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Hosseini: The Kite Runner

6. Chapter 5: The End of Innocence

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About this Lecture


In this module, we read through the fifth chapter of the novel, focusing in particular on: (i) the changing soundscape of the novel – from the sounds of peace to the sound of war; (ii) the character of Assef; (iii) the importance of the slingshot, both in terms of its impact on the plot and what it symbolises; (iv) the symbolism of eyes; and (v) the curing Hassan’s hare-lip – “which was ironic, because that was the winter that Hassan stopped smiling” (p. 44).


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 5: The End of Innocence [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

McRae, J. "Hosseini: The Kite Runner – Chapter 5: The End of Innocence." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 13 Jan 2021,