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Born in Kabul, Afghanistan, Amir was the son of a wealthy social worker. He was brought up with the son of his servant, and perhaps his only best friend, Hassan. Amir had a rocky relation with his father. At times, it seemed as his father loved him but those moments didn’t lasted forever. He thinks Baba (his father) wishes Amir were more like him, and that Baba holds him responsible for killing his mother, who died during his birth. Despite being best friends, Amir thinks that Hassan is beneath him because he belonged to an inferior cast.
He used to mock him jokingly or tried to outsmart him.
In all fairness, it was Amir’s cowardly nature that sets up the guilt he carries for the rest of his life. He saw a couple of bullies sexually assaulting Hassan but he didn’t help him. His betrayal and the sense of losing pride killed their relation and it wasn’t to be amended.
After the hard years of war, Amir moved to the United States where he started a new life, married his lover, became a writer and everything was going well until an old family friend, Rahim Khan asked him to come to Pakistan and redeem the sins he did in his childhood.
Now a mature Amir returns to Kabul, his homeland, and is shocked to see the destruction the Talibans have left behind them. He tries to find Hassan’s son, Sohrab to get him back to a better life until he meets an on foe in Aasef, the guy who raped Hassan.
After a grueling fight, a courageous escape, visits to hospitals and try to find a way to get out, Amir finally reached home in California, free from the guilt he carried all his life as he brought along Hassan’s son and his nephew Sohrab to give him a better life. Quotes:
“And that right there was the single greatest moment of my twelve years of life, seeing Baba on that roof, proud of me at last. ” This was Amir’s reaction after he won the kite tournament and perhaps, won his father. Because when spring comes it melts the snow one flake at a time, and maybe I just witnessed the first flake melting”. Here, the narrator, Amir refers this to the first smile of Sohrab, Hassan’s blood. It gave him a sense of satisfaction as if Hassan and Baba have forgiven him from the crimes of his childhood. 2) Hassan:
The illegitimate son of Baba and Amir’s half-brother (which he didn’t knew until after Hassan’s death), Hassan was a truly good and beautiful person even though he’s had his fair share of hard times. In my opinion, Hassan has it tougher than Amir from the beginning. Not only did Hassan lose his mother (like Amir), his mother flat-out rejected him But Hassan, unlike Amir, is a selfless and joy-filled creature. They spent most their childhood together playing games, reading books and flying kites until that fateful day where he was deprived of his pride.
Hassan had a very good relation with Baba as it would later prove out to be his father as well. After the war stricken years, Rahim Khan asked him to come back to the house in Kabul and agrees after thinking about it. He felt that he was near Amir by living in that house and that he’s loyal. His loyalty and integrity are the essence of his character. He and his wife were slaughtered by the Talibans in the earlier part of 2000, thus ending the life on an inspiring individual. Quotes: “ For you, a thousand times over”.
This one sentence sums up the immense love, loyalty and friendship Hassan had for Amir. 3) Baba: Rahim Khan gives Baba his “famous nickname, ‘Mr. Hurricane’ . At times Baba seems untouchable, unreachable because he towers over ordinary men. Needless to say, he also towers over ordinary children like Amir. Baba wasn’t really close to Amir in his childhood as he was in the later part of his life in America. Baba’s distance really affects Amir and is one of the major motivations for Amir’s betrayal of Hassan. That’s right: the old “I blame my father” defense. He was a man of high morals though.
He never favored injustice and always stood out against anything wrong. He refused to accept help when he came to the United States because it was against his self-esteem. He died of Ulcer, shortly after the marriage of Amir. Quotes: A boy who won’t stand up for himself becomes a man who can’t stand up to anything. ” This was how Baba felt about Amir when he was a child. He said that he lacked the power of man that he can’t defend himself. 4) Rahim Khan: Some characters in plays and novels simply aren’t rich, fully developed characters but they serve many important purposes.
Rahim Khan serves as the novel’s moral center. Rahim Khan is a voice reason standing outside this hubbub of moral questioning. He was a very close friend of Baba, a very trusted friend as he left his house under his supervision. He was also very close to Amir. He was the motivation behind Amir’s writing ability. He used to adore and admire Amir’s writings and encouraged him. He was also very kind to Hassan as he had a special place in his heart for Hazaras, the inferiors of the cast system. He asked him to come back to Kabul and help maintain the house of Amir’s father.
He explained all the secrets to Amir when he called him to Pakistan in April, 2001, secrets that Amir wasn’t aware of. He told him Hassan was his half-brother and that he had a son in Afghanistan that can be the way Amir can redeem himself from the sins of his childhood as he was aware of the incident that happened to Hassan at the hands of Aasef. At the end of the novel, he was close to his death and when Amir returned from Kabul with Hassan’s son, Rahim Khan had already left for somewhere. Quotes: “There is a way to be good again”.
That was a legendary line that Rahim Khan used to bring Amir back from California as knew the untold secrets of the lives of Amir and Hassan. 5) Sohrab: He was the son of Hassan and the nephew of Amir. As he appeared really late, he wasn’t really had much relation with Baba or Amir but Rahim Khan played a pivotal role in the re-capture of the kid by sending Amir to Kabul to free him from the sexual slavery of an old for, Aasef. Like Hassan, Sohrab is a whiz with a slingshot. He’s also fairly perceptive for someone so young.
Sohrab also seems to have Hassan’s innate goodness. He left to United States with Amir but he was mentally empty after bearing a lot of cruelty and harshness in Afghanistan. It wasn’t anger at Amir for abandoning him it was merely that he just gave up life. Sohrab basically shows that the first and second generations may be able to avoid the total cynicism of suicide. But not the next generation – the third round of betrayal and abuse is too much. 6) Soraya Jan: Amir meets Soraya at the flea market and Amir quickly developed a thing for her.
She’s beautiful, kind, and has a complicated past. They got married after Amir sent Baba to Soraya’s house to ask for her hand. They married rather quickly because of the physical condition of Baba as he didn’t had much time left in his life. She cared about him like a true daughter would. She took care of his food, rest and medicines devotedly. After Baba’s death, she was the sole reason for Amir’s survival. She and Amir build a quiet, enviable life in California. Even though Soraya can’t have children, it seems like the best of marriages.
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