Compare and contrast the relationships of Soraya and Amir and their fathers in The Kite Runner.  How has their upbringings contributed to these relationships?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Both of the two fathers in The Kite Runner were high-powered, important men in Afghanistan: Baba was a rich, important businessman, while General Taheri was an important military leader. They both rubbed shoulders with kings. Both were very strict with their children: Amir was never good enough or strong enough for Baba; and when Soraya ran off with her boyfriend, Gen. Taheri tracked her down and took her back home. Both of the men had been relegated to a more common status in the United States, meeting up with each other at the local flea market. Both had made up with their children: Things were never better between Amir and Baba, while Soraya had gotten over her hatred of her father and admitted that he had saved her from a life of drugs. Amir never lived up to Baba's expectations, and because " 'All the Afghans in Virginia were talking' " about Soraya running away, 

"no suitors have knocked on the general's door since."

However, as the children grew into adulthood, their childish ways disappeared and their relationships with their fathers grew stronger. Baba approved of Amir's choice for a bride, and General Taheri seemed pleased that the son of Baba would become his son-in-law. 

meri1974 | Student

also amirs father never physically abused him where as sorayas did, case in point when he forcefully cut off her hair.

duppykilla | Student

Amirs father was a pashtun, sorayas was a hezari. Also amirs father was sunni, while sorayas was shia. They were both well respected and established men, but were both shamed by their children, as Amir was weak and brittle and Soraya was rebellious. They were both strict on their children, however in contrast amirs father was more strict and stern due to his disappointment in amir, while general taheri was motivated more of his disapproval for sorayas rebellion. Both of the fathers were disappointed in their childrens actions. Amir looked up to his father greatly and always seeked approval. Soraya did not seek her fathers approval but instead looks to speak the truth, as she believes hiding the truths cause people to commit shameful acts. Although amir never did anything to directly disappoint his father, soraya on the other hand ran away with a boy and had to be tracked down by hers. Throughout the story she is the image of honesty and does not care about reputation, where as amir consistently lies to protect his family's name. As they get older and move to america, it seems as if both the fathers are on equal status as commoners in society when they see each other . Amir begins to find his fathers approval is he becomes a writer, and soraya lets go of her hatred for her father, even admitting that he saved her from a life of drugs. When they get married, baba approves greatly of soraya as amirs wife and welcomes her into the family. taheri is a little less warm at the thought of amir as a son in law, but still approves of sorayas decision. Throughout the entire text the two fathers share a similar role in that at the beginning they are both disappointed in their children as highly established men, which leads into them learning to accept their children when they have been brought down to citizen status.

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The Kite Runner

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