This is neither a criticism nor an admiration. Questions got implanted on my head while reading the story, hoping they would be answered by the end of the novel but didn’t.
Firstly, Ali did not seem to be irritated being in Amir’s (Baba’s) house anywhere in the story. Secondly, the author has portrayed Hassan as a strong, self-reliant guy who does not easily get disappointed. Why Hassan so easily confessed the stealing of the watch and money even though he was not the convict. Was it because only Hassan got tired of Amir’s behavior towards him that led both of them to leave the house? Or had Ali also wanted to leave the house? Baba was always loyal to Ali, more loyal to Hassan. He had behaved to Hassan in a way not less than his own son. He had threatened his own son Amir when he had asked Baba if he had ever thought of getting new servants in the house. But, had Ali also really wanted to leave the house? Shouldn’t Ali have scolded his son and told the truth to his “brother like ‘Baba’” instead? I didn’t see any reason for Ali to leave the house. Maybe that was the plight of being a Hazara, not being able to speak to the Pashtun master then.
Later in Peshawar, Rahim Khan revealed that Ali was sterile. Perhaps Ali should also have known that, as his first wife gave three daughters to another man with whom she eloped. Did he become happy or sad when Hassan was born? Or, how did he feel? Why didn’t the author describe the feelings of Ali at Hassan’s birth?
Was it only Rahim Khan’s inference that Hassan was Amir’s half-brother or he really was? If the soldier at the military barrack near Istiqlal Middle School was true at what he had said, how can we be sure that Hassan was Amir’s half-brother? Could not he be the soldier’s son instead? Amir had also heard the soldier’s words. Maybe Baba was on the illusion that Hassan was his son as he was oblivious to the fact that Sanaubar, Ali’s second wife, had physical contact with the soldier. So might be the case with Rahim Khan. Didn’t Amir ever think about it? He blindly believed what Rahim Khan told.
The ending is really impressive. “It was only a smile, nothing more. It didn’t make everything alright. It didn’t make anything alright. A tiny thing…” But that tiny thing in Shorab’s face made the author run with a swarm of screaming children with ineffable happiness.
Published in Annanote: Online English Edition of Annapurna Post Daily
http://annapurnapost.com/annanote/news/2660/Unanswered-Questions-in-‘The-Kite-Runner (Friday, Dec 23, 2016)