Amir - The narrator and the protagonist of the story. Amir is the sensitive and intelligent son of a well-to-do businessman in Kabul, and he grows up with a sense of entitlement. His best friend is Hassan, and he goes back and forth between acting as a loyal friend and attacking Hassan out of jealousy whenever Hassan receives Amir’s father’s affection. Amir is a gifted storyteller and grows from aspiring writer to published novelist. His great desire to please his father is the primary motivation for his behavior early in the novel, and it is the main reason he allows Hassan to be raped. From that point forward, he is driven by his feelings of guilt as he searches to find a way to redeem himself. Ultimately he does so through courage and self-sacrifice, and he tells his story as a form of penance.
Hassan - Amir’s best friend and half-brother as well as a servant of Baba’s. Hassan proves himself a loyal friend to Amir repeatedly, defending Amir when he is attacked and always being ready to listen. His defining traits are bravery, selflessness, and intelligence, though his smarts are more instinctual than bookish, largely because he is uneducated. As a poor ethnic Hazara, he is considered an inferior in Afghan society, and he is the victim of racism throughout the novel as a result. He is Baba’s illegitimate child, though he is not aware of this fact, and he grows up with Ali acting as his father. His rape is an early catalyst in the story, and even though he is not present in a significant portion of the novel, he plays a major role throughout.
Baba - Father of Amir and Hassan and a wealthy, well-respected businessman. Baba believes first and foremost in doing what is right and thinking for oneself, and he tries to impart these qualities to Amir. He also never lets anyone’s lack of belief in him stop him from accomplishing his goals. Although he distrusts religious fundamentalism, he follows his own moral code and acts with self-assurance and bravery....
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