The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini takes the reader on a haunting journey of Amir and Hassan’s friendship and displays the hardships that the two boys are faced with as a result of this friendship. Although they have many similarities, such as growing up together, feeding from the same breast and sharing many of the same experiences, Amir is a Pashtun, meaning he is favored and has a high status in society and Hassan, on the other hand, is a Hazara and Amir’s servant, which means he is treated differently in society than Amir.
This book focuses on the theme of kindness and how individuals can attempt to determine their own destiny by the way that they act towards others.
Throughout the Kite Runner there are many events that occur where the characters are faced with difficult situations and often the outcome of the situation is a result of the action they chose to take or not take, and other times the result of their destiny is out of their control.
The book begins with Amir and Hassan playing together. The book shows that as they begin to grow up, their friendship also becomes complicated. The role of kindness does play a large role when individuals attempt to determine their own destiny. Karma, what goes around comes around, is an apparent theme throughout this novel and throughout every day life. The idea of karma is the idea that how you act towards someone will catch up to you. For example, if you treat someone with respect and you are positive, then the world will return the respect and positivity to you.
The first time it is evident that kindness plays a role in determining destiny is when Amir finds Hassan in the alley being raped by Assef and his friends. Amir is faced with two choices, the first one being to intervene and save Hassan, or to run away and protect himself. He chooses the second option. Once he chose to respond to the situation in this way, his relationship with Hassan was completely changed. Amir chose to ignore the situation altogether, and because of this; his friendship with Hassan was lost. If Amir were to have acted with kindness and possibly intervened in the situation, his relationship with Hassan would have been different.
Once Hassan moves away with Ali, Amir experiences feelings of loss, regret and loneliness. For a long time he is very unhappy and Baba treats him coldly. This is an example of karma catching up to Amir. Near the end of the book, when Amir finds out Hassan was actually his brother, he feels a sense of disappointment and anger towards himself, because he should not have let his brother go through being raped. In order to make his wrong right, he find Hassan’s son at the orphanage and adopts him, and treats him exceptionally. Amir might have done this because he felt like it was the only way he could repay his loyalty to Hassan and this allows Amir to finally put the past to rest.
The second time kindness plays a role in determining destiny is when Baba is on the truck leaving Kabul and he stops the woman from being raped by the Russian solider. Baba said, _”ask him where his shame is_,” to which the solider responded “_this is war. There is no shame in war.”_ After arguing with the Russian soldier, Baba finally wins and the woman does not have to “pay the price” to travel in the truck. Later on in this chapter, a man dies but Baba and Amir safely make it to California. This could have possibly been a result of Baba protecting the lady and acting with kindness towards her. Once they arrive in California, Baba gets a job working at the gas station, and although this can be viewed as unfortunate because he went from being extremely rich to working at the gas station, he was still able to get a job, which can be seen as karma working in his favor.
There is an exception to every rule and the exception to the rule that kindness can determine destiny, is Hassan. He is a loyal Hazaran and acts with nothing but kindness towards Amir and his acquaintances. When Hassan is trapped in the alley with Assef, who is trying to steal the kite from him, he says “_Amir aga won the tournament and I ran this kite for him. I ran it fairly. This is his kite_.” Assef responds by saying, “_A loyal Hazara. Loyal as a dog._” Here it is apparent that Hassan is using kindness and loyalty, but this does not affect his destiny because he still gets raped, which damages him for the rest of his life. Near the beginning of the book Amir recalls, “Hassan came out of the womb smiling.” During the time he is alive, Hassan treats people with respect, honesty and loyalty. However, this does not save Hassan from being raped by Assef and his friends. Although Hassan treats everyone with kindness, he still ends up being killed by the Taliban, which shows that sometimes the way individuals act cannot determine their destiny.
The Kite Runner shows many examples of kindness and destiny and how they are interconnected in some cases, and in other cases are not. This book focuses on the idea of karma and how it treats you the way that you treat it. Kindness determined destiny when Amir failed to intervene when Hassan was in trouble, which caused his destiny to have feelings of loneliness and regret. When Baba saved the woman from being raped, his destiny was in his favor and he safely made it to California and was able to make a living there. Destiny was not determined by kindness when it came to Hassan because although Hassan did everything in his power to treat people fairly and stray away from trouble, he still suffered many consequences. The Kite Runner displays the idea that although sometimes individuals can have the power to choose their destiny, it is often determined by a greater power.
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