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Cultural Differences In The Kite Runner By Khaled Hosseini

1432 words - 6 pages

Who knew that the most opposite of people could become one in the same? The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini shows a capacious amount of love, betrayal, and friendship towards two completely different people. Amir, the son of a wealthy man in Kabul, Afghanistan, develops a friendship with his servant, Hassan. Amir and Hassan have a rather complicated relationship for two personalities that are originally very different. Hassan has strong feelings for Amir, but Amir never admits to their friendship because of their difference in social standing. As the years progressed, Amir is put in a difficult situation, during which his actions affect their lives forever which led them to follow two separate paths. Looking into his past, aged and wise Amir looks down upon the choices he has made as a child that alter his friendship with Hassan in a negative way. Throughout Amir’s life, he makes choices based on fear and guilt which results in a life filled with shame, until he is ultimately redeemed. Amir and Hassan’s relationship can be described as a set of opposites at the beginning of the novel, but as the novel progresses, it is shown that they could not be more similar, and by the end that they are one in the same.
As young boys, Amir and Hassan enjoyed doing everything together; however, Amir never considers Hassan and him friends, and their personalities are shown to be quite different at this early stage in their life. Amir is a Pashtun and Hassan is a Hazara, which means they have opposite social standings, but Amir spends most of the first twelve years of his life with Hassan anyway. Despite his social-standing and his childhood experiences, Hassan was both physically and mentally stronger than Amir according to Amir’s father, who said that there was something wrong with Amir: He never stood up for himself. At the age of twelve, Amir commits an act which would dominate his thoughts for his entire lifetime. One day Hassan was raped by the neighborhood bully and Amir sat and watched in horror: “In the end, I ran. I ran because I was a coward. I was afraid of Assef and what he would do to me. I was afraid of getting hurt” ( Hosseini 77). Guilt-ridden, Amir avoided Hassan, but the more he did, the more guilt he felt for abandoning his friend. Amir asks his father if he had ever thought of getting new servants in effort to rid Hassan from their home. Deciding that he could no longer stand Hassan’s presence, Amir framed Hassan for stealing his watch. Amir had always been jealous of his father’s love for Hassan, so when his father quickly forgave Hassan for the committing ultimate sin, Amir was unable to say anything. As a result, Hassan and his father left their household, but despite Hassan’s departure, Amir continues to hide his past and cover up the mistakes he had made. Once Amir and his father move to America, he could still not bring himself to talk about Hassan and continues this behavior when he marries his open and honest wife. Although this was a...

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