Relationships in Kite Runner Novel

The novel Kite Runner is a storyline set against the backdrop of tumultuous events following the decline of Afghanistan’s monarchy under the Soviet Military intention. It also gives a detailed ordeal of the migration of refugees and Taliban to Pakistan and U.S. The main characters are Amir, Hassan and Baba, who take the center stage and play dignified roles in the novel. The narrator of the story is Amir. He is a Sunni Muslim and the main protagonist in the novel. He undergoes a traumatic childhood experience in Afghanistan and strives hard to establish his true identity despite his devastating childhood encounters. Amir and Hassan spend their childhood days playing kite fight in the hitherto peaceful city of Kabul. Nevertheless, Hassan is a successful ‘kite runner’ for Amir. The novel creatively uses lots of stylistic devices to describe circumstances. Symbolism is one of them. Its prominence in the book implies that there is much to learn from it. As events unfold, the occurrence of various events seems to have been prophesied. For example, the kites in the book forecast about anticipated fate. On the other hand, the slingshot represents the two generations; both childhoods of Amir and Hassan in which Hassan and Sohrab use slingshots to stop Assef. The striking, conspicuous and most prominent theme brought out in ‘Kite Runner’ is relationships. This essay illustrates how characters in the novel handle relationships, how they relate to each other, their perceptions as well as how significant relationships are to the society and the nation at large. As a matter of fact, relationships are crucial for the growth and development of a community as well as a country. Nevertheless, the essay navigates into three arguments including parent-child relationships, family unity, and communication.

Parent-child Relationship

The manner of nurturing children has a lot to say about the kind of parental love shown to them. Ideally, parent-child relationships are crucial in child development. Nurturing a child especially during the early development stages helps instill morals and behaviors in the kid and most importantly inculcates character in him. In the novel, Amir undergoes bitter childhood upbringing, and though his father loves both Amir and Hassan, he disregards Amir by considering him weak and lacking the courage (Noor and Khaled 78).Amir craves for his father’s affection but with little success. Though his father claims to love him, he favors Hassan. Consequently, this is evident in the instance in which Baba undertook an expensive adventure by paying for Hassan’s plastic surgery in a bid to repair his lip. Baba fails to encourage Amir and does not hang out around with him most of the time due to his busy business schedules. Furthermore, he does not motivate Amir in his writing career and shows less concern about him. Amir feels this rift and longs for his father’s affection. However, Amir finds a kinder figure in Rahim Khan who is Baba’s closest friend. Rahim loves Amir and supports his nature and his talent as a writer. Amir chooses to be inactive and not to confront bullies and aggressors even when he has the chance to. Consequently, his choice of inaction leads to a chain of guilt, lies, betrayal and ‘cowardice’ as Baba refers it (Noor and Khaled 78). However, the primary cause of deception is due to the strained relationship between Baba and Amir especially during his childhood. Betrayal is considered abominable and is cyclical in the novel. In most of the sceneries, Amir makes frantic effort to deal with the guilt of betrayal and failing to rescue his half-brother, Hassan. He tries every inch to avoid and evade the guilt, but, unfortunately, it follows him all along. Avoiding the blame, however, does nothing towards his redemption. Guilt causes him to cringe every time Hassan’s name mentioned. Additionally, Amir feels betray upon realizing that all he thought and perceived about his father is false (Edward 20). Feelings of betrayal and punishment are not enough to redeem Amir. Rescuing Sohrab from Assef is also not enough to redeem him. However, in efforts to find the inner peace and correct his bitter past, Amir’s rescues Sohrab from the hands of Assef. He takes him to America so that he can enjoy the freedom and find happiness.

Family Unity

For success, stability, peace and growth in the society, unity especially in the family set up has to be harnessed. Unity in the family begins with parental love and extends to love among siblings. If this doesn’t work out, little if any can be done to unite such a family. Harmony is a vital characteristic of unity in the family. Charity begins at home and attaining unity requires the existence of love among family members. The novel Kite Runner has much to say concerning family unity. Kinship ties are seen to be concrete in the novel. Hassan’s upholds a brotherly relationship with Amir and his love for his half-brother is selfless (Noor and Khaled 78). His character becomes evident when he fails to hold hard feelings for those who wrong him and fails to give directions to the Taliban to Amir and Baba’s house. He trades his life with love. On the other hand, Amir’s love for Hassan is however dominated by selfishness. Amir fails to rescue his half-brother at the time he needs him most. Disunity in the society and nation is what causes the Soviet Union militarily to invade Afghanistan five years later in which the nationals flee the country for their lives and migrate to safer zones. Unfortunately, many die in the process. Amir and Baba find their escape route to Peshawar, Pakistan, and then they migrate to Fremont, California where they find shelter in a run-down apartment (SparkNotes 28).

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It all starts at the family level. Unity in the family resonates unity in the nation. On the contrary, disunity brews violence, and division. Social, political, economic and ethnic tensions are the resultant effects of disunity. The socioeconomic setting in the novel represents disunity and religious discrimination between the majority and the minority. The majority are the Sunni Muslims while the minority are the Shi’a Muslims. Additionally, socioeconomic disparities in United States are evident in the instance in which Baba and many other immigrants surrender their lives of prosperity in exchange of poverty, suffering, hard labor and reduced wages. The only way to restore family unity is through reunion.Amir is an epitome of to heal the wounds of family disunity. After getting back to his cradle land, he reunites with his friend and saves Sohrab after being sexually abused and occasionally dancing for Assef while dressed in women’s clothes. In order relinquish Sohrab, Amir agrees to engage in a fight with Assef. However, Assef beats Amir severely and breaks several of his bones. It is in this instance when Sohrab uses a slingshot to fire a brass ball in Assef’s left (Newsmakers for Students 21). As evident enough, family unity is paramount, and when it is absent, violence takes root. The pivotal scene in myriad occasions is violence. Apart from the political tensions in the country, Assef is an older boy with a sadistic taste of violence attacks Amir, Hassan, and Sohrab. In an attempt to attack Amir, Hassan intervenes and threatens to shoot Assef with his slingshot and Assef shows a white flag but swears to revenge. Assef also sexually abuses the children at the orphanages and Sohrab happens to be the recent victim but is saved by Amir (Michelle 14). Other consequences of disunity include unforgiveness. Amir actively witnesses Assef beating, raping and severely inflicting wounds on Hassan but is too scared to help him. Though he feels guilty and responsible for the occurrence, Hassan nonetheless forgives Amir. He is selfless and holds no hard feelings against Amir ((Noor and Khaled 78).


Communication among family members is a vital and absence of it causes the family members to live like strangers to one another. Communication among siblings and between parents promotes understanding and unity in the family. The novel ‘The Kite Runner’, provides vivid descriptions of how important communication is in the family set up. Communication barriers disrupt the informational flow among family members. In the novel, Amir is seen to strive hard in rekindling his relationship with his father, Baba (Lev 43). He plays the role of an unlikable coward who failed to help his best friend in myriad needy situations. As as a result, Amir believes that it would be better for Hassan not to be around. He, therefore, plots against Hassan by placing a watch and some amount of money beneath the surface of his mattress. To him, this would make Baba furious and consequently chase away Hassan. Upon confrontation, Hassan falsely confesses to Baba. Although Baba is strongly against stealing, he nevertheless forgives Hassan. To the surprise of Baba, Hassan and Amir both leave premises and for once, Amir is freed from the daily nagging feeling of guilty although he lives under its shadow. Amir unlike his half-brother Hassan gets haunted by the guilt feelings due to lack of communication (Edward 20). Great enmity emanates between him and his half-brother. Also, the break in communication and the resultant effects are devastating as separation takes the course. Both part ways and the close brotherly ties cease to exist. Amir is also a victim of circumstances by the fact that much of the vital information about his culture and customs remains unknown to him. He feels desolate and unloved. Ideally, much of the information is availed to Amir in very desperate situations and only after terror strikes. Amir gets to understand later that Ali’s death was a result of an accident at the land mine. Further, it becomes crystal clear to him that Ali was sterile and was not the biological father of Hassan. Hassan was Baba’s son and a half-brother to Amir(Lev 43). Rahim also finally reveals to him that the reason he called him to Pakistan was to rescue Sohrab – Hassan’s son from an orphanage in Kabul. All this unknown information gets availed in the end. When family members fail to communicate, trouble and fate faces families and the society as well. When members of the family are not conversing, things go haywire. Members of the family develop ill feelings towards each other and jealousy as well as insecurity arises. The nature of brotherly portrayed by Amir is one that is mixed up with jealousy and insecurity. He initiates plots against his half-brother and separates from him indefinitely (Deutsch, Lindsay 22). After finding homage in America, Baba and Amir undertake steps to rekindle their broken ties that resulted out of miscommunication. Baba, who was always busy with his business schedules, failed to communicate vital values and virtues to Amir. Baba was not affectionate to Amir, and he failed to educate the young Amir on matters concerning their culture. Guilt and haunt experiences were a direct result of failed communication. Even after finding refuge in America and striving hard to make ends meet, Amir and Baba are still haunted by their pasts. Their bitter past is a shadow of them. As a way of restoring hope and erasing all guilt, Amir returns to his cradle land and seeks to correct childhood mistakes. Nevertheless, as a way of showing affection, Baba initiates the negotiation process in a marriage proposal between Amir and Soraya. It is the marriage relationship that finally helps Amir develop and build his character.            

The novel ‘The Kite Runner’ is indeed a real reflection of the multigenerational need for strengthened relationships and family unity. Charity begins at home and therefore unity in the family should start at home and be present at all times. Family unity is the backbone for the existence of harmony and peace in the society. Unity cannot be achieved by holding ill feelings against one another. Forgiveness and love go together, and one requires to uphold them on self-basis before extending the virtues to others. It is the onus of each and everyone to practice the brotherly and selfless love portrayed by Hassan in the novel. Characters in the novel are seen to search frantically for affection and quest for love. The most likely reason for Amir betrayal for his friend is because of the sour and strained childhood relationship with his father during his childhood (Michelle 14).Amir’s character is a perfect epitome of the resultant character that results from poor parenthood. Wealth is not an enough prove of affection to children. Teenagers in their childhood require parental presence rather than being busy amassing wealth to the detriment of the child. It is the onus of parents to communicate the customs, norms and societal practices to their children. Nevertheless, they ought to show compassion and affection to them. Children living in a family set up with strained relationship afterward become a threat and a burden to the community. It a parent’s role to instill morals and behaviors to the youngsters. Many parents in today’s generation claim to love their children but instead fail to demonstrate it. It is the rule of the thumb that parent – child relationships determine the level of respect, obedience, and affection of the family. Parents should hence show love and pursue education on good parenthood. On the other hand, children should obey and respect their parents.

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