6 November 2014
What is power? Power is the “possession of controlling influence” according to
vocabulary.com. How does the influence of power affect the characters in the book Kite
Runner? Khaled Hosseini writes in the novel, Kite Runner, about a couple of young
boys’ lives and how power affects their lives differently. In this unique story power can
cause evil, create good, trap some, and free others by facilitating change. Hosseini’s
characters find themselves powerless, powerful, or misusing their power in different
situations, and throughout the novel Amir experiences all of these attributes of power as
Amir discovers how to live with good character.
Amir feels powerless to change, because of his shame from past decisions. He
especially could not remove the haunting memory of betraying his friend Hassan. Amir
hides his secret from others and himself, even though his guilt was overwhelming. After
Soraya confessed her sins to Amir, he became jealous of her freedom: He “envied her.
Her secret was out. Spoken. Dealt with. [Amir] opened [his] mouth and almost told her
how [he had] betrayed Hassan, lied, driven him out, and destroyed a fortyyear
relationship between Baba and Ali. But [Amir] didn't”(Hosseini 165). After Soraya’s
confession, Amir longed for a new beginning. Even though Amir could not speak about
his past yet, he realized the powerful path to freedom conveyed the truth.
Amir’s path to good character unfolds when he is summoned by Rahim Khan to
rescue Amir’s nephew, Sohrab, in Kabul where the Taliban had taken over. Amir
discovered the truth about his family history from his father’s friend, Rahim Khan, when
he “summoned [Amir] here to atone not just for [Amir’s] sins but for Baba’s too”(Hosseini
226). Amir realized he was not the only one that made past mistakes in his family; as a
result of the current situation he could take the risk to find his nephew and make a
change for the better. Amir’s change in character was more powerful than the Taliban
when he chose to risk his life for another.
Before Amir risked hi