The novel The Kite Runner is narrated by the main character, Amir. The novels follows Amir’s struggling path from adolescence to manhood. Amir tells the story of his life growing up in Kabul with his father, Baba and their two Hazara servants Hassan and Ali. Hassan is Amir’s half brother and best friend growing up; testing friendships, keeping secrets, accepting faults and gaining understanding. The two spent many years enjoying playing and kite fighting together as brothers. Amir describes his relationship with Hassan as very close and personal; he enjoys learning and growing with Hassan even though Hassan is considered below him in their society; expected to be a servant to Amir, not a companion.
Although Hassan and Amir’s relationship seemed unbreakable, the winter of 1975 changed everything. Amir tells us of the major “kite fighting” competition that happens every year with all the local kids. Soon after Amir wins the competition that year, tragedy occurs with Hassan in a back alley, he is raped by a neighborhood boy, Assef. Amir witnesses this and tells no one about it. This later unravels the relationship between him and Hassan resulting in Hassan and Ali leaving Amir and Baba’s home. Throughout the novel, Amir is completely changed from this event.
Throughout the book Amir struggles to be the son his father, Baba wants him to be. He feels that his father burdens Amir with the death of his mother because she died giving birth to Amir. Amir tells how Baba is very critical of him and makes him feel as though he can never reach his father’s expectations. Amir feels as though he needs to fight with Hassan for his father’s approval. Although he never had an ideal relationship with Baba, Amir loves and respects him to the fullest. Baba guides Amir through life helping him in becoming the best man he can be. Later in the novel Amir realizes how much he appreciated Baba.