The Importance of Loyalty and Betrayal in The Kite Runner, a Novel by Khaled Hosseini

The themes of Loyalty and Betrayal in The Kite Runner

The Kite Runner was the first novel written by Khaled Hosseini, and was published in 2003. The story is told through the eyes of the protagonist Amir, and the events of his life in Afghanistan, fleeing from Afghanistan to America because of the Soviet-Afghan war, and finally returning to Afghanistan to rescue Sohrab, his half brother’s son. There are various themes that influence the development of the story, including love, loyalty, betrayal, redemption, race and many more.

These themes are present throughout the novel and helps build up to the suspenseful turning points and conflicts that make The Kite Runner exciting to read. All of the characters display these themes, especially Amir and his childhood friend/half brother Hassan. Although there are many themes in The Kite Runner, two of the most important themes in The Kite Runner are loyalty and betrayal as loyalty is what connects the characters together and form relationships, while betrayal breaks relationships and causes conflicts.

Loyalty is a strong feeling of support to someone or something. The most noticeable display of loyalty is Hassan towards Amir. Early on in the novel, Hassan displays loyalty to Amir and his father Baba, and stays loyal to them until he dies. Because of Hassan’s loyalty, he can be described as selfless and caring. In chapter 5, when Amir and Hassan were picked on by neighbourhood bullies Assef, Kamal and Wali, Hassan defends Amir and himself by scaring Assef with a slingshot. When Hassan runs the kite for Amir in chapter 6, he says “For you, a thousand times over” to Amir. Hassan is expressing his loyalty to Amir by telling Amir he would run the kite a thousand times for Amir. Another instance of Hassan’s loyalty to Amir is in chapter 7, when Hassan got raped because he did not let Assef take the kite. Hassan did not want to break his loyalty with Amir by giving up the kite. Even after the rape, Hassan stays loyal with Amir, and continues serving him. In chapter 9, Amir betrays Hassan by framing him, but even though Hassan knew he was framed he continues his loyalty with Amir and does not tell Baba he was framed. Even though Amir betrays Hassan, Amir starts becoming loyal to Hassan later in the novel. After Hassan dies and Amir finds out Hassan’s son Sohrab is in trouble, Amir flies back to Afghanistan to rescue Sohrab. Hassan and Amir are not the only characters who display loyalty. Baba displays his loyalty to Hassan by hiring a doctor to fix his harelip, even though Hassan was a Hazara and a servant. Loyalty is important as it bonds the characters together and leads Amir to rescue Sohrab for Hassan.

The theme of betrayal is important in The Kite Runner as it leads to major turning points and conflicts in the story. Both Baba and Amir betrayed the people who were closest to them. Amir never treated Hassan as if he was a true friend, and betrays Hassan multiple times in the novel by not willing to help Hassan and pushing him away. In chapter 7, Amir watches Hassan get raped but does not go to rescue Hassan, despite being Amir’s best friend and always helping Amir when he needed help. After the rape, Amir continues to betray Hassan. In chapter 9, Amir frames Hassan by hiding a watch and money under his bed, then accusing him for stealing it. This act of betrayal by Amir leads to one of the major turning points of the novel, with Ali and Hassan’s departure from Baba’s house. The feeling of guilt resulting from Amir betraying Hassan haunted Amir for many years, until he redeemed himself. In addition to Amir’s betrayal to Hassan, Baba betrays Amir by lying and not telling Amir that Hassan was his half-brother. After Amir heard the news, it changed how Amir viewed Baba forever. Baba was known in the novel as a well-respected man with good morals and no tolerance to stealing or lying. Baba breaks his own morals by lying to Amir and stealing Amir’s rights to know Hassan was Amir’s half brother and not just a servant. As multiple incidences has shown, betrayal led to destruction of friendships and conflicts in the novel.

Loyalty and betrayal are important central themes in the story. These themes changed the outcome of many of the events in the novel. Loyalty and betrayal are considered opposites, as loyalty is associated with friendship, trust and support, but betrayal is associated with conflicts and dishonesty. Amir is the character who betrays others often and Hassan is the character who is loyal to others, making Amir and Hassan somewhat opposites. This is one of the reasons why Hassan and Amir never fully got along with each other and had so many conflicts. The guilt caused by Amir betraying Hassan in addition to Amir’s loyalty to Hassan caused him to risk his life to save Sohrab. The central plot, Amir trying redeeming himself by saving Sohrab is a result of Amir realising he made a mistake by betraying Hassan after Hassan’s loyalty to Amir.

The Kite Runner: Role of fathers

The relationship in between Baba and Amir is an intricate one as Baba exposes his role as a father, good friend, and enemy. Hosseini’s unique The Kite Runner explores this rollercoaster in between Baba and his kid Amir. As the unique unfolds, the lives of the characters unravel– as do their relationships and their sense of identity. Baba works as an important link that links each of the characters and also bridges the uncertain with the specific, lie with fact, pain with pleasure, servant with master, dark with light and then ultimately death with life.

Each of these connections triggers strong feelings in Amir about feelings towards his dad and how he feels about himself. This mix of unfavorable and favorable sensations towards his daddy triggers him much pain, however it likewise brings him closer to discovering him self and how in lots of methods he is truly his dad’s child. Amir’s relationship with his father Baba begins at a very rocky stage.

Amir felt as though his daddy resented him considering that the day that he was born when his mom died while offering birth to him. Amir continuously felt as though he had to make up for killing the love of his dad’s life, Sofia Akrami. However, this ended up being a problem given that there wasn’t much that Amir could do to impress Baba as they did not have much in typical; the two had very different interests. Baba was more athletic, brave, and daring whereas Amir is the opposite. The contrast between the two was so big that Baba even said, “If I had not seen the doctor pull him out of my partner with my own eyes, I ‘d not believe he’s my son.”

Amir overheard this scarring quote and ended up being more determined than ever to win his daddy’s love and love. Amir started attempting so hard to impress his father that Amir even began sports. It was evident however, that it wasn’t one of his strengths. Baba’s lack of love drove Amir into a fictional competitors between Hassan-his Hazara servant- and himself. Amir felt as though Baba was more affectionate to Hassan and he started to covet him. This led Amir to have a secret animosity towards Hassan, though he understood just how much Hassan enjoyed him. This bitterness played out in an awful way on the day after the kite competition. Amir experienced Hassan get raped by the town bully Aseff- and he did absolutely nothing to assist. He abandoned him in his most desperate moment. All Amir thought about was going home with the kite that Hassan had in his hand. The kite that Amir believed would make Baba love him even more now that he had won the kite tournament. That is why Amir said, “Maybe Hassan was the price I had to pay, the lamb I had to slay, to win Baba.”

Even though he got the kite he wanted, Amir’s abandonment of Hassan in this tragic moment was a secret torment he had to live with for many years. Though Amir’s guilt meant living a life with a heavy weight on his shoulder, his life seemed to be looking up, since his relationship with his father Baba seemed to be improving. Ever since Amir won the kite tournament, Baba had been putting more of an effort into his relationship with Amir. Instead of ignoring Amir and not sharing any moments with him, Baba and Amir begun going out more. Baba agreed to do everything that Amir wanted to do and to Amir’s surprise, he even initiated some of their plans. The two did have their few bumps in the road however. For instance, when Amir was unable to deal with the guilt of seeing Hassan every day, he asked his father if he ever considered getting new servants. This made Baba furious. He told Amir, “I’ve never laid a hand on you Amir, but you every say that again…”

This is the moment, that the reader first gets sense that the connection between Baba and Hassan and his father Ali was much more than loyalty of years spent together. We learn that Baba grew up with Ali like a brother. The reader gets a deeper insight into their relationship later on in the novel. The reader finds out that Baba’s emotional response to Amir’s request is because Hassan is actually his son. From there on the relationship between Baba and Amir changed and went downhill. Amir realized that discussing that idea with Baba was a big mistake; however his desire to get rid of Hassan did not diminish. Amir took a decision to engage in a masterful act of deception and framed Hassan for stealing his watch and birthday money. This of course led to a confrontation between Baba, Amir, Hassan, and Ali. Hassan confessed to stealing the watch even though he didn’t and Baba instantly forgave him. Despite Baba’s act of forgiveness, the shame or perhaps the suspicion changed things in the household. Ali informed Baba that he and Hassan were leaving and would no longer be working for him. This was the first time that Amir saw Baba cry. Hassan was a good boy and Baba knew him well. He must have known in his heart that Hassan would not steal and that this predicament was all Amir’s doing. Of course this would put an even stronger strain on Baba and Amir’s relationship, but this wasn’t able to be expressed since Afghanistan soon underwent immense changes after Hassan and Ali’s leaving. After Hassan and Ali left Baba’s house in Kabul, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. Baba and Amir fled Kabul and headed towards Pakistan; later on the moved to America. These traumatic events that occurred strengthened the complex relationship between Baba and Amir. When the two began life in America, their relationship was stronger than ever. Baba and Amir really started bonding and connected as father and son should. Baba began taking an interest in Amir’s studies, supported him as he pursued his dreams to become a writer. They often joked with one another and Amir began helping out Baba a lot with everything and even took care of Baba while he was ill,. When it was time for marriage, Baba got permission for Amir to marry Soraya- an Afghan he met in America- and he paid for the entire wedding. The relationship was at a very good place when Amir witnessed his father die a happy, proud man. When Amir first found out that Baba was ill and was dying, Baba told Amir, “What’s going to happen to you, you say? All those years, that’s what I was trying to teach you, how to never have to ask that question.”

Here Baba reveals to Amir that his poor parenting skills actually had good intentions. What Amir saw as poor fatherly skills were in fact Baba’s way of instilling in Amir a sense of independence and manhood. It was upon reflecting upon these conversations, that Amir realized just how many sacrifices Baba truly made for him and finally concluded that Baba did in fact love him. Baba went to America purely for Amir’s education and future, and even though he hated it, Baba refused to leave. Baba was forced to take manual work and therefore degraded himself to earn money in a gas station to support Amir and his life in America. Most of Baba’s savings went to Amir’s wedding. These are ways in which Baba demonstrated his love and care for Amir. However, though Baba was dead, Amir and Baba’s rollercoaster was not yet over; there was one last hiccup in their relationship. This came about when Baba’s darkest secret was revealed by Rahim Khan. The secret was that Baba had slept with Ali’s wife Sanaubar and impregnated her, making Hassan his child. Amir went through a series of mixed emotions at this revelation. Initially the news made Amir furious. He thought of his father as a hypocrite due to all of the lessons he had thought him in his past. Baba once told Amir, ‘There is only one sin – ‘and that is theft…When you tell a lie, you steal someone’s right to the truth.’

Due to this lesson, Amir couldn’t help but think that Baba’s theft was the worst kind of stealing, since “the things he’d stolen had been sacred: from me the right to know I had a brother, from Hassan his identity, and from Ali his honor.”.

As Amir reflected on his father’s deception and betrayal, he started to see himself in a similar way. Amir realized that his father was more like him than he ever knew and this is when their relationship made the final shift. He saw how much they were one and the same. His feelings towards his father finally changed. “Baba and I were more alike than I’d ever known. We had both betrayed the people who would have given their lives for us.”

Amir finally realizes that Baba was a man who also made mistakes and lived with regret. He recognized that the negative behaviors he had witnessed from his father, came from the struggles he had while trying to deal with the guilt and failures of the past. In the same way Amir had also suffered from the terrible things he had done. The big difference is at the end of the day Baba was a better man than Amir was, but Amir knew he had time to change this. From here on, Amir took on the task of redeeming both his and Baba’s mistakes. He agreed to go on the search for Hassan’s orphaned son Sohrab and to take care of him and raise him like he was his own. Amir is at last reconciled to his father. Although he was already dead, he is able to get some closure through Rahim Khan’s sharing with him. The conflicts and contradictions are also erased. His pain eases, he is sorry for his abandonment of Hassan and he forgives his father. Baba’s life of secrecy had broken with Muslim tradition in many ways and his behaviours had caused a chain of events that had the effect of both breaking and hurting relationships. He spends the rest of life making up for his failings. His example leads his own son Amir to see himself in a new way. He recognizes his weaknesses and forgives himself. He creates a relationship as a fatherly figure to his half brother’s son Sohrab and turns his life around. His outlook is now positive. There is no longer the darkness of secrecy and shame. Instead there is truth and there is love. Amir’s feelings of resentment turn to love and truth.

Works Cited
Hosseini, Khaled. The kite runner. New York: Riverhead Books, 2003. Print.

Redemption in The Kite Runner

It is only natural for humans to make mistakes, just like Amir in the novel The Kite Runner, but it is how the mistakes are resolved that will dictate ones fate. The main character of The Kite Runner, Amir, knows a thing or two about making mistakes. What he struggles with throughout the novel is finding redemption for those mistakes. Throughout all stages of Amir’s life, he is striving for redemption. Whether Amir is saying the wrong thing or hiding from a hurtful truth, he always finds new things he will have to redeem himself for.

That is why redemption is a huge underlining theme in The Kite Runner. When Amir is a child, he feels his father blames him for his mother’s death and cannot love him. He does everything he can think of to try and make up for the mistakes he made in the past. Since Amir feels his father does not love him, he thinks of ways to make things right with him.

Amir sees Baba as a perfect higher presence that he could never amount to.

When the kite running competition comes around he takes this opportunity to prove to his father that he can be more of an “ideal” son to Baba, ultimately getting redemption for everything his father has not approved of. Amir sees Baba as a perfect father figure because everyone looks up to him. Amir could never live up to Baba’s expectations of him and that is where the theme of redemption comes to play between these two characters. Although Amir impresses his father by winning the kite running competition, he ends the day by hurting his best friend in a terrible way and one day he will have to find a way to make up for it. Amir and Hassan are two inseparable children, but their relationship is unusual because Hassan is Amir’s servant. Amir is never very nice to Hassan, but Hassan would never turn his back on Amir. This is evident when he says, “For you a thousand times over”. Amir makes a huge mistake one day by hurting Hassan and it takes a very long time for him to find a way to redeem himself. The kit running competition was supposed to be the best day of Amir’s life.

He would win, and earn his dad’s unconditional love once and for all, but things are not always as they seem. Although Amir did win the competition, something went very wrong. Hassan will always have Amir’s back, until the day he dies he would do anything for him. When Amir cut the last Kite down from the sky, Hassan decided to run it. Assef and his two friends didn’t exactly want Hassan to bring the kite back to Amir. Amir is a very evil young boy and since Hassan would do anything for Amir, he refuses to hand the kite over to Assef. Hassan’s final act of bravery results in his rape and Amir’s next big mistake. Amir watches Assef and his friends rape Hassan, but he does nothing to help his friend. Amir goes many years knowing this information but never tells anyone, but what goes around comes around. When everything finally catches up with Amir, he is a grown man. Things in Amir’s life have finally settled down, but now the past is brought back up; he must go find redemption once more. Amir survived his childhood, made a good life for himself and marries a beautiful Afghan woman named Soraya. One thing Amir is deprived of in his life is the ability to have children.

Amir’s inability to have children could possibly be looked at as coincidental or symbolic to him making amends for his past mistakes and misgivings. Amir receives a phone call from his father’s old friend Rahim Khan. Although Rahim is dying, he asks Amir to come visit him in Afghanistan. Amir soon realizes that the main reason Rahim Khan asked him to visit was not to see him before he died, but because Rahim wants to help Amir succeed in reaching his final redemption. Rahim Khan has known about the kite running competition for Amir’s entire life, and he has a way for him to try and set things right. Hassan, who is dead now, has a son, but he is an orphan boy. The Taliban has taken over Afghanistan and they killed Hassan and his wife in cold blood. Sohrab, who is Hassan’s son, has been taken by the Taliban as payment for the orphanage. Rahim Khan puts Amir up to the challenge of going to find Sohrab and giving him a proper home.

He states, “I have a way to make things right again”. In order for Amir to redeem his past with Hassan, he must go and find Sohrab, who is the ultimate symbol of redemption in Amir’s life. Finding Sohrab was Amir’s greatest accomplishment, it was the ultimate redemption for all the evil and unjust things that have haunted his past. Amir fails to stand up for himself and others, as a child. As an adult, he redeems his uncourageous past by setting it right with the help of some very close family members. Amir goes through many stages in his life, but he always seems to be redeeming himself for something. Sometimes life seems to work out in the end, and the search for redemption may not always be easy, as witnessed in Amir’s case. However, a strong will and determination can help guide the road to redemption and possible forgiveness.

Violence in the Kite Runner

An act more familiar to some than others, but a common act all the same. We see it everyday and everywhere, from the kids fighting in the sandbox to the man being shot in the head no matter where you go, violence is an act that no one is safe from. But is that a bad thing? Hasn’t that been the norm since day one for humans? People see the word violence and automatically think that its a negative, that nothing good can come from it.

Perhaps if we look at it in a different perspective, though, we may be able to form a better opinion on the term.

Thankfully, Khaled Hosseini’s work, “The Kite Runner” does the job for us. The Kite Runner is a story written by violence, from Hassan’s rape to Amir’s beating, almost every major point in the story is about a violent act. And while at a first glance most would assume that the book is just showing how violent Afghanistan was, it was actually Hosseni trying to show something entirely different.

If we look at the after effect of every violent act, we see that it does more than just hurt another person, it shapes the lives of the people around it, it can set the mold for how a person will become, and it can even be the cause of great good.

A great example of this can be found from the most important scene in the book, Hassan’s rape at the hands of Assef. This is where we find Amir at his weakest moment, where he truly realises that when it came down to the “one final opportunity to decide who [he] was going to be”(Hosseini 77) all he could do is run. The result of his actions hit almost instantly, he loses his friend, his father’s respect, and his own morality in a matter of months. Even when he moves to America as a place to bury his sin, it pulls itself up whenever the memory is recalled. The choice Amir makes seems to become the curse of his life, that is, until the end of the book when we realize how much it changed him for the better.

Because it was thanks to that event all those years ago that forced Amir to atone for his sins, and with that atonement, he was able to save the life of the young Sorab and become a man that his father, Baba, would be proud of. Had this violent act never happened Amir might have never became a man that could stand for something, he would have leached off Hassan until he was an adult, and by then it would be too late to change. But because Hassan’s rape separated Amir from Hassan, Amir was able to grow and become the man he is at the end of the story.

Another look into the influences of violence can be found in the history of Assef. We know from Assef’s actions that he a man who is clearly been shaped by violence, in fact, he could almost be called a symbol of violence itself, as he was the rapist of Hassan and his son, a strong supporter (and member) of the taliban and its actions, as well as the near murderer of Amir. But, just like all the other acts of violence in the story, Assef’s actions, while cruel and unforgivable, has brought good into the world as well.

This good is found in what is probably the most violent scene in the book where Amir finally has to face his ‘sin’ face to face, in the form of a fight to the death versus an adult Assef, brass knuckles and all. It was in this scene that “For the first time since the winter of 1975, [Amir] felt at peace” Assef’s violence was the force that would push Amir to finally be able to accept the mistakes he has made and do something to make up for them. Had Assef just thrown him in jail or not even bothered to be the violent person he was, then Amir would have never of had the chance to stand up for something for the first time in his life and finally put the past behind him.

The point is, all these acts of seemingly pointless violence are actually in fact crucial aspects of the story, and if any one of them were to be removed, the happy ending we see at the end of the story would not of been able to happen. But thats not the important part. The real lesson to take from this is seen when you compare this to our current lives. Violence, although a negative in the human life, is still a part of our lives. Every time a Amir went through an act of violence, he grew as a person, whether it was growing by learning about his true self, or growing by learning to stand
up for something, violence is what made Amir the man he was at the end of the story, violence is what saved Sohrab’s life.

And the same things can be found in our normal American lives. When a war breaks out in another country, we as a society learn something from it. When a school is shot down by a crazed gunman, we unite together as a country to mourn the loss and make then try sure that it will never happen again. What Hosseini was trying to show us was not that violence is a terrible thing that should be avoided and ran from at ever corner, he was telling us something much different. That violence is a part of life, we cannot run from it, we cannot hide from it, we can only accept it and learn how to grow from it.

The Kite Runner Book Vs. Movie

Books that prove to be best-sellers often times get made into a movie, but the film does not always stay true to the original piece of writing. There is always slight, and major, differences between the two works. Mark Forster’s adaption of Khaled Hosseini’s touching novel is, in my opinion, not as good as the book. In the transition stages, scenes must be altered to fit the entire story into a nice and timely package, but the movie lacked key factors that made the book so magnificent.

The movie, The Kite Runner, was a poor book to movie adaption because it lacked key emotions felt by the characters, relationships within the story were not developed well, and important scenes were left out completely.

One reason I found the book, The Kite Runner, to be better than the movie was that the film lacked intense emotions that were so necessary for the plot to make sense and for certain actions to be justified.

For example, the book makes a huge deal of Amir’s guilt when framing Hassan for stealing his watch. “I flinched, like I’d been slapped. My heart sank and I almost blurted out the truth. Then I understood: This was Hassan’s final sacrifice for me.” (105, Hosseini) From this quote you can really dive into the depths of what Amir is feeling due to his actions. In the movie, all you get from the boy is a slightly shocked expression when Hassan “confesses” to stealing the watch.

The Kite Runner AP Review

The Kite Runner is written by Khaled Hosseini. The novel is set in Kabul, Afghanistan; a cosmopolitan city at the time. Western culture started mixing with Afghan traditions. The novel tells a story about a boy named Amir whose closest friend is Hassan, a servant’s boy. The story is set against a backdrop of tumultuous events, from the fall of Afghanistan’s monarchy through the Soviet military intervention, the exodus of refugees to Pakistan and the United States, and the rise of the Taliban regime.

The Kite Runner tells a father-son story with themes of guilt and redemption which feature prominently in the novel. The latter half of the book centers on Amir’s attempts to atone for this transgression by rescuing Hassan’s son over two decades later. There are many themes in this novel which is why this book is praised so much. One of the themes of this story is the search for redemption. Amir’s quest to redeem himself makes up the heart of the novel.

Early on, Amir tries to redeem himself in the eyes of Baba, primarily because his mother died giving birth to him, and he feels responsible. To redeem himself to Baba, Amir thinks he must win the kite-tournament and bring Baba the losing kite, both of which are inciting incidents that set the rest of the novel in motion. The more substantial part of Amir’s search for redemption, however, stems from his guilt regarding Hassan. That guilt drives the climactic events of the story, including Amir’s journey to Kabul to find Sohrab and his confrontation with Assef.

The moral standard Amir must meet to earn his redemption is set early in the book, when Baba says that a boy who doesn’t stand up for himself becomes a man who can’t stand up to anything. As a boy, Amir fails to stand up for himself. As an adult, he can only redeem himself by proving he has the courage to stand up for what is right. Another significant theme of the story is the love and tension between fathers and sons. Amir has a very complex relationship with Baba, and as much as Amir loves Baba, he rarely feels Baba fully loves him back.

Amir’s desire to win Baba’s love consequently motivates him not to stop Hassan’s rape. Baba has his own difficulty connecting with Amir. He feels guilty treating Amir well when he can’t acknowledge Hassan as his son. As a result, he is hard on Amir, and he can only show his love for Hassan indirectly, by bringing Hassan along when he takes Amir out, for instance, or paying for Hassan’s lip surgery. In contrast with this, the most loving relationship between father and son we see is that of Hassan and Sohrab.

Hassan, however, is killed, and toward the end of the novel we watch Amir trying to become a substitute father to Sohrab. Their relationship experiences its own strains as Sohrab, who is recovering from the loss of his parents and the abuse he suffered, has trouble opening up to Amir. These are a couple major themes of the story which prove why this book is favorable. The Kite Runner is a favorable novel. It has hit the hearts of many people and became a bestseller after being printed in paperback and was popularized in many book clubs.

It was a number one New York Times bestseller for over two years. Many parts of the plot had drawn significant controversy in Afghanistan. The 19th Afghan ambassador to the United States had thought that the novel would help the American public to better understand Afghan society and culture. In conclusion, The Kite Runner is a favorable novel and should be recommended to all readers who enjoy an adventure filled with betrayal, guilt, redemption, friendship, and uneasy love between fathers and sons.

Kite Runner Essay

The past, inevitable will always remain with you throughout your life and all your endeavours. The past is what defines us as individuals and guides us to new and better places in life. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini , a story built upon the events of the past and living with guilt which eventually leads to redemption, highly reflects the statement “the past is always there”. The poems ‘Invictus’ by William Ernest-Henley and ‘If’ by Rudpud Kipling also reflect ‘the past always being there’.

The Kite Runner, written by Khaled Hosseini, is a novel set in the midst of Taliban country, Kabul Afghanistan, in the mid 1970s up until the early 2000s. The novel highlights the differences within society, capturing the lives of two boys belonging to different religious adherence and defining the effects of the Taliban regarding these religions within society at the time. Amir, the protagonist is a Pashtun and we experience the story through his eyes and Hassan a Hazara, a slave to Amir, play the main characters in the novel.

The Kite Runner displays many different themes throughout the novel including the search for redemption and resilience, both having a significant effect on the novel and the characters within the novel.

The search for redemption makes up the heart of the novel with the main character, Amir venturing on a quest to clear his mind of all the inept things he has done and relieving the guilt that he has gained as a child. The main cause of Amir’s search for redemption occurs when Assef, the novels antagonist, rapes Hassan. The rape becomes a significant motif in the novel and a guilt stricken moment for Amir, who watches it happen “I had one last chance to make a decision. I could step into that alley and stand up for Hassan.

Or I could run. In the end, I ran” This is a defining moment for Amir, we realise how much of a coward he is and how he would rather not hurt himself than to save his loyal friend. The beginning of the novel opens with a flashback that foreshadows the upcoming events within the novel and intriguing the reader “That was a long time ago, but 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.“ this symbolises the rape and signifies how much of an impact that scene had on Amir because he talks about not being able to get over ‘that day’ for 26 years.

Amir redemption lies in Hassan’s son, Sohrab, who needs to be saved from the Taliban who ends up being Assef. When Amir accepts that he has to do this for Hassan he is motivated to make things right and hopeful that it will clear him of his guilt “There is a way to be good again. A way to clear the cycle. With a little boy. An orphan. Hassan’s son. Somewhere in Kabul.” This foreshadows the journey Amir is going to embark on to make things right for Hassan and himself. The ending is significant as it displays a cyclical structure with the use of kites at both the beginning and end. But also portrays the complete redemption of Amir towards Hassan, through Sohrab when he is able to say “For you, a thousand times over.” This is symbolic for Hassan because it is an expression of loyalty and when Amir is able to express it to Hassan’s son, he accepts the past and has made things right again. Resilience is an important quality to have as an individual allowing us to be able to gain strength after an impacting event in life. Resilience is a strong and powerful theme displayed in the kite runner with both Hassan and Amir later in the novel, portraying qualities of resilience.

Hassan undergoes a significantly traumatic experience as a child but manages to regain strength again and ends up building his life and starting a family and to the audience is an admirable character due to his pure strength and courage. Hassan is resilient towards Amir’s hurtful comments and disloyalty as a child, when Amir accuses Hassan of stealing, it hurts Hassan but yet he admits to it because of the loyalty towards Amir “Hassan’s reply was a single word, delivered in a thin, raspy voice: Yes”. Hassan is seen as a defending character that sticks up for Amir, a symbol of Hassan’s strength and resilience is the slingshot, Hassan’s weapon that he uses against Assef. The slingshot is significant as it symbolises strength and resilience towards Assef and represents two generations, Hassan and Sohrab. William Ernest-Henley also echoes resilience of the human spirit in the poem Invictus.

This poem was written in the Victorian era in 1875 and represents overcoming suffering a chronic illness and the amputation of his leg. Whilst Henley was reflecting in hospital he decided to write this poem to represent his pain and hardships which was later named ‘invictus’ which ironically means unconquerable. Similarly to the kite runner, invictus displays the theme of resilience towards Henley and overcoming his illness and Hassan overcoming the rape. Henley displays strong commitment in the poem and a complete devotion to overcoming his pain “My head is bloody, but unbowed.” This displays the courage Henley had to keep persevering and fighting for what is right, which, unlike Hassan who kept his feelings and emotions to himself, was never able to address Amir for being such a coward.

Amir is resilient as a child somewhat, mainly towards his father’s comments about how he isn’t the child he wanted because he is weak and doesn’t defend himself “A boy who won’t stand up for himself becomes a man who can’t stand up to anything”. Amir as a child, all he wants is his fathers respect towards him and not Hassan. This becomes conflicting in Amir’s life because he believes Hassan is the reason he isn’t close with Baba. But when Amir return to Kabul 26 years later and is sitting across for the main reason everything in his childhood was ruined, Assef, Amir is resilient as he was able to come back and face his fears. This is echoed when Assef is beating up Amir and he, ironically, is finally at peace for everything that has happened “What was so funny was that, for the first time since the winter of 1975, I felt at peace.”

This is ironic as laughter is not an expression of pain, but for Amir it felt right and the pain was symbolising his peace. The poem “If” By Rudyard Kipling, is a didactic poem, written in 1896, that portrays fatherly advice to a son on how to become the best man, inspired by an English Nobleman who led the Jameson Raid. He displayed courage and willingness to take responsibility and Kipling admired these qualities. Kipling portrays resilience and perseverance in this poem as an important quality in a man “And stoop and build’em up with worn out tools” This is informal language, which replicates someone’s speech, making the poem more personal and represents resilience and to never give up.

This poem, contrasts the kite runner, as Amir and Babas relationship was never really close because Baba believed that Amir didn’t possess the qualities of a real man, or the same qualities as himself, but this poem represents fatherly advice to his son to be the best he can be in life. The past is a never forgotten memory of what has endured in our lives and the kite runner is a novel strongly based on the idea of the past and how it affects the future. Similarly the poems Invictus and If both capture the concept of the past and how we can better our lives form learning because of our past.

Kite Runner


Hassan in The Kite Runner

A perfect pal could be referred to as someone who is sincere and credible, they make you laugh, someone you enjoy hanging around with, and many of all they know how to enjoy and choose you up when you’re down. The novel The Kite Runner written by Khaled Hosseini illustrates the setting of a terrific friendship in the very best and most thoughtful method however the meaning does not seem to match with what others appear to think. Hassan and Amir reveal utmost commitment and humility towards each other but with one event the course of both of their lives change and both sides of their friendship do not stay equivalent.

In their youth days in Kabul Hassan acts as a brave, simple, thoughtful and hardworking, young boy who just wants for Amir to succeed and enjoy, almost to the extent of being too great to be real. Hassan displays these qualities and attributes through a variety of crucial and significant occasions.

Initially, Hassan secures Amir in any situation even if it puts him in risk. Second, after retrieving the kite from Assef, Hassan doesn’t even mention what took place to Amir showing his utmost commitment. Third, Even after he is betrayed by Amir, Hassan continues to lie for the individual he considers his friend.

Through these sets of events it will be apparent how Hassan shows his attributes and how he, as a character in the novel, may be thought about as “too great to be true” Hassan and Amir were raised together, grew up with each other and cohabited for a big piece of their lives. Although Amir is the only one that goes to madrehseh, school, Hassan does an excellent job of trying to stay up to date with Amir. In Afghanistan “school smarts” don’t get you that far in public life, circumstances occur where a young boy can not merely “think” his method out of it.

This sort of Scenario emerges between Hassan, Amir and a couple of boys who appeared to be up to no good. Assef, an infamous sociopath and violent young boy, and his 2 pals Wali and Kamal mock Amir for fraternizing a Hazara, which, according to Assef, is an inferior race whose members belong just in Hazarajat. One day, he prepares to assault Amir with stainless steel brass knuckles, however Hassan fearlessly withstands him, threatening to shoot out Assef’s eye out with his slingshot Amir had actually bought him. Assef chooses to walk away assuring to be back.

The fact that Hassan was only being bullied and not the one being threatened and still decides to stand up to Assef shows his absolute love and true loyalty to Amir. Even though this situation is early in the book, its significance is still that of utmost importance for the fact of it showing how Hassan will protect Amir in any and all situations even if it puts him in danger. The kite fighting tournament is an event that almost every child in Kabul participates in. For each child that flies a kite, there is one who runs and grabs the kite loosing kites as they fall.

Amir and Hassan form a team and they work together every year to try to win the tournament, Amir flies and Hassan runs the kites down. Against all odds they win the competition and Hassan goes to run it down. Soon enough Amir finds Hassan with Assef once again. Too scared to intervene, Amir stands and watches his most loyal friend Hassan get raped. One of the many climaxes of The Kite Runner is this scene because for the rest of Amir’s life he lives with it on his conscience, that he did not do anything to help.

Amir and Hassan never speak of that moment again but both of them know what had happened that day. Just like any other average person Hassan could have gotten very mad at Amir, but the fact that he chooses not to shows how humble, caring and considerate of Amir. Not only does Hassan later want to continue their relationship how it was before but he in fact looks to take the blame as he asks Amir later on what he had done wrong to upset him. All of Hassan’s actions are shown in the most loyal and confederate way.

As our novel progresses Hassan and Amir become further and further apart from each other, to the point that Amir eventually decides he would no longer like to live in the same household as him. All this time Hassan has been trying to make things wright between them but Amir would refuse to listen. Amir’s frustration ultimately leads to him framing Hassan to get him to leave. In a confusing exchange of dialogue Hassan takes the blame and apologizes, Baba accepts but Ali insists on their immediate dismissal. Again we see Hassan’s sheer love for Amir as he does not want him to get into trouble.

Taking all the blame seems to be one of the best ways that Hassan can show his friendship. Doesn’t seem like much, but having the courage and bravery to do it to this extent truly makes Hassan a literally unbelievable character. Although Hassan and Amir’s relationship does not match that which others believe to be true, it is much more. The reason their friendship isn’t the same as others is because they are not friends; they are and always will be brothers. Hassan character is a brave, humble, considerate and hardworking, young boy who only wishes for Amir to succeed and be happy.

Hassan displays these qualities and attributes through a number of important and notable events. First, Hassan protects Amir in any situation even if it puts him in danger. Second, after retrieving the kite from Assef, Hassan doesn’t even mention what took place to Amir showing his utmost loyalty. Third, Even after he is betrayed by Amir, Hassan continues to lie for the person he considers his best friend His character is without a doubt too good to be true because of the fact that Khaled Hosseini puts him in the wrong position, Hassan is not Amir friend nor will he ever be. They are brothers for life.

Amir character in the novel “The Kite Runner”

The character of Amir goes through drastic changes as he moves from adolescence to adulthood. As a child Amir begins his life in Kabul, where his character is shaped through conflicts with his father and Hassan. Later, when he moves to America he leaves these conflicts behind and is able to create a stronger relationship with his father. However, when Amir is an adult he is called back to Afghanistan by an old friend to confront these earlier conflicts. In The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, observable changes can be seen in Amir’s character as he moves from Kabul, Fremont, and later back to Kabul.

In the beginning of the novel one encounters a self-centered young boy, who lives a notably privileged life. He has a great friend, his father is wealthy, and he belongs to the upper social class in Afghanistan. However, a troubled relationship with his father deprives him of the affection he longs for, which he blames on himself.

He believes Baba wishes he was more like him, and that Baba holds him responsible for killing his mother, who died during his birth. For example, when Baba tells Rahim Khan that, “If I hadn’t seen the doctor pull him out of wife with my own eyes, I’d never believe he’s my son” (Hosseini 25). As a result Amir behaves jealously toward anyone receiving Baba’s affection, especially Hassan. This causes Amir to resent bringing Hassan around Baba, even if it’s just for a short time.

This is evident when Amir states, “He asked me to fetch Hassan too, but I lied and told him Hassan had the runs. I wanted Baba all to myself” (Hosseini 14). Although they are best friends, Amir feels that Hassan is beneath him because he is his Hazara servant. For instance, after the rape of Hassan Amir tries to justify his actions by stating that, “He was just a hazara, wasn’t he?” (Hosseini 82). At the same time, Amir never learns to defend himself or anyone else because Hassan always did it for him. After Hassan’s rape Amir realizes this explaining, “I ran because I was a coward. I was afraid of Assef and what he would do to me” (Hosseini 82). As Amir departs for America his character can be described as selfish and cowardly.

When Baba and Amir arrive in Fremont his character changes considerably. Amir adapts easier to life in America than Baba and no longer sees him as a legendary father but as a simple man. For example, when Baba becomes angry at a store clerk for asking to see his I.D. Amir is able to calm him down and defuse the situation. Amir explains to the store clerk that, “My father is still adjusting to life in America” (Hosseini 135). This new life helps Amir forget about Kabul and the sins he committed against Hassan. Amir reveals, “For me, America was a place to bury my memories” (Hosseini 129). In Fremont, Baba turns his attention to raising Amir, without the distractions of his business or Hassan to interfere with their new special connection. Amir has never been happier, not only from the new bond between him and Baba, but from his new wife as well.

The marriage of Soraya and Amir can be seen as another substantial step in Amir’s maturity. Before the marriage Soraya told Amir about her struggle with her past relationship. Amir jealously announces after hearing this, “I envied her. Her secret was out “(Hosseini 174). When Soraya tells him this he envies the relief she must feel, which urges him to seek redemption with Hassan. Baba’s death can be seen as the final step in Amir’s journey of becoming a young adult because he understands that he will no longer be defined as Baba’s son. Amir realizes this when he says, “Baba wouldn’t show me the way anymore; I’d have to find it on my own” (Hosseini 188). Shortly after Baba’s death, his old friend Rahim Khan calls him to come back to Afghanistan to finally make amends. As Amir begins his journey back to Afghanistan, his character can be defined as empathic and loving.

Once back in Kabul, Amir takes steps he would never have imagined, which truly define his character. On his venture back to Afghanistan he learns the truth about Hassan’s connection with Baba. After hearing this Amir feels robbed of the truth and is angry at how his own father could hold this back from him. Despite his feelings, Amir realizes he must not only pay for his betrayal of Hassan but for Baba’s betrayal of Ali too. Amir knows he must face his fears and he understands this when he reveals, “I remembered Baba saying that my problem was that someone had always done my fighting for me” (Hosseini 239). Following this he undertakes a personal mission to find Sohrab and finds the courage to stand up to the Taliban, nearly dying in the process. During his quest Amir comes face to face with the disturbing Assef and fights him for Sorab, the ultimate sacrifice for his dead half-brother. While he is beaten he begins to laugh, which angers Assef even more.

Amir explains that, “What was so funny was that, for the first time since the winter of 1975, I felt at peace” (Hosseini 303). After successfully bringing Sohrab back to California, Amir defends his Hazara nephew when General Taheri insults him. Over the dinner table Amir replies curtly, “you will never again refer to him as ‘Hazara Boy’ in my presence. He has a name and its Sohrab” (Hosseini 380). In the end, Amir finds himself flying a kite with Sohrab. As they fly the kite together the lifeless, empty look leaves Sohrab’s eyes and a half smile suddenly appears on his face. Amir exclaims, “The glassy vacant look in his eyes was gone. His face was a little flushed, his eyes suddenly alert” (Hosseini 389). Amir can now smile at his not so perfect past because he feels he has redeemed himself and his father. As the novel ends, Amir’s character can be characterized as selfless, brave, and compassionate.

Amir’s character changes remarkably from when he is a young boy to a grown man. In Kabul, Amir’s character is damaged and he can be seen as a villain after incidents with Hassan. Once in Fremont, he is able to step away from these old sins and re-shape his character into a more loving one. Finally, when Amir returns to Kabul, he is able to seek redemption and become the perfect version of himself. In The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, noticeable changes can be seen in Amir’s character as he transitions from a young boy to a grown man between Kabul and Fremont.

Kite Runner Friendship Analysis

In Khaled Hosseini’s best-selling novel The Kite Runner, two boys, Hassan and Amir, have a friendship that is not as typical as most children’s. Although they do carve into a tree that they are the “sultans of Kabul”, their friendship is weak and one sided. These boys grew up in Kabul, and although their childhood friendship may have seemed like something out of a book, complete with pomegranate trees and story telling, it was dark and emotionally wearing. A main reason for this was because of the one subtle difference between these boys, omitting the differences in character.

Hassan is a Hazara and Amir is a Pashtun. For this reason the Afghan society has classified Hassan as a lower human being and he, along with his father, is in servitude towards Amir and his family. Amir’s lack of self-confidence throughout the novel hinders his ability to have a true friendship with Hassan. Eventually Amir tries to break away from the power of the jealousy and guilt that Hassan has brought into his life.

An underlying cause of the problems Amir has with his friendship pertaining to Hassan is that he is jealous of Hassan.

This jealousy causes him to test Hassan, and to take advantage of Hassan’s unwavering loyalty. This is just to prove that Hassan is lower than he is. Amir confirms this by humiliating Hassan to himself, by taking advantage of Hassan’s illiteracy to amuse himself, such as when he convinces Hassan that imbecile meant smart and intelligent. Amir is not accomplishing anything by teasing Hassan except that he is establishing that he is smarter. Amir feels that he has to prove himself because he lacks acceptance from his father, so he teases Hassan in order to become acceptable to his father.

Amir once again has to prove to himself that he has the ultimate superiority by testing Hassan when he tells him to eat dirt. Hassan says that he would, which is all Amir needs to expand his ego and confirm that he is still above Hassan. Furthermore, Amir is also jealous because his father, whom he longs for his approval, seems to favor Hassan. Hassan is athletic and Baba,Amir’s father, has said that he associates himself with Hassan over Amir. Amir’s jealousy arose from his avid pursuit and evident failure to achieve his father’s illusive approval.

Because of the lack of approval from his father, Amir finds it necessary to tear down Hassan in order to build himself up. The friendship exemplified in The Kite Runner is very weak because Amir thinks of Hassan as his servant, which explains why he is constantly testing him and does not stand up for him as a true friend would do. Hazaras are not accepted in the Afghan society that Hassan and Amir grew up in, but Amir does not refute the biased and racist culture set out in front of him. Instead, he embraces it.

Even at the susceptible age of twelve, Amir is well aware of the principles of right and wrong and he chooses to do wrong. He chooses to do wrong because he feels he will escape from the struggles Hassan has brought upon him. Hassan gets harassed by his peers, an example of this is when Assef, the local bully, bullies him by saying, “Afghanistan is the land of the Pashtuns. It always has been, always will be. We are the true Afghans, the pure Afghans, not this Flat-Nose here. His people pollute our homeland, our watan.

They dirty our blood….. How can you talk to him, play with him, let him touch you? “. When Hassan is harassed, Amir does nothing. Instead, he almost blurts out that Hassan is nothing but a servant when in fact he spends all of his free time playing like true friends play. Amir wants to be accepted by his peers, peers such as Assef, Wali, and Kamal. He wants to be accepted with such a passion that he chooses to disregard his friend in order to gain approval from these boys. Amir ends up sacrificing his morals for popularity.

Another example of how Amir is a coward and only wants to be accepted by his peers and his father is when he turns his back on Hassan when Hassan is raped. Hassan gets raped by Assef while trying to complete the task of kite running for Amir. Amir witnesses this horrible act and does nothing to stop it. He does not step in to help his friend because he believes that Hassan is sacrificing himself for him. This is a completely selfish thought on Amir’s part because no one should have to bear another persons burden, even if one person is another person’s servant.

The choice made by Amir to sacrifice his morals and rationalize his decisions forever haunts him and makes it harder to escape the power of his own guilt. Amir is clearly an emotionally unstable person, but his resentment towards Hassan is deepened because of his own guilt. Amir feels extreme guilt after he watches his friend get raped in an alley. After witnessing this he feels that he can no longer be in the same room as Hassan. “I’d hear Hassan shuffling around the kitchen in the morning, hear the clinking of silverware, the whistle of the teapot.

I’d wait to hear the door shut and only then I would walk down to eat” is an example of how he tries to avoid him. This shows that Amir cannot face his guilt. he knows that he has done something wrong but refuses to confront it and redeem himself and his friendship with Hassan. Amir realizes that he has done a grave dishonor to Hassan. He believed that he was a “monster” that caused Hassan so much trouble. Amir comes to terms with the fact that he is a selfish, immature person, yet instead of accepting that fact and trying to get Hassan’s forgiveness, he once again betrays his friendship.

Because Hassan is a reflection of Amir’s guilt, Amir believes in an elementary manner that if he rids himself of what to him is the symbol of his guilt, he will also be freed of the guilt. This is why he frames Hassan of thievery. This plan to accuse Hassan of thievery ultimately backfires and causes Amir even more personal anguish. Hassan then left and even though Amir felt his absence would free him from the guilt and jealousy, he ends up even more full of guilt.

Amir thinks of Hassan as less worthy human being even though he is jealous of him, this mix of jealousy and resentment leads to a guilt that Amir handles unethically. Amir treats Hassan much like a dog. He believes that he can treat him as roughly as possible, but the animal will be forever loyal. Amir does not believe that he needs to defend Hassan, since Hassan is ultimately there to sacrifice himself for Amir. Amir is jealous of Hassan because of Hassan’s approval earned by Baba, and this causes Amir to search for other ways to expand his ego.

Amir resents Hassan because of the guilt that Amir has caused himself. The choices made by Amir and Hassan defined who they were and who they would become. Amir allows his original thoughts about Hassan, thoughts of loyalty and true friendship, to be tainted because he is weak. Although Amir and Hassan carved their names into a tree, Amir’s character hinders their ability to be best friends and their bond is a far cry from even an equal friendship. While trying to escape the grasps of jealousy and guilt, Amir ultimately falls deeper in the hole he dug himself.