In chapter 6, how does Amir feel about Hassan? Why does he mean "my life as a ghost"?

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kipling2448 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Khaled Hosseini's novel The Kite Runner, Amir is the privileged son of Baba, a prosperous businessman with important political connections.  Sadly, however, Amir lacks the courage and resourcefulness of his half-brother, Hassan, who, despite being a minority Hazara and illegitimate in the eyes of society, is possessed of precisely those masculine attributes that the boys' father prides.  The relationship between Amir and Hassan is complicated.  Hassan is a loyal friend and sibling to Amir, but Amir, while appreciative of Hassan's friendship, is jealous of the esteem with which the latter is held by Baba.  Amir determines, though, that, if we can win the kite-flying contest, his status in the home will be elevated, and Baba will view him with the same kind of respect he views Hassan. It is in this context that Amir, the story's narrator, suggests that such a victory will make him a more visible and prominent member of his family:

"I was going to win, and I was going to run that last kite. Then I’d bring it home and show it to Baba. Show him once and for all that his son was worthy. Then maybe my life as a ghost in this house would finally be over."

That Amir will stand by and watch Hassan be raped by Assef, though, will serve only to further emphasize his lack of moral and physical courage and will alter his life forever.

mlsldy3 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Chapter 6 in The Kite Runner, we get the importance of kite racing and the kite runner. Hassan is clearly the kite runner, and Amir feels that by him flying the kite, it is the only way to make his father, Baba, proud of him. We learn that the icy season has begun, and schools are closed for this season. Amir is out of school, and he and Hassan are preparing for the big kite race coming up. 

Amir feels jealous of Hassan. Hassan is athletic, even though he is very poor, Amir's father looks to Hassan with pride in his eyes. Amir is starting to feel hatred towards his best friend because of this. Amir and Hassan have been raised together, they are more like brothers, yet we begin to see Amir's true feelings coming to the surface. All Amir wants to do is make his father proud. Amir is more studious than athletic, and Baba wants his son to be strong in athletics. Amir feels like a huge disappointment to his father, so he sees the kite race as his way of having his father look at him the way he looks at Hassan. 

This chapter leads up to the most important chapter in the book. What Amir witnesses and keeps quiet about, will eat at him everyday for many years. His whole life is going to change in an instant, and all because he wants his father's approval.

mkcapen1 | Student

In the book "The Kite Runner" Amir and Hassan participate in a Kite contest the winter of 1975.  The tournament is held in their neighborhood.  The children had been talking about television and how they already had it in Iran.  They were playing cards and having fun.  Amir tells Hassan that one day he will buy him a television set.   Hassan gets very excited about the idea.

Amir looks at Hassan and feels sad.  Hassan believes in him so much.  However, he has accepted his fate that he will grow old in the mud shack he calls his home.  Amir sees that Hassan is so pure.  He feels awed by his purity.

""That was the thing with Hassan.  He was so goddamn pure, you always felt like a phoney around him."(58)

pro29 | Student

Amir likes Hassan, they are almost like brothers. However Amir is jealous that Baba favours Hassan over him. Compared to Hassan Amir might feel like a ghost as Baba takes no notice of him. 

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The Kite Runner

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