Kite Runner Analysis

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When the novel first describes Amir's childhood, it seems like Amir leads a relatively charmed life. He's got a great friend in Hassan, his father is wealthy, he adores his father, etc. We would like to pause here and praise the innocent joy of the first years of Amir and Hassan's friendship. Sure, there's jealousy and some cruelty and power struggles. But there's also adoration, loyalty, and genuine affection between the boys. Most of the early conflict seems confined to the lives of Ali and Hassan. There's racial discrimination toward them, Sanaubar (Hassan’s mother) leaving, Hassan's harelip, and the soldiers' taunting of Hassan. We soon learn, however, that Amir has anything but a charmed existence. Amir's mother died giving birth to him. It's clear he feels a great lack in his life, and he throws himself into poetry and writing. In addition, Amir feels an enormous amount of responsibility for his mother's death – as if he not only caused it but, was responsible for it. Worse, Amir begins to believe his father also blames him for his mother's death. This is only one aspect of the incredibly fraught relationship between Amir and his father.Amir is also extremely jealous of his half-brother Hassan. Amir admires Baba to no end although Baba seems to have little time for Amir. In fact, at times it seems like Baba prefers Hassan. Baba is almost confused by Amir. How can his son not like Afghan sports? Why does Amir not stand up for himself? Most of Baba's complaints seem to spring from Amir's lack of "manliness." “A boy who won’t stand up for himself becomes a man who can’t stand up to anything.” All these tensions come to a breaking point during the kite-fighting tournament. Amir sees the kite-fighting tournament as a way to finally win Baba's love. Amir concocts this mad scheme where he'll win the tournament. Then Baba will love him and everything will be fine.

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