Kite Runner - a Boy Who Won't Stand Up for Himself Becomes a Man Who Won't Stand Up to Anything

Topics: Khaled Hosseini, Adult, Novel Pages: 3 (1155 words) Published: September 30, 2008
One of Baba's main concerns in The Kite Runner is Amir's attitude when facing crisis in his life. When he was a child, Baba had said about him in relation to neighbourhood bullying, “A boy who won't stand up for himself becomes a man who can't stand up to anything.” Having heard that statement, Amir stamped himself as a coward, often using it as an excuse. However, through the course of the novel Hosseini reveals that Amir was not such a weakling as viewed by his father. In spite of not being trained to do so, he had 'stood up' for himself, and for others, but in a more cautious and diplomatic way; in contrast to Baba's strong and heroic idea of 'standing up'.

In the course of his childhood, Amir had not been given many chances to 'stand up for himself'. He lived as a boy under the wing of his father's fame and influence, gaining attention and respect as “Baba's son”. The results are quite obvious – at school he was “spared the metal rod treatment”, and in Amir's own words, it was also “the sole reason, I believe, Assef had mostly refrained from harassing me too much.” In addition to that, he had Hassan backing him up in almost every other situation. In each nasty little crisis that Amir lands in, from minor bullying to the more serious threats, Hassan “steps in and fends them off.” Having grown up with such sturdy protection, it would be quite reasonable to say that Amir 'can't stand up for himself', rather than “won't stand up for himself.”

Hosseini shows in his novel that Amir's lack of experience in facing his own problems, in addition to his father's negative view of himself, caused a rather serious inferiority complex within him, which continually reoccured in the course of his lifetime. Many a time Amir would compare himself to Baba “I hadn't turned out like him”, or to Hassan “I wasn't just slower than Hassan but clumsier too”, and in every case he would negate himself. This pitiful mentality seeped into Amir's way of thinking in relation to...
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