Ali is the lifelong servant of Baba's family. Stricken with polio as a child, Ali endures the ridicule of the local boys for his pronounced limp and gnarled appearance. Steadfastly loyal to Baba and Amir, Ali lives with his only child Hassan in a modest servant's house on Baba's property. Ali was abandoned by his wife Sanaubar, who ran away soon after giving birth to Hassan. He belongs to the marginalized Hazara ethnic group, which historically resided in the mountainous Hazajarat region of Afghanistan. Despite this, Ali is a proud man who rejects dishonor and leaves Baba's household rather than live with the shame of his son being thought a thief.
Amir is the protagonist of The Kite Runner. Born into a privileged Pashtun family, Amir grows up in Kabul, Afghanistan raised by his father. His mother died in childbirth. As a boy, Amir is bookish, thoughtful, and unathletic. An introverted thinker, he prefers to write stories in his notebook rather than play soccer, much to his father's chagrin. Amir indulges in a recurrent fantasy of a warmer understanding with his father and is strongly motivated by the wish to make this fantasy a reality—ultimately with tragic results. Constantly trying to earn his father's approval, Amir struggles for every scrap of his father's attention. He becomes jealous when his father pays more attention to Hassan, the son of the family...
(The entire section is 1794 words.)
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