Hassan considers Amir as his friends, but in Amir’s eyes he is more than a servant, except he couldn’t accept him as a friend. Amir is unable to accept Hassan as a friend because he is a Hazara and in his mind, due to peer pressure, he considers Hazaras to be lower in status than he is. Amir constantly tests Hassan’s loyalty because he is jealous of Hassan’s loyalty and therefore wants him to slip up. Amir is jealous that he doesn’t treat Hassan with the trust of a friend that Hassan gives him, so he wants Hassan to slip up so he can feel like they’re equal.
He resents Hassan because of the love that Baba gives him and how he never forgets Hassan’s birthday. His Baba always compares Hassan and him consequently his Baba would mention that he is more proud of Hassan than Amir. We begin to understand early in the novel that Amir is constantly vying for Baba’s attention and often feels like an outsider in his father’s life, as seen in the following passage: “He’d close the door, leave me to wonder why it was always grown-ups time with him. I’d sit by the door, knees drawn to my chest.
Sometimes I sat there for an hour, sometimes two, listening to their laughter, their chatter. ” Discuss Amir’s relationship with Baba. After hearing Amir’s story, Hassan asks, “Why did the man kill his wife? In fact, why did he ever have to feel sad to shed tears? Couldn’t he have just smelled an onion? ” How does this story epitomize the difference in character between Hassan and Amir? Refer to the beginning of Chapter 4. How might Baba’s treatment of Ali have influenced Amir’s understanding of how to treat Hassan?
What moral lessons does Baba convey to Amir, and are any of them contradictory? 1. After Amir wins the kite running tournament, his relationship with Baba undergoes significant change. However, while they form a bond of friendship, Amir is still unhappy. What causes this unhappiness and how has Baba contributed to Amir’s state of mind? Eventually, the relationship between the two returns to the way it was before the tournament, and Amir laments “we actually deceived ourselves into thinking that a toy made of tissue paper, glue, and bamboo could somehow close the chasm between us” (93).
Discuss the significance of this passage. 2. As Amir remembers an Afghan celebration in which a sheep must be sacrificed, he talks about seeing the sheep’s eyes moments before its death. “I don’t know why I watch this yearly ritual in our backyard; my nightmares persist long after the bloodstains on the grass have faded. But I always watch, I watch because of that look of acceptance in the animal’s eyes. Absurdly, I imagine the animal understands.
I imagine the animal sees that its imminent demise is for a higher purpose” (82). Why do you think Amir recalls this memory when he witnesses Hassan’s tragedy in the alleyway? Why does Amir respond the way that he does? 3. What role does Rahim Khan play in Amir’s life? What are the requirements for a true friendship? How can a friendship be damaged? Make sure to refer to a specific example from your experience AND a specific example from The Kite Runner.
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