In Khaled Hosseini’s novel “The Kite Runner” many characters have to suffer so another can feel better. Hassan, Amir and Sohrab all undergo extreme suffering either physically or psychologically. Assef’s attack on Hassan early in the novel sets the scene for the suffering both Amir and Sohrab will later face. Sohrab in particular suffers significantly under the Taliban and Assef.
By attempting to protect Amir, Hassan repeatedly places himself in danger. Eventually his actions catch up to him and Assef feels that Hassan deserves to pay for making him seem weak. By making Hassan suffer, Assef feels as though he has taught “a disrespectful donkey” a lesson. This idea of Hassan being on the same level as a donkey arises from him being born a Hazara. Because of his religion and ethnic group, Hassan is seen as being lower class and will always be an illiterate servant. This is something Amir takes advantage of when he allows Hassan to be raped, as he was “the lamb I had to slay to win Baba” and “just a Hazara”. After enduring the psychological damage of being raped by Assef, Hassan turns to Amir for support. However, his best friend is no longer there for him, he “milled about the periphery” of his life. Because Hassan doesn’t know that Amir cannot forgive himself for what he let happened, Hassan believes that he has done something to wrong Amir. When Amir plants the money under his bed, Hassan goes along with Amir’s story and makes his “final sacrifice” for Amir. He know Amir “had betrayed him and yet he was rescuing” him yet again.
Although Amir can often be seen as manipulative and cowardly, he is a young boy who feels that his father does not care for him. This distance between and father and son can be quite damaging to the child. Although this doesn’t explain Amir’s actions it does give the reader an insight to how much he is suffering. He feels he always has to seek Baba’s approval, when in Baba’s eyes Assef would be a better son. Seeing that your father would prefer a sociopath as a son to you would cause significant damage and personal suffering. “I saw the light wink out of Baba’s eyes and an uncomfortable silence followed”. Not only did Amir have to