Through the use of parallel events along with themes, such as the journey towards adulthood and the search for redemption, Khaled Hosseini portrays a guilty Amir in search of redeeming himself and paints a story of "friendship, fathers, sons, betrayal, tribute and redemption" ("Novels which explore the struggle for modern identity"). Throughout the novel there are many parallel events that show Amir's quest to redeem himself, from his desire for acceptance in Baba's eyes to his guilt about Hassan's rape. These events put the novel in motion as it sets up Amir's want for redemption early in the book.
Kite Runner begins with Amir relating his childhood memories during his and Hassan's life in Afghanistan. As a Hazara Hassan endures verbal and physical abuse because of being a minority and therefore has only a few friends including Amir. One day Hassan and Amir decide to go climb a tree and agree to take a short cut. Unexpectedly they run into Assef, a school bully, who attacks Amir for the sheer fact of Amir standing by Hassan and calling him a friend. "I treated Hassan well, just like a friend, better even, more like my brother" (41). But in response Hassan quickly pulls out a sling shot and exclaims," 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" (Hosseini 42). Assef backs off but later during local kite-flying competition rapes Hassan in the alleyway while Amir pretends to not notice, but in reality feels guilty about it. Amir's reaction to Hassan's rape remains a major turning point in the novel because his father once told Amir "a boy who doesn't stand up for himself becomes a man who can't stand up to anything" (Hosseini 42). According to Baba, Amir never protects himself and always allows Hassan to defend him; and someone who can't stand up for himself definitely cannot stand up for his friend. “It may be unfair but sometimes what happens...
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