Identity and Self-Discovery
Throughout the novel, the protagonist struggles to find his true purpose and to forge an identity through noble actions. Amir's failure to stand by his friend at a crucial moment shapes this defining conflict. His endeavor to overcome his own weaknesses appears in his fear of Assef, his hesitation to enter a war-torn country ruled by the repressive Taliban, and even his carsickness while driving with Farid into Afghanistan. Late in the novel, Amir discovers his father's lifelong deception about his half brother Hassan, a revelation that leads to a deeper understanding of who his father was and how he and his father had both betrayed the people who were loyal to them.
Family, Fathers, and Fatherhood
In this novel in which family relationships play a great part, mothers are strikingly absent. Although Soraya is a loving mother to Sohrab, Amir and Hassan grow up without their mothers. Meanwhile, the tension of father-son relationships is exemplified by Baba's treatment of his sons, Amir and Hassan. While Baba is disappointed in Amir's bookish, introverted personality, to protect his social standing, he does not publicly acknowledge his illegitimate son Hassan whose mother is a Hazara. Likewise, General Taheri is a traditional, highly critical father who chafes at his grown daughter's sometimes rebellious attitudes. The theme re-emerges in the marriage of Amir and Soraya, who try...
(The entire section is 1054 words.)
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