Betrayal In The Kite Runner

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Throughout the novel, two specific themes are constant and always relevant; betrayal and violence. One notices the theme of betrayal through Amir's experiences with Hassan and Baba, while one recognizes the theme of violence through kite fighting itself and the multiple scenes of rape and child abuse. Betrayal is an ever-present and cyclical theme in the kite runner. The major act of betrayal occurs during the first Kite Fighting event. When Hassan runs for Amir's tournament-winning kite, the notoriously evil Assef and his friends confront him. Contrary to the bravery Hassan showed earlier in the novel in protecting Amir from Assef, Amir chooses self-preservation over assisting the vulnerable Hassan. Hassan subsequently is raped and Amir…show more content…
They have been conquered twice in the last 30 years each by governments the countrymen hated and still blood is shed every day in wars between the U.S and the Taliban or Al Qaeda. In the novel, the theme of violence is inter-related with the theme of betrayal. For example, when Amir fails to stand up and protect Hassan and, in essence, betrays him, a violent scene of rape and torture follows. Furthermore, just before Hassan is raped, another violent image is shown through kite fighting itself. The kites battle for supremacy as do the children below who are flying them. Also, we are told of the deep gashes Amir receives from the string that is covered in ground glass. Lastly, once the kites fall out of the sky, the runner retrieve them with the same ferocious determination, similar to soldiers running into a battlefield. Kite running leads Amir to his betrayal of Hassan, as well as later in then novel to his redemption with Sohrab. Furthermore, the kite themselves symbolize the nature of Afghani culture; beautiful, bloody and violent. Only one kite can be victorious in kite match when the opposing kite is defeated, a symbol for the ethnic clashes between Sunni and Sh'ia. Certain Sunni’s such as Assef, who later becomes a head of the Taliban, believe in a pure Afghanistan can come only after the ethnic cleansing of Sh'ia Hazaras like
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