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The Kite Runner - Compare and Contrast Amir and Hassan

By exacube Dec 01, 2011 959 Words
In “The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini, Hassan is presented as Amir's foil, but Amir's negative morals are not permanent. The novel walks the reader through Amir's transforming personality, all caused by guilt and atonement. Despite Amir's transformation from being unscrupulous to becoming moral and Hassan's virtuousness, there are elements that make them very similar.

Amir and Hassan are very different in their social status. Amir comes from a rich Pashtun family. Due to his caste, he has the power to be a kite flyer in the kite flying competitions. Being able to read, Amir often reads novels to Hassan. At one point, while he was reading a story to Hassan, he mutated the plot and substituted his own. Unwittingly, Hassan was very impressed by the story. Hassan and Rahim Khan's encouragement fueled Amir to write stories of his own, eventually leading him to become a writer. Despite Amir's interest and ambition, Baba did not want this for Amir. Amir was discouraged by his father, who was the most important influence in his life. Throughout his childhood, Amir was set to win his father's love, which made Amir very ambitious. He won his father's love for a short period of time when he had won the kite flying competition. Amir's morality morphs throughout “The Kite Runner.” At first, he did not have good morals; he was very selfish and jealous. This is shown when Amir lies to Baba about Hassan not being able to go along with them, and steals Baba for himself. Furthermore, Amir is a coward, and this is what makes Hassan distant from him. While Hassan was being raped in the alley by Assed, Amir did not come to the rescue, but turned away. This specific event creates a great deal of guilt in Amir, which eventually, influences his morality. Another scene that increases Amir's guilt is when he caused Ali and Hassan to move out by sneaking a wad of money under Hassan's mattress. While in America, Amir is contacted by Rahim Khan, who tells him that there is a way to be good again. This is a turning point for Amir's morals. He returns to Afghanistan to save his childhood friend Hassan. Instead, he finds that Hassan has been killed by the Taliban, and his son Sohrab bought by Assef, Amir's foil. The journey to rescue Sohrab is what changes his morals significantly. He shows a great deal of courage and honor when he confronts with Assef. In the end, he overcomes the social differences and the castes between Afghans. He eventually becomes more like his foil, Hassan. Hassan is the kindest character in the story. Unfortunately, that does not justify his fate. Hassan comes from a Hazara family, which means that he was not educated. The little education that he had came from the books and stories Amir read to him in their childhood. Since he is a Hazara, Ali and him are servants to Baba and Amir. During the kite flying competitions, he is restricted by his caste to participate as a kite flyer. Furthermore, Hassan is very dedicated and loyal to Amir. During their childhood, Hassan would always defend Amir and take blame for him when trouble came their way. Apart from Rahim Khan, Amir was the only friend Hassan had. Hassan's ability to forgive is shown when he was betrayed by Amir in the alley. Amir did not come to aid while Hassan was being raped. Hassan was truly dedicated to Amir, which drove Amir insane with guilt. Hassan's sacrificing nature is portrayed in one of Amir's dreams, when Hassan reaches out and gives his hand Amir, while Amir was lying on the snow. Initially, during their childhood, Hassan is a foil to Amir. Hassan was the good-natured boy who forgave and was loyal, while Amir, who was some what good-natured, but was unscrupulous. Hassan sacrifices himself, and takes blame another time when Amir sneaks money under his mattress. This led to Hassan and Ali moving to Hazarajat. Later on, Hassan's dedication is shown when he returns to Kabul to look after Baba's house. He protects and refuses to leave the house when the Taliban threaten him. Hassan's bravery, his sacrificing nature, and his dedication is shown here.

At first, Hassan and Amir were not compatible at all, yet they were friends. There were things, however, that made them very alike. For one, there was a strong bond of brotherhood between them. Despite the two different fathers that have raised them, Hassan and Amir have the same biological father, Baba. As babies, they had been nursed by the same woman. As children, they had spent their entire childhood playing together. Another similarity between them, is that they are both kite runners. Initially, this is not true, but as Amir chases down the falling kite for Sohrab, he becomes a kite runner. Another key similarity that may not seem clear, is that both Amir and Hassan are the father of the same son. This may not be biologically true, but in order to take Sohrab to America and keep him there, Amir adopts him. Amir's transformation due to guilt changes him to become more and more like Hassan. He forgives his father for not telling him about his half-brother, shows a great deal of bravery when he confronts with Assef and stands up for himself, and no longer takes into account the castes that separate him and Sohrab. In conclusion, besides Amir's transformation and Hassan's virtuousness, they are very alike. The social classes that divided Amir and Hassan had greatly influenced Amir's morals.

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