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In the book The Kite Runner, how is Baba a bad father to Amir?

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weltermayne | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 3, 2012 at 4:49 PM via web

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In the book The Kite Runner, how is Baba a bad father to Amir?

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 3, 2012 at 5:41 PM (Answer #1)

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Baba is never satisfied with the way Amir has turned out: The son of the man known as "Mr. Hurricane," Amir prefers a life of reading, writing and solitude to the physical life Baba has experienced as both child and man. Amir obviously takes after his mother, a literature professor at the local university, reading the books she left behind after dying while giving birth to him. This fact seems to be another problem between father and son, and Amir believes Baba blames him for the death of his wife--his "beautful princess." Baba spends little time with Amir, preferring the solitude of his smoking room or sharing in conversations with Rahim Khan. Although "not an impatient man," Baba has little patience with Amir. He cares little for Amir's school victories in Sherjangi, "the Battle of the Poems";

Real men didn't read poetry--and God forbid they should ever write it.  (Chapter Three)

Instead, they play soccer, but Amir is "pathetic," and Baba sees that his son cares little for the sport, either as a player or spectator. Baba is "disgusted" when Amir becomes sickened by a death at a Buzkashi tournament; he believes "there is something missing in that boy" when he reveals to Rahim Khan about witnessing examples of Amir's cowardice and being defended by Hassan. Baba refuses to even glance at the short story of which Amir is so proud to have written, one which is applauded by both Hassan and Rahim Khan.

Of course, Amir does give Baba some fuel for his reasoning. Amir lies and cries and refuses to stand up for himself when other boys pick on him and Hassan. He is jealous of Baba's attentions to Hassan and treats the Hazara boy as a servant and not a friend. He conspires to rid the household of Hassan, and he eventually succeeds. Baba does comes to respect his son once he grows into adulthood in California; Baba mellows in America, recognizing that their new life is different, and that Amir's interest in writing and teaching will better serve him there. Baba is far from a perfect father, but he does try to serve as an example for his son; as for Amir, he is simply unable to scale the lofty mountain of a man that Baba has become, and both of them sense failure because of it.

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