28 September 2012
All over the world, in every corner of the earth conflicts play a role in everyday life. Whether it’s as simple as deciding what to eat, or a country at war with another, conflicts of all weights can be devastating. Amir in The Kite Runner knows exactly what its like to be caught in the midst of a severe conflict.
The main character of The Kite Runner, Amir, grows up in Kabul, Afghanistan. In Kabul Amir lives with his father, Baba, and their two servants Ali and Hassan. Early on in Amir’s childhood he becomes good friends with the son of servant Ali, Hassan. The only problem is that Hassan is a Hazara. This is troubling because a Hazara is not someone who should be friends with a person with Amir’s wealth and social status. This small conflict sets the stage for an even bigger one to erupt. The novel continues to tell the story of Amir and Hassan’s friendship, but comes to a screeching halt in Chapter 7. After an extreme high point, as Amir wins the kite fighting tournament, the action is followed by a deep rift. As Hassan successfully runs the last kite, happiness is quickly replaced by fear. The fear radiates from Hassan as Assef, the neighborhood bully, traps him in an alley. While in the alley, the only thing Assef focuses on is the blue kite in Hassans hand. When Assef demands the kite, Hassan refuses and proudly states it’s for Amir. As a consequence of not agreeing to the demands, Assef rapes him. It’s a horrifying act, but is worsened by the fact that Amir watched and didn’t stop it. Every day since,
Amir wakes up racked with guilt. This self vs. self conflict is most significant and threatens to tear Amir apart.
When Amir and Baba leave their hometown of Kabul for America, Amir is unfortunate that his self-conflict problems follow him. Just like in his childhood, Amir still feels the guilt and regret of that dark day in Kabul. After the incident, Amir swears to earn redemption at all costs. Lucky for him, he receives a phone call from an old family friend offering a shot at redemption. Even though Amir swore he’d seek redemption, his initial instinct was to decline. “Rahim Khan, I don’t want to go to Kabul” (Hosseini). Just like that day in the alley, Amir has a chance to take a stand but prefers to play it safe. At he end of their conversation Rahim Khan persuades him to seek out redemption and rescue Hassan’s son, Sohrab. In the end he successfully rescues Sohrab, and adopts him, taking Sohrab