The Kite Runner is an unforgettable and powerful book. It tells the tale of a young boy, Amir, who struggles with the hardships of growing up in Afghanistan. Amir faces many challenges; among them are his friendships and how he controls his significant personal interactions and relationships with others. It is quickly understood that Amir struggles to act; he would rather sit in his room and read books rather than act upon his attackers – the qualities of a coward. Amir’s battles were always fought for him, whether it be Hassan literally fighting or be it the form of Ali being a scapegoat.
Amir always wanted for Baba, Amir’s father, to see him succeed. Amir needed help in succeeding though, and he consistently depended on others. The Kite Runner shows the impact relationships and friendships have; and these can be seen through Amir’s actions with Hassan, Rahim Khan and Farid. Hassan, a servant of Amir and Baba, lived a tough life without answers. Hassan lived his entire life as a lie, he had never known who his true father was, and it was kept as the deepest secret. Hassan was Amir’s best friend, they had a good relationship and ‘were like brothers’. Hassan acted like Amir’s big brother; he protected him and stood up for Amir.
Amir would read books to Hassan and make up what some of the words meant, a cruel thing to do for Hassan only wanted the best for Amir. “Then he (Ali) would remind us that there was a brotherhood between people who had fed from the same breast, a kinship that not even time could break. Hassan and I fed from the same breasts. We took our first steps on the same lawn in the same yard. And, under the same roof, we spoke our first words. Mine was Baba. His was Amir, my name. ” (Hosseini, 11). This shows that Ali knew exactly what had happened. He could not produce his own child, so he took upon the role of raising Hassan.
It was also a way for the author to foreshadow a key element to the entire story, that Hassan and Amir actually were brothers. The friendship the two had though was a brotherhood before they even knew they were brothers. The fact that they were brothers made Amir dedicated to fulfilling the promise Baba had failed to make, protecting Hassan. Even though Amir could not protect Hassan, he chose Sohrab, Hassan’s son, because it was all that he could do. Baba and Ali shared a friendship a lot like Hassan and Amir, “Ali and Baba grew up together as childhood playmates – at least until polio crippled Ali’s leg – just like Hassan and I grew up a eneration later. Baba was always telling us about the mischief he and Ali used to cause, and Ali would shake his head and say, ‘But Agha sahib, tell them who was the architect of the mischief and the poor laborer? ’ Baba would laugh and throw his arm around Ali. But in none of his stories did he ever refer to Ali as his friend. “(Hosseini, 27). Baba and Ali’s friendship is parallel to Amir and Hassan’s. There are similarities in many ways, like how the levels of power are always in favour of the ‘non-hazara’.
Of course in both friendships, the leader betrayed the servant (Baba betrayed Ali, Amir betrayed Hassan). It is evident that the old saying ‘like father like son’ is very true. Also, the way Baba never refers to Ali as his friend is a lot like the way Amir never told Soraya about Hassan, the true story about him. Although Baba and Amir were perceived to be very different characters, it shows they are similar in many ways because of the way they treated their ‘friends’. Mentors are leaders that help teach and guide people throughout their life. Rahim Khan was a mentor for Amir, but also a friend.
Rahim Khan told Amir his true identity, he had proof-read books for Amir among many other small tasks that Baba refused to do. It was Rahim Khan who challenged Amir to his greatest final task, the saving of Sohrab. “There is a way to be good again,” (Hosseini, 2). It is the challenge Rahim Khan wants for Amir, his final request of him. This shows Rahim Khan’s special friendship with Amir, they shared a bond where it was expected of Amir to accomplish a task his father could not put himself up to. It was Amir who paid the price for Baba’s actions and finally could put Hassan at peace.
By saving Sohrab, Amir ultimately put himself at peace as well, for not having to live with all the guilt of being an awful friend. Rahim Khan also allowed Amir to see the devotion Hassan truly had to him, Rahim Khan told him the stone cold truth. He told Amir of Hassan’s struggles and devotion as a servant. “When we got into Kabul, I (Rahim Khan) discovered that Hassan had no intentions of moving into the house. He would not live in the bedrooms, saying it was a matter of respect. Then, in the mourning of your father, he wore black for forty days. ” (Hosseini, 219). This shows both Hassan and Rahim Khan’s respect for Amir.
Amir would have truly wanted Hassan back, but he did not have the guts to go looking himself. Rahim Khan did it because Hassan really had no reason to want to leave in the first place, and it was Amir’s fault from the start. Farid, a hard working afghan man initially did not like Amir. He saw him as American scum returning to sell his afghan lands for money to take back to America. He thought of all Americans to be the same, they didn’t care for Afghanistan at all. It wasn’t until Amir told Farid’s family about why he actually was there; he was making the trip for Sohrab.
Farid had falsely accused Amir for something he did not plan on doing at all. It was because of this that their friendship was born, and short lived. Amir and Farid travelled to Kabul, and if it weren’t for Farid, Amir would’ve had no chance at all. But of course, in all symbiotic relationships, they benefit each other. The benefit for Farid was that Amir could give him extra money for him to feed his family. “Earlier that morning I did something I did something I had done twenty-six years earlier; I planted a fistful of crumpled money under a mattress. ” (Hosseini, 254).
This is seen just after Amir has a meal at Farid’s house. He thought the children were staring at his watch so he decided to give it to them as a gift. It was until later he found out they hadn’t been staring at his watch at all. They envied the food he was eating. The family would rather go hungry then disrespect a guest, and Amir realizes that without his help they might not have another meal coming. The quote shows another motif, placing money under a mattress to help in a way that is indirectly expressed. Amir had done this exact move twenty-six years earlier for Hassan.
The Kite Runner shows the impact relationships and friendships have; and these can be seen through Amir’s actions with Hassan, Rahim Khan and Farid. Amir takes upon many actions and interactions to become the person he became. His growth throughout the book is tremendous. The use of reoccurring events allows us to see insight on his thinking, and overall provides a great atmosphere for the reader. Amir learns how to deal with his problems that have not only haunted him, but his father too. With the support and encouragement of his friends, Amir ultimately allowed both Hassan and Baba to leave with peace.