Martin Luther King, Jr., once said, “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends”. Friends can have a lasting effect on someone and their betrayal can cut deeper than an enemy. As the saying goes, good friends are hard to come by, thus when a good friendship ignites, one should return the honor. The Kite Runner demonstrates friendship and betrayal throughout the novel. It first portrays how Amir betrayed Hassan, then Amir betrayed his own father. Baba betrayed Ali, Amir, Hassan, Rahim Khan, and his own wife (by having sex with his servant's wife, Sanaubar). In the novel The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini constantly tests characters friendships in order to demonstrate the severity of betrayal.
Amir, the son of Baba, is a cut above the rest at Kite Fighting. As he grew up with the house servant's son, Hassan, they were very close friends. They played with each other, spent time together reading stories, and most importantly Hassan treated Amir as a brother. He is so loyal to Amir he would protect him by all means, even eat dirt for Amir. Hassan protected Amir from Assef, with a mere slingshot. Assef is a boy who's much older, and stronger than him, and Hassan said, "Please leave us alone, Agha." (page 39) twice. Even after Assef's threat, Hassan still stood between Assef and Amir, protecting him with his slingshot. But, Amir still betrayed him. There was an annual kite running contest in Kabul. Amir and Hassan were a team, and they made it to the top. In the end, Hassan went off to run the last kite Amir defeated, but was cornered by Assef and his friends, Kamal and Wali. They felt humiliated when Hassan stood up against him, and they wanted to take the last kite from Haasan. Yet Hassan refused to Surrender and chose to make a stand. He fought against them and saved the kite. Although the kite was broken, he still managed to give the kite back to Amir. As for Amir, he was there, and saw how Hassan got beaten and pummeled in the anus. He betrayed him, he didn't even say a word when he saw it happened. He just watched him get bullied and knocked to the ground. Amir was scared in shock, but he still didn't say a word afterwards to show how sorry he was. He didn't even tell Hassan he was there. In this Amir betrayed Hassan, his best friend, and what use to be his "brother," his one and only brother.
Baba is Amir's father. Amir knew that. But when Baba stood up against the Russian soldier, he just prayed that Baba would just sit down. Instead of standing up with him, supporting him and trying to save him from getting shot. A normal son would take a stand; Amir "wouldn't" or didn't. He saw that the Russian soldier was going to shoot his own father, but he still didn't do anything about it. Amir just sat there, trying to get himself out of the incident! He had this same kind of experience before, yet he repeated his same mistake that he regretted and destroyed himself over. As a son, that is either betrayal or hatred and in this case it's not hatred. It's just Amir being an incompetent coward as usual.
Baba, a rich man who has house servants, is the father of two sons, a husband, and a businessman; betrayed everyone around him. He was the kind of thief that once told Amir about a time when Amir was still a boy. Baba stole the right of knowing the truth, by leaving his partner behind, and fleeing to America by himself. He also had sex with his servant's wife. Baba betrayed his own wife and his servant, the servant who grew up with him as a boy. Like Hassan growing up with Amir. He had sex with Sanaubar, Ali's wife, and had a son with her, Hassan. He betrayed his own son by not letting Amir know that he had a brother. What makes matters worse is Baba made his son serve him and Amir, not letting him have the right to go to schools and learn. He never told them the truth, not even before he died! Amir had to find out the truth from Rahim Khan. Also, Baba betrayed Rahim Khan, his true friend. Baba knew that there was a war coming so he fled to America, taking Amir with him. But he didn't take Rahim Khan with him, instead, he told him to look after his house in Kabul.
This book surely demonstrates pure betrayal. Betrayal of family, loved ones, even friends. There were four types of betrayal in this book, betrayal between father and son, husband and wife, friend to friend, and "master" to servants. Khaled Hosseini ha truly tested friendship in order to measure the severity of betrayal.