Betrayal lingers like a curse, haunting its way into consciousness, injecting its poison of despair and loneliness. The action of Betraying is mostly associated with hate. However, there are some exceptions. Betrayal is not always done by evil people neither it is necessarily a closed end to a strong relationship between individuals. In khaled Hosseini’s novel The kite Runner, it is illustrated through character and setting the situations where betrayers were put under hard situations which causes them to commit actions that oppose their ethics. The goodness that exists in betrayers’ hearts in this novel indicates how everything can be betrayed, but hate could still be replaced by love.
In the novel, the relationship status between individuals and the situations involved the betrayal were illustrated through character. Even though Baba betrayed his friend Ali when he slept with his wife, the relationship between Baba and Ali stayed the same due to Baba’s morality and love for his childhood friend. This is indicated when Baba said “He is staying here with us, where he belongs. This is his home and we are his family.”(Page 95). Throughout the novel, Baba is portrayed as generous, kind and loyal person. However, his betrayal to Ali created an oxymoron between his loyalty and betrayal. Despite his treachery to Ali, Baba’s morals continued to be alive and his love for Ali continued to be brotherly .In other words, the betrayal did not end the strong relation ship that was built between Ali and Baba throughout the years. This is because the actions committed by Baba don not reveal to his evilness or hate to Ali. It was the human desire that conquered his mind and led him to perform a disloyal action and a mistake that he paid the price for. Baba believed that there is always a chance for redemption and forgiveness as long is there is an existence of conscience. That is why he treated Ali as part of the family and insisted to have them living by him forever to prove that betrayal is not the death of loyalty. Also, Hassan’s reaction toward Amir’s betrayal shows that friendship and love beat betrayal and protects a strong relationship from collapse. Hassan demonstrates this when he confessed that he stole even though he did not as Baba asks “Did you steal that money and Amir’s watch” “Yes” Hassan replied. (page111). The heavy blow of betrayal was when Amir planted a watch and money in Hassan's mattress to drive him away from his home. This was very harsh for Hassan but his innocence, devotion and sweet heart caused him to prevent the erasing of beautiful memories between two intimate friends. That is why he decided to admit something that he didn’t carry out. This proves the disloyalty is not the end of a strong relationship since Hassan kept respecting and loving Amir after he was betrayed by him. Furthermore, Amir’s betrayal to Hassan is not the result of Amir’s evilness or hate for Hassan, but it is the outcome of Amir’s felling of guiltiness. Therefore, the characters and in this novel changed the common idea that suggests how betrayal is done by sinful people which as result leaves the relationship in disappear.
The novelist emphasizes the factors that cause people to betray each other despite their goodness though the setting. The story takes place in Afghanistan where Hazaras were persecuted which led Baba to betray both of Amir and Hassan by hiding the truth regarding their brotherhood. The suffering of Hazaras in Afghanistan is mentioned at the beginning in the book when the novelist said “Pashtuns had quelled Hazaras with unspeakable violence.”(page9). This quote indicates that anything associated with Hazaras was treated cruelly and forbidden in Afghanistan. That is why Baba could not admit that Hassan the Hazara is his son. If he told the truth, many conflicts could have developed and fanatical people in Afghanistan could have harmed Hassan. Baba’s conscience made him remember everyday that the biggest sin he has done is hiding the truth from people who have the right to know that truth. This indicates that Baba’s lie does not refer to his evilness, but it indicates his consciousness of the place he was surrounded in. In Afghanistan, blood at that time was everywhere and death of Hazaras was everyday’s scene. Amir became very upset after finding the truth. Nevertheless, the betrayal caused by Baba did not lead Amir to hate his father, but he tried to seek reasons for why his dad has done that. Moreover, the miserable and most exclusive betrayal of Hassan in the novel done by Amir signifies how even if the betrayal destroys the victim, the betrayer might not be evil and the victim could still have no hate for the betrayer. This is shown when Amir said “Everywhere I turned, I saw signs of his loyalty, his goddamn unwavering loyalty” (page 94). Amir watched Hassan becoming raped by Assef and does nothing to stop it. This is the biggest betrayal in the novel that left both Amir and Hassan in the dark side. However, the location of the raping scene greatly contributes to the betrayal’s status. The raping scene was set up in a place where only Asssef and his friends were standing in the alley at the time of sunset while they were abusing Hassan. The terrifying setting of the scene led Amir to be afraid that if he steps in, they would harm him. So, Amir decided to escape and betray Hassan by leaving him alone facing the disaster. Even thought it was a horrible betrayal, this does not point out to Amir’s evilness or hate .It is the setting that influenced Amir’s reaction. Besides, the betrayal was not the end of their friendship. Hassan kept being loyal until the last minute, and his loyalty was seen everywhere in Amir’s eyes even after the raping event. Redemption and fogginess were the keys of the continuous brotherly love between Amir and Hassan. In summary, it is evident that the places events occur in could be the reason for actions that oppose the individuals’ goodness.
In conclusion, the novel The kite Runner incorporates Character and setting to prove that for every betrayal there is a cause, and every betrayer has reasons for their actions. The novelist conveys that betrayal must not be categorized under antipathy. The end of the novel indicates that redemption could solve the problem no matter how complicated it is. Anything may be betrayed, anyone may be forgiven, but not those who lack the courage of their own greatness. Strong relationship and love can solve any problem. There is no love without forgiveness, and there is no forgiveness without love. Therefore, disloyalty is not the path toward hate.
May 10, 2010