Set in the 1970s in California, the novel The Kite Runner is told in flashback as the reader follows the main character through his resolutions to life-long conflicts. The Flashbacks are set in pre-civil war Afghanistan in the home of a wealthy man. The main character, Amir, is an intellectual character, loving books more than sports, a major disappointment to his powerful father. Amir’s best friend is also a Hazara servant, Hassan. Although they are master and servant, the boys’ relationship is more of friends and companions.
Amir’s favorite activity was to go Kite Fighting with Hassan. The object of the game was to be the last kite in the air while trying to cut the strings of the others. Hassan’s job was to pick up the fallen kites for Amir to keep as prizes. However, the book takes a turn for the worse when Hassan runs off to get the last kite fallen as the greatest prize for Amir. Not only does he find the kite, but also the bully, Assef and his henchmen. Assef sexually assaults Hassan while Amir is watching in the background, too wrapped up in his own ambitions to seek approval from his father. In Amir’s selfishness for approval, he loses not only himself, but also his best friend and half-brother. This loss changes him when he finally opens his eyes.
As the expression goes, people change. And that holds true for the protagonist in Khalil Hussein’s The Kite Runner. The young boy, naïve but self-seeking in the beginning of the novel, comes very far to become the more mature man. The guilt of Amir’s betrayal of Hassan plagues Amir into adulthood until he is called back to Afghanistan to find Hassan’s orphaned son, Sohrab, and help give him a better life. The selfishness of Amir’s own interests in seeking his father’s approval ended his friendship with his half-brother, Hassan. As it turns out, Hassan is the illegitimate son of Amir’s father and Amir and Hassan are half-brothers.
With the Russian’s invasion of...