Discuss the relationship betweem Amir and Hassan, also between Amir and Baba.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Amir has a complex relationship with Hassan, who is his best friend as a child. Amir and Hassan spend countless hours playing with each other but Amir refuses to acknowledge that Hassan is his best friend because he is a Pashtun and Hassan is a Hazara. The social pressures form a barrier in their relationship and Amir begins to envy Hassan because Baba admires him more. As a child, Amir does not know that Hassan is his half-brother and begins to tease him as a defense mechanism to make up for his low self-esteem. Hassan genuinely loves Amir but Amir does not reciprocate his feelings. After Amir witnesses Hassan get raped and does not intervene, their relationship is permanently ruined and Amir attempts to get Hassan kicked out of his home.

Amir also has a complex relationship with his father, Baba. As a child, Amir looks up to his father and desperately wishes to earn his respect and affection. Unfortunately, Baba is a callous man, who continually dismisses his son and does not pay him much attention. Baba wishes that Amir was more athletic and masculine, which is why he prefers to spend more time with Hassan. As Amir gets older, Baba finds redemption by immigrating with his son to America and giving Amir a second chance at life. In America, Amir and Baba become closer and the two characters repair their once damaged relationship.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Amir and Baba's relationship in Khaled Hosseini's novel, The Kite Runner, becomes stronger as time goes on. Baba finds the young Amir a weak disappointment and considers his writing talents unmanly. Baba fails to find a middle ground to share with his son, and their time together usually includes other members of the extended family. Baba becomes aware of Amir's jealousy of Hassan, but the father cannot explain his own reason for showing such an interest in his servant's son. Following their move to America, Baba and Amir grow much closer, living together and combing California's flea markets for treasures to resell. Even after his marriage, Amir remains dedicated to Baba, only realizing the father's terrible secret after Baba's death.

Amir can never forget that Hassan is not his equal, and though no one is closer to him during his youth, he still treats Ali's son as a servant. The two boys grow up as brothers, playing together and living on the same property, but Amir never treats Hassan as an equal--not realizing the truth of their situation. Amir becomes increasingly jealous of Baba's strong feelings for Hassan, and eventually commits two terrible acts of betrayal against his companion. He regrets both of them for the rest of his life, but when he learns the truth about Hassan after his death, it only compounds his guilt.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial