Question: How does Amir’s character change throughout the novel?
The character of Amir goes through drastic changes as he moves from adolescence to adulthood. As a child Amir begins his life in Kabul, where his character is shaped through conflicts with his father and Hassan. Later, when he moves to America he leaves these conflicts behind and is able to create a stronger relationship with his father. However, when Amir is an adult he is called back to Afghanistan by an old friend to confront these earlier conflicts. In The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, observable changes can be seen in Amir’s character as he moves from Kabul, Fremont, and later back to Kabul.
In the beginning of the novel one encounters a self-centered young boy, who lives a notably privileged life. He has a great friend, his father is wealthy, and he belongs to the upper social class in Afghanistan. However, a troubled relationship with his father deprives him of the affection he longs for, which he blames on himself. He believes Baba wishes he was more like him, and that Baba holds him responsible for killing his mother, who died during his birth. For example, when Baba tells Rahim Khan that, “If I hadn’t seen the doctor pull him out of wife with my own eyes, I’d never believe he’s my son” (Hosseini 25). As a result Amir behaves jealously toward anyone receiving Baba’s affection, especially Hassan. This causes Amir to resent bringing Hassan around Baba, even if it’s just for a short time. This is evident when Amir states, “He asked me to fetch Hassan too, but I lied and told him Hassan had the runs. I wanted Baba all to myself” (Hosseini 14). Although they are best friends, Amir feels that Hassan is beneath him because he is his Hazara servant. For instance, after the rape of Hassan Amir tries to justify his actions by stating that, “He was just a hazara, wasn’t he?” (Hosseini 82). At the same time, Amir never learns to defend himself or anyone else because Hassan always did it for...
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