All of the characters in The Kite Runner are compelling and significant. However, Hassan is the most interesting and he stands out from every other character because of this. The audience was intrigued with Hassan because of his friendly personality and constant cheerfulness.
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He was always watching out for other characters and putting those around him before himself. He overcame struggles that no other character had to face, due to his ethnic background and the troubles within his relationship with Amir. His selflessness often caused more problems for himself. The audience is introduced to Hassan in Amir’s perspective. On page 105, The Kite Runner reads, “this was Hassan’s final sacrifice for me… he knew I had betrayed him and yet he was rescuing me once again, maybe for the last time,” Hassan continuously made sacrifices for Amir, and would continue to do so, despite the betrayal. Hassan would never go against Amir or purposely do something to harm him, “Then Hassan did pick up a pomegranate. He walked toward me. He opened it and crushed it against his own forehead. ‘There,’ he croaked” (Hosseini 93). Hassan would cause pain on himself before considering hurting Amir. Although Amir never loved or cared for Hassan completely, Hassan always put Amir first and before anybody else. Hassan is a pure and selfless character, and he expresses his personality through the actions he performs towards Amir.
Hosseini’s book, The Kite Runner starts in Kabul, Afghanistan. Throughout many years, the setting goes into multiple other countries. The book ends in Fremont, California and the time span is from the 1960s-2002. Throughout the setting changes, the story often centers around Afghanistan, and the other countries are compared to Afghanistan. The setting is noteworthy due to the problems in the area at the time. The difference in classes cause a series of problems throughout the whole book, The Russian invasion caused multiple problems for the characters at the beginning of the book, and the Taliban invasion of Afghanistan caused many more as the book continues. With the Russian invasion, Baba and Amir had to leave the country in secrecy and go to Pakistan. After this, they go to America hoping to find an easier life. The Taliban invasion of Afghanistan was crucial in the book as well. When Sohrab was originally getting saved, he was not protected immediately due to Talib officials. The Talib officials are shown to be one of the biggest conflicts in Afghanistan. This invasion caused lots of tension for Amir as he tried to save Sohrab. A theme is created in the book through the setting when Amir and Soraya move to the United States permanently and had to learn about the differences in culture. The new culture in the United States is what taught Amir that sometimes giving up everything one knows is the best solution to moving on.
A recurring motif in The Kite Runner is guilt. Whenever Amir thinks back on his childhood, his memories are filled with guilt. Some major events from Amir’s childhood are the mistakes he made, however, he believes it is too late to do anything about his past as an adult. His whole childhood, he craved Baba’s attention and acceptance. When Amir watched his best friend, Hassan, get raped, he tried turning the situation around to help himself save his relationship with Baba. Amir was willing to do anything for his father’s approval, “maybe Hassan was the price I had to pay, the lamb I had to slay, to win Baba” (Hosseini 77). Amir would’ve done anything as a child before thinking about the guilt it would bring him in the future. The guilt Amir had was shown from early in the book. Amir learned later that saving Sohrab was his chance to redeem himself, and finally get rid of the guilt. Amir was too vain to go out of his way and redeem himself when he was younger. However, as he grew up and became a man, he learned what he had to do to make things right, and that it was not too late.
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini was intriguing due to many aspects of the book’s craft. Throughout the whole book, there are many surprising twists that keep a reader hooked and intrigued. Hosseini worked the war into the book extremely well, however, kept the story simple to understand and it was not completely focused on that factor. The setting of this book is helpful for a reader to understand the plot and set the mood. The time jump over multiple decades is unique and a strong way to hook readers. The time changes added a lot of detail to the book, nevertheless it was simple to follow and understand. The characterization is very helpful for a reader and allows one to better understand every character. The way Hosseini characterized every character, especially Hassan, makes a reader feel connected to a character and feel their emotions. Each character in the book was characterized in their own way, allowing multiple different favorite characters for readers. Throughout the book, Hosseini focused on developing Amir’s character, which leads to a very strong ending. The way Hosseini wrote about the characters in The Kite Runner is one of the strongest methods used throughout the whole book, and this created a very powerful book.
In The Kite Runner, socioeconomic and cultural differences were focused on for a majority of the book, especially within the two main characters, Hassan and Amir. Hassan was born as a Hazara, therefore, his whole life he faced many struggles, financially and in relationships. Amir was born to Baba, which led him to a childhood of luxuries and living high class. While Hassan and Amir lived very different lifestyles, they had a strong friendship for most of their childhoods, however, Amir was always above him. As Amir got older, he learned what constraints these different classes truly had on their relationship, “he loved you both, but he could not love Hassan the way he longed to, openly, and as a father. So he took it out on you instead-Amir, the socially legitimate half, the half that represented the riches he had inherited” (Hosseini 301). Because of the different classes they lived in, they had to be loved differently, which caused many problems for the family beyond the surface. There were also cultural struggles, that were made obvious when Amir and Baba had to move from Afghanistan to the United States. These two countries are extremely different and have contrasting cultures. When Amir and Baba moved to America together, they saw each other in ways they were never able to before. Although this caused problems financially, it did heal some of the struggles within their relationship. Amir’s way of life changed completely when he had to switch environments. A majority of the conflicts in this book are caused by due to socioeconomic class struggles and cultural patterns.
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