Explain Assef as a teenager in The Kite Runner.  

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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It's hard to explain why anyone becomes a bully, but Assef seemed to enjoy this role as a teenager. He took bullying a step further when he gleefully sodomized Hassan, claiming

"... there's nothing sinful about teaching a lesson to a disrespectful donkey."  (Chapter 7)

To Assef, the Hazara boy Hassan was little more than an animal and, as an adult, Assef makes an easy transition from homosexual rape to ethnic cleansing. Assef's perverse actions are based on the hero worship he felt for Adolf Hitler, and as a Taliban official, he faithfully followed in Hitler's genocidal footsteps. Assef was born into a wealthy and privileged family: His father, an airline pilot, was a Pashtun, the ethnic Afghan people who historically hated the Hazaras. Assef's mother was from Germany, and he inherited her love of Hitler as well as her blonde hair. Assef preyed on younger boys like Amir and Hassan, always accompanied by a small gang of enthusiastic followers. Amir's shame of Hassan's ethnic background (and his own cowardice) partly contributed to him never telling Baba about Assef's bullying, so Assef continued his work with impunity. He believed, like his father, that Aghanistan should be "purified" of the Hazara, and after the Russian occupation of his country, he became a Taliban soldier, where he could

"... take out the [Hazara] garbage."  (Chapter 22)

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