How Amir Develops His Persona in The Kite Runner
Amir has a massive change in character between the first nine chapters of The Kite Runner. When you compare chapters one through 9, you can identify a slow moving trend. The trend is that Amir becomes a very hateable character as he only seems to care for himself. The Kite Runner is filled with childhood innocence at the start of it, there are only a few of mature innuendos you could quickly pass by if you don’t read inbetween the lines. As the story progresses it becomes a much darker tale that you no longer have to read in between to grasp what is happening.
Chapter one speaks about how Amir is in Spreckels Lake and gets a call from Rahim Kahn, he seems to be sorry about his past mistakes which we don’t know what he has done. Rahim responds to Amir’s sulking on page two of The Kite Runner with “There’s a way to be good again” This is where we start to learn about Amir’s childhood mistakes. Chapter three speaks about the relationship between Amir and his father Baba. This give us a sense of Amir being a normal child, constantly trying to make his father proud. Amir does everything in his path to make Baba happy, but it never seems to be enough. These chapters show us the innocence of Amir, how he is only striving for acceptance from his father.
Chapter four shows the frustration Amir sometimes has with Hassan. Amir starts to write short stories for his friend/servant Hassan since Hassan loves when Amir reads to him. Amir finishes his story and he is so excited to show it to Hassan, but Hassan brings up a good point of the story not making sense, but Amir doesn’t want to hear it and gets angry. When he gets angry he starts thinking about how gross it is that Hassan is a Hazara. Chapter five we learn about Assef, a racist that hates all Hazaras. Assef is known as a bully who loves to beat up on everyone, he threatens Amir and Hassan. This is where we start to learn how selfish Amir can be as he thinks about telling Assef “But he’s not my friend!” “He’s my Servant!” This shows that Amir doesn’t have Hassan’s back at all, but luckily Hassan always has Amir’s.With Hassan’s quick wit they get away unharmed.
Chapter six then goes into the innocence of childhood and how happy everyone is that it’s winter. The snow, the cold, lack of school for the season makes all the kids happy. The happiness progresses with a game of Kite Running, the ultimate fun for a child their age. As we learn more about this sport we realize that it’s foreshadowing, for how can something be so innocent in a book of maturity and pain? Chapter Seven speaks about how Amir has a great idea in order to make Baba proud of him. He will win the Kite Flying competition and Baba will hug and love him forever. Amir wouldn’t let anything get in the way of that, and by anything he means anything.
Amir wins the contest and Hassan chases after the prize. Hassan takes a while to come back so Amir gets worried about the kite and looks for it. An interesting conversation happens to which Amir refers to Hassan as “our servant’s son” page 61. He never says anything more as he doesn’t want to be embarrassed, and when finally pointed down the right path to where Hassan is he witnesses him getting raped. Amir freezes and doesn’t even try to help, instead he waits for it to be over and asks Hassan what happened. He never brings up the rape and just shrugs it off like it’s something simple. Amir is met with hugs and kisses from Baba, but all Amir does is cry in his father’s chest.
We learn just how selfish Amir is since he only wanted his father’s love and finally gets it after keeping quiet. Hassan for the past 6 chapters has helped Amir out of harm, but when Hassan needs Amir most he ignores it. These chapters show the progression of innocence to selfishness. Amir turns out to be worse than Assef as he won’t even help his friend due to embarrassment.
Chapter eight has us learn that Amir is now trying to get rid of Hassan since he feels an awkward tension between them. Amir doesn’t hang out with Hassan and definitely doesn’t try to make up for his mistakes between them. He feels as if Hassan is in the wrong since Hassan is scared of a lot after that happened. Hassan’s PTSD is the thing pushing the two “friends” away from each other in Amir’s mind.
Finally in chapter nine we see Amir try to frame Hassan in order to get him out of the house. Hassan slowly starts to understand what is happening and accepts it, pretending that what Amir is lying about is actually true. Hassan again takes the fall for Amir one last time and Amir doesn’t even seem to care. He thinks it’s odd that Hassan actually agrees with doing whatever he was setup for, but he doesn’t care about why Hassan is agreeing with doing all that. We see another version of Amir, this one more evil than the last. He manipulates Hassan in order to get happiness for himself, and he doesn’t even care what happens to Ali or Hassan so long as he gets what he wants.
The entire story has Amir growing as a person, but not in a good way. He develops a persona that makes him believe he is the best around, that he is doing a favor for harboring Hassan. Seeing Amir turn into this vile person sickened me, he turned his back on people he cared about for his own personal gain. It was just so aggravating to witness Amir do all of these things in order to just make himself happy, never helping Hassan when Hassan always helped him. Watched Hassan get raped, always blamed Hassan, and when Hassan needed someone to talk to after his PTSD, Amir tries to sabotage Hassan in order to get him out of the house. Disappointing to know he couldn’t help in anyway because he was so happy with himself, yet even at the end of chapter nine Hassan is taking the fall for Amir. No matter the consequences Hassan would help Amir, but the reciprocation was not available to do the same.
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