In this second unit, you will choose one, out of three books to read. These are, The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini), To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee) and The Catcher in the Rye (JD Salinger).
The Kite Runner
The tradition of Kite Running in Afghanistan:
Kite-running (Gudiparan Bazi) has been a favorite pastime in Afghanistan for the last 100 years, but there are few on the streets of Kabul that can forget the terror of living under the Taliban regime for so many years. Under Taliban rule, if you were caught with a kite, many times you would be beaten and the spool would be destroyed. However, since the fall of the Taliban regime, kite-running has again resurfaced tenfold. Kite-running is a two-person affair, with one person called the “charka gir” and the other called the “gudiparan baz.” The charka gir is in charge of the holding the wooden kite spool, around which the wire, or “tar” is wound. The second person, called the “gudiparan baz” actually is in control of the movement of the kite in the air. Kite flyers stand on tops of buildings, fighting with kites from all over the city. The object is to strike down the kite of your opponent with the string of your kite, after which you will be called the winner. The strings are often made with razor wire which gives the sharpness to cut down other kites. After an opponent’s kite is set free, it flutters away into the wind where it is usually picked up by the local children, who fly it the next day as their own. Kites are made of either extremely fragile tissue paper, or heavier more durable mylar fabric. They come in many colors, shapes, and sizes. Kites range in price depending on the size and materials used to make the kite. For a small, simple, child sized kite, the price starts at just a few cents. For large, elaborate, colorful kites, many with dangling adornments, the price can cost as much as [2 to 100] Afghanis, or $2 US.
(Extracted from: https://www.amnestyusa.org/sites/default/files/kiterunnerhigh_0.pdf)
True or False activity. Justify your FALSE statements:
1.- The Talibans forbid kiteflying because it was considered dangerous.
2.- Nowadays people are less interested in flying kites.
3.- The fighting technique is very important for kite flying.
4.- Sometimes 200 kites or more are sold in a day.
5.- The Afghan tradition of kite flying is very similar to the Chilean tradition.
The two most important ethnic groups of Afghanistan: Pashtuns and Hazaras:
- Pashtuns are the majority ethnic group in Afghanistan, about 42% thereby constituting just under half of the population
- They are the highest ethnicity on the social ladder and dominate governmental bodies
- Pashtu is their native language
- They consist mainly of Sunni Muslims
- The Hazara ethnic group resides mainly in the central Afghanistan mountain region called ‘Hazarajat’
- They make up approximately 9% of Afghanistan’s population
- Historically, the Hazara seem to have Mongolian origins, as evidenced by physical attributes and parts of the culture and language
- Most of the Hazaras are Shi’ite Muslims, and, the 1% of the population which is not Muslim is either Hindu, Sikh, or Jewish
- In The Kite Runner, it is evident that Hazaras are considered to be on the lower end of the socio-economic scale
Act. 2 – Summary of recent historical events in Afghanistan:
1979: The Soviet Union invades Afghanistan and sets up a Communist government. In 1989, the Soviets are driven out by Afghan fighters called mujahedin.
1996: The Taliban seizes control of Kabul and spreads its control across the country. The extremist group introduces harsh laws and punishments.
2001: The Taliban protects the terrorist group al-Qaeda and its leader Osama bin Laden. After al-Qaeda’s September 11 attack on the U.S., American forces invade Afghanistan and remove the Taliban from power. The Taliban retains control over many remote areas.
2004: Afghanistan adopts a new constitution. Afghans elect Hamid Karzai in the country’s first democratic presidential election.
2011: Osama bin Laden dies. U.S. President Barack Obama announces that the U.S. will begin withdrawing some of its troops from Afghanistan.
2014: Ashraf Ghani becomes President. The US war in Afghanistan (America’s longest war) officially ended on December 28, 2014. However, thousands of US-led NATO troops have remained in the country to train and advise Afghan government forces.
Retrieved from: http://www.timeforkids.com/destination/afghanistan/history-timeline
Act. 3 – The Kite Runner character map:
To Kill a Mockingbird
“Thus, to kill a mockingbird is to destroy innocence. Throughout the book, a number of characters (Jem, Tom Robinson, Dill, Boo Radley, Mr. Raymond) can be identified as mockingbirds—innocents who have been injured or destroyed through contact with evil”.
Jean Louise “Scout” Finch – The narrator and protagonist of the story. Scout lives with her father, Atticus, her brother, Jem, and their black cook, Calpurnia, in Maycomb. She is intelligent and, by the standards of her time and place, a tomboy. Scout has a combative streak and a basic faith in the goodness of the people in her community. As the novel progresses, this faith is tested by the hatred and prejudice that emerge during Tom Robinson’s trial. Scout eventually develops a more grown-up perspective that enables her to appreciate human goodness without ignoring human evil.
Atticus Finch – Scout and Jem’s father, a lawyer in Maycomb descended from an old local family. A widower with a dry sense of humor, Atticus has instilled in his children his strong sense of morality and justice. He is one of the few residents of Maycomb committed to racial equality. When he agrees to defend Tom Robinson, a black man charged with raping a white woman, he exposes himself and his family to the anger of the white community. With his strongly held convictions, wisdom, and empathy, Atticus functions as the novel’s moral backbone.
Jeremy Atticus “Jem” Finch – Scout’s brother and constant playmate at the beginning of the story. Jem is something of a typical American boy, refusing to back down from dares and fantasizing about playing football. Four years older than Scout, he gradually separates himself from her games, but he remains her close companion and protector throughout the novel. Jem moves into adolescence during the story, and his ideals are shaken badly by the evil and injustice that he perceives during the trial of Tom Robinson.
Arthur “Boo” Radley – A recluse who never sets foot outside his house, Boo dominates the imaginations of Jem, Scout, and Dill. He is a powerful symbol of goodness swathed in an initial shroud of creepiness, leaving little presents for Scout and Jem and emerging at an opportune moment to save the children. An intelligent child emotionally damaged by his cruel father, Boo provides an example of the threat that evil poses to innocence and goodness. He is one of the novel’s “mockingbirds,” a good person injured by the evil of mankind.
Bob Ewell – A drunken, mostly unemployed member of Maycomb’s poorest family. In his knowingly wrongful accusation that Tom Robinson raped his daughter, Ewell represents the dark side of the South: ignorance, poverty, squalor, and hate-filled racial prejudice.
Charles Baker “Dill” Harris – Jem and Scout’s summer neighbor and friend. Dill is a diminutive, confident boy with an active imagination. He becomes fascinated with Boo Radley and represents the perspective of childhood innocence throughout the novel.
Miss Maudie Atkinson – The Finches’ neighbor, a sharp-tongued widow, and an old friend of the family. Miss Maudie is almost the same age as Atticus’s younger brother, Jack. She shares Atticus’s passion for justice and is the children’s best friend among Maycomb’s adults.
Calpurnia – The Finches’ black cook. Calpurnia is a stern disciplinarian and the children’s bridge between the white world and her own black community.
Aunt Alexandra – Atticus’s sister, a strong-willed woman with a fierce devotion to her family. Alexandra is the perfect Southern lady, and her commitment to propriety and tradition often leads her to clash with Scout.
Mayella Ewell – Bob Ewell’s abused, lonely, unhappy daughter. Though one can pity Mayella because of her overbearing father, one cannot pardon her for her shameful indictment of Tom Robinson.
Tom Robinson – The black field hand accused of rape. Tom is one of the novel’s “mockingbirds,” an important symbol of innocence destroyed by evil.
ROSA PARK’S STORY
How would you define these concepts?: Segregation – Abolitionism – Prejudice – Racism – Discrimination.
Link to article
The Montgomery Bus Boycott
The Catcher in the Rye
Mark David Chapman, The Catcher In The Rye, And The Killing of John Lennon: Article
- How was Chapman and Lennon first interaction?
- How did he feel after he killed him?
- What do you think was his motivation to do that?