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Hosseini: The Kite Runner

24. Chapter 23: Rahim Khan’s Letter

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About this Lecture


In this module, we read through the twenty-third chapter of the novel, focusing in particular on: (i) the comparison between Baba’s fight with the black bear and Amir’s fight with Assef; (ii) the sense in which both Assef and Amir “got what they deserved”; (iii) Rahim’s exit from the story now that Amir has achieved redemption, his role as the ‘conscience’ of the novel fulfilled; (iv) the extent to which Amir has relied on others to act on his behalf throughout the novel, and the extent to which he is on his own now; (v) the connection between being close to death and being born anew; (vi) the extent to which Amir is driven by guilt – guilt that has been assuaged; and (vii) the importance of mirrors in the novel and the extent to which different characters mirror one another – Hassan and Sohrab, Amir and Hassan, Amir and Assef, etc.


In this course, Professor John McRae (University of Nottingham) explores Khalid Hosseini’s The Kite Runner. We begin with a broad introduction to the historical, political and literary context of the novel, before going through the whole novel chapter-by-chapter, providing close reading and detailed analysis, with commentary on character, plot, themes, motifs, language, symbolism and more.


John McRae is Special Professor of Language in Literature Studies and Teaching Associate in the School of English at Nottingham University, and holds Visiting Professorships in China, Malaysia, Spain and the USA. He is co-author of The Routledge History of Literature in English with Ron Carter, and also wrote The Language of Poetry, Literature with a Small 'l' and the first critical edition of Teleny by Oscar Wilde and others.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

McRae, J. (2021, January 13). Hosseini: The Kite Runner - Chapter 23: Rahim Khan’s Letter [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

McRae, J. "Hosseini: The Kite Runner – Chapter 23: Rahim Khan’s Letter." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 13 Jan 2021,