named Assef, Hassan is beaten and raped while fetching Amir’s kite. Amir watches Assef commit this terrible crime but is too scared to stop it because he fears losing his father’s praise for not returning with his winning kite. Hassan and his father, Ali, move away shortly after the incident.
This list of The Kite Runner quotes offers some thoughts on guilt and redemption based on Amir’s feelings about the past.
Don’t forget to also check out these book quotes that will inspire you to rediscover the pleasure of reading.
Wise and inspirational The Kite Runner quotes
1. “Nothing is free.” ― Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner
2. “It may be unfair, but what happens in a few days, sometimes even a single day, can change the course of a whole lifetime…” ― Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner
3. “It always hurts more to have and lose than to not have in the first place.” ― Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner
4. “Time can be a greedy thing-sometimes it steals the details for itself.” ― Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner
5. “In the end, the world always wins. That’s just the way of things.” ― Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner
6. “Better to get hurt by the truth than comforted with a lie.” ― Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner
7. “I opened my mouth, almost said something. Almost. The rest of my life might have turned out differently if I had. But I didn’t.” ― Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner
8. “There is a way to be good again…” ― Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner
9. “Sad stories make good books” ― Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner
10. “Life is a train, get on board.” ― Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner
The Kite Runner quotes from Amir and Baba
11. “My father slept with his servant’s wife, and she bore him a son named Hassan. Hassan is dead now. That boy sleeping in the other room is Hassan’s son. He’s my nephew. That’s what you tell people when they ask.” ― (Amir) Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner
12. “Who are we in this complicated world?” ― (Amir) Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner
13. “War doesn’t negate decency. It demands it, even more than in times of peace.” ― (Baba) Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner
14. “All this talk of sinning is making me thirsty.” ― (Baba) Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner
15. “I wish Hassan had been with us today. That would make him happy.” ― (Baba) Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner
16. “I piss on the beards of those self-righteous monkeys.” ― (Baba) Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner
17. “Instead of being a doctor and saving lives, my son wants to make up stories.” ― (Baba) Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner
18. “There is no pain today.” ― (Baba) Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner
19. “The Mullahs want to rule our souls… and the Communists tell us we don’t have any.” ― (Baba) Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner
20. “Quiet is peace. Tranquility. Quiet is turning down the volume knob on life. Silence is pushing the off button. Shutting it down. All of it.” ― (Amir) Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner
21. “The problem, of course, was that [he] 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.” ― (Amir) Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner
The Kite Runner quotes from Rahim and others
22. “It’s a dangerous thing, being born. Dangerous for the mother, dangerous for the child. Your father would die for you.” ― (Rahim Khan) Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner
23. “Children aren’t coloring books. You don’t get to fill them with your favorite colors.” ― (Rahim Khan) Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner
24. “There is a way to be good again.” ― (Rahim Khan) Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner
25. “I dream that my son will grow up to be a good person, a free person. I dream that someday you will return to revisit the land of our childhood. I dream that flowers will bloom in the streets again and kites will fly in the skies.” ― (Hassan) Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner
26. “You are among peers. Everyone here is a storyteller.” ― (General Taheri) Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner
27. “For you, a thousand times over.” ― (Hassan) Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner
28. “I guess some stories don’t need telling.” ― (Rahim Khan) Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner
29. “She said, ‘I’m so afraid.’ And I said, ‘why?,’ and she said, ‘Because I’m so profoundly happy, Dr. Rasul. Happiness like this is frightening.’ I asked her why and she said, ‘They only let you be this happy if they’re preparing to take something from you.” ― (Dr. Rasul) Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner
30. “You’ve always been a tourist here. You just didn’t know it.” ― (Farid) Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner
The Kite Runner quotes about Afghanistan and America
31. “They call this area Afghan Town. Sometimes it feels like Peshawar is a suburb of Kabul.” ― Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner
32. “Afghani people and Pakistani people, they are like brothers. Muslims have to help Muslims.” ― Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner
33. “Afghanistan is the land of the Pashtuns. We’re the real Afghans, not this flat-nosed Hazara. His people pollute our homeland. They dirty our blood. If idiots like you and your father hadn’t taken these people in, we’d be rid of them.” ― Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner
34. “There are a lot of children in Afghanistan, but little childhood.” ― Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner
35. “I see America has infused you with her optimism. But there is such a thing as God’s will.” ― Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner
36. “I brought Hassan’s son from Afghanistan to America, lifting him from the certainty of turmoil and dropping him in a turmoil of uncertainty.” ― Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner
37. “America was different. America was a river, roaring along, unmindful of the past. I could wade into this river, let my sins drown to the bottom, let the waters carry me someplace far. Someplace with no ghosts, no memories, and no sins.” ― Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner
38. “In Kabul, hot running water had been like fathers, a rare commodity.” ― Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner
39. “If the story had been about anyone else, it would have been dismissed as laaf, that Afghan tendency to exaggerate —sadly, almost a national affliction; if someone bragged that his son was a doctor, chances were the kid had once passed a biology test in high school.” ― Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner
40. “I laughed. Partly at the joke, partly at how Afghan humor never changed. Wars were waged, the Internet was invented, and a robot had rolled on the surface of Mars, and in Afghanistan we were still telling Mullah Nasruddin jokes.” ― Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner
41. “If America taught me anything, it’s that quitting is right up there with pissing in the Girl Scouts’ lemonade jar.” ― Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner
The Kite Runner quotes about guilt, sin, and forgiveness
42. “There is only one sin, only one. And that is theft. Every other sin is a variation of theft… When you kill a man, you steal a life. 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.” ― Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner
43. “I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded; not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up, and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night.” ― Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner
44. “A man who has no conscience, no goodness, does not suffer.” ― Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner
45. “It’s wrong what they say about the past, I’ve learned, about how you can bury it. Because the past claws its way out.” ― Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner
46. “It was only a smile, nothing more. It didn’t make everything all right. It didn’t make ANYTHING all right. Only a smile. A tiny thing. A leaf in the woods, shaking in the wake of a startled bird’s flight. But I’ll take it. With open arms. Because when spring comes, it melts the snow one flake at a time, and maybe I just witnessed the first flake melting.” ― Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner
47. “Not a word passes between us, not because we have nothing to say, but because we don’t have to say anything.” ― Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner
48. “And that’s the thing about people who mean everything they say. They think everyone else does too.” ― Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner
49. “I want to tear myself from this place, from this reality, rise up like a cloud and float away, melt into this humid summer night and dissolve somewhere far, over the hills. But I am here, my legs blocks of concrete, my lungs empty of air, my throat burning. There will be no floating away.” ― Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner
50. “There’s no monster…just a beautiful day.” ― Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner
What did you learn from this selection of The Kite Runner quotes?
Part two of the novel picks up after Baba and Amir have moved to America. Baba now works at a gas station, Amir is studying to be a writer, and the pair sell goods at a flea market for extra money.
During this part of the novel, Baba is diagnosed with terminal cancer. Amir falls in love with a fellow refugee and the pair marry, thanks in part to Baba asking the girl’s father for permission to marry his son.
Shortly after their marriage, Baba passes away. Amir spends the next 15 years as a successful novelist, but then one day, he receives a call from his father’s best friend (and the man he viewed as a second father) Rahim Khan. Rahim tells him, “There is a way to be good again.” Many of The Kite Runner quotes from Rahim and other supporting characters are insightful and add so much depth to the story.
Part three of the novel reveals many truths that leave Amir reeling. This book is definitely worth the read, so I won’t spoil the end for you. However, I will say you will probably want to have some tissues nearby.
You could also watch the movie, which had a budget of $20 million, and earned $73.2 million worldwide, making it a financial success. The film received mostly favorable reviews from critics and was nominated for several awards.
However, there was some controversy over the child actors who played in the movie, and Paramount ended up moving them to the US and assuming financial responsibility for them until adulthood.
What’s your biggest takeaway from this selection of The Kite Runner quotes and lines? Have you read the book or watched the movie already? Let us know which one you prefer in the comment section below!
July 7, 2021 7:00 AM EST