The Kite Runner Questions and Answers
by Khaled Hosseini

The Kite Runner book cover
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If The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini is a tragedy, who is its main tragic protagonist?

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In this novel, Amir seems to stand out as the tragic protagonist. Tragic protagonists are often good people with flaws that cause pain to both themselves and others.

Amir's almost holy dedication to gaining his father's love and being the type of son that his father would be proud of causes most of his immoral actions and resulting guilt.

For example, Amir feels that his father wants him to be more like Hassan. Because he is jealous of the boldness and athleticism that makes Baba respect Hassan, Amir uses every instance he can to demean Hassan's lack of schooling and lower social status.

Amir's decision to not intervene and stop Hassan's rape is also due to his desire to obtain the love and respect of his father. He knows winning the kite tournament and bringing home the last kite will make Baba proud of him, and he is willing to let Hassan be violated to achieve this goal.

All of Amir's cruelty and immorality stems from the fact that he feels unworthy and incapable of attaining his father's respect. This is what makes him tragic.

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