The Kite Runner Questions and Answers
by Khaled Hosseini

The Kite Runner book cover
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How is Amir's character changed during the novel The Kite Runner?

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Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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In Kite Runner, Amir is a nonathletic intellectual boy who delights in stories and kite flying. His servant and friend Hassan has an uncanny gift for knowing where downed kites have fallen and therefore can fetch a downed kite quickly right to it. Though the course of the story, Amir changes from pampered, unloving, envious coward to a man of conscience and humility with a desire to do right.

In the beginning of The Kite Runner, Amir is a boy and lives with his father Baba because his mother has died. He is jealous and envious of the attention his father shoes to Hassan who has more of the qualities Baba wishes to see in his own son. There is therefore an uneasy friendship between Amir and Hassan who forgives Amir every time he tricks him or takes advantage of him.

When war rages, Baba and Amir escape to the United States but they leave Hassan--who is just a servant no matter how admired he is--to face the war alone. After reaching adult and becoming a success as a writer, Amir regrets his bad treatment and betrayal of Hassan. On one occasion, Amir witnessed a brutal attack on Hassan and said nothing about the crime committed, thereby betraying and deserting Hassan. On another occasion, Amir falsely accused Hassan by telling Baba that Hasan had stolen from them. These large things eat at Amir's conscience along with the smaller jealousies, envies and unkind mistreatments and Amir returns to his homeland to find Hassan and make things right--if he can.

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mkcapen1 | Student

In the beginning of the novel "The Kite Runner" Amir is remembering back on how he had become such a troubled adult.  He reflects on his childhood and how he had been scared to stand up for others.  He hadbeen the child of a wealthy man and taken what he had for granted.  He had a Hazara boy named Hassan to serve as his best friend, but he still delineated between the classes.  He could not accept a Hazara as his true friend.  Amir was also jealous of the way his own father acted towards Hassan.

Amir has had a troubled relationship with his father which has left him damaged.  He felt like he had never lived up to be the man that Baba had wanted him to be.  Mostly though he is disappointed in himself and is wracked with guilt for not having stepped in to help Hassan when Assef was raping him, and for setting Hassan up to look like a thief.

The Amir at the end of the book has resolved the issues of the past and has come to terms with his feelings towards Hassan.  He has proved himself by rescuing Hassan's son and gone the extra distance to enable the boy to return with him to America.  He is no longer embarassed to have a connection with someone of the Hazara race.  He is able to stand up for himself and others.  He has become the man that his father wanted him to be.  He has also come to terms with his father's behavior towards him when he was a child.  He has been set free mentally from the demons of the past that had haunted him.