Bravery for Protection ~ the Kite Runner

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The definition of bravery in the Standard College Dictionary Canadian Edition is, “the quality of mind or spirit enabling one to meet danger or opposition with fearlessness, calmness, and firmness.” Bravery is a quality that is shown by many of the characters in the novel The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. The characters are brave in their effort to protect physical well-being, personal values, their reputation and sanity. In the novel the characters exhibit genuine bravery in order to guard the things important to them. Firstly, the characters in the novel display bravery as they protect one another from physical harm. This can be seen in patterns between generations in families. Early on the reader learns that Amir’s grandfather protects Ali by, “[adopting] him into his own household, and [telling] the other students to tutor him” (26). Since Ali’s parents were killed and he is a Hazaras he would have most certainly been discriminated against at an orphanage. Ali is Hassan’s father. The reader learns near the end that he is not his biological father but he is the man who raised him. Hassan defends Amir from being beaten by Assef who has a reputation in Kabul of being a psychopath. When Assef threatens them Hassan does not hesitate to respond saying, “You are right, Agha. But perhaps you didn’t notice that I’m the one holding the slingshot. If you make a move, they’ll have to change your nickname from Assef ‘the Ear Eater’ to ‘One-Eyed Assef,’ because I have this rock pointed at your left eye” (45-46). Later on Amir stands up for Sohrab, Hassan’s son, as Hassan stood up for Amir countless times before. He demands to Assef, “All I want is the boy” (298), to take Sohrab to a safe place where he would no longer be sexually abused. In return, Sohrab is bold and prevents Amir from being slain. He points the slingshot at Assef’s face, “‘No more, Agha. Please,’ he [says], his voice husky and trembling. ‘Stop hurting him’” (304). At this point Assef is a grown man...
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