In The Kite Runner, what are some of the changes that Amir experiences?

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Susan Hurn eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Amir is developed as a very dynamic character in the novel. As a boy he feels insecure in his father's love and jealous of the attention Baba pays to Hassan. His lack of physical strength and courage shame him, and his love of reading and writing make him feel isolated and unusual since Baba does not understand or encourage these pursuits. When Amir leaves Hassan to the bullies' brutal attack and later lies to get Hassan and his father out of their home, Amir's self-loathing is deepened. He lives with this guilt for many years.

After a daring escape from Afghanistan with his father, Amir begins to develop the bond with Baba that had escaped him as a child. When they settle in California, Amir grows up and accepts mutual responsibility with Baba for their economic survival. He works and contributes, which leads to other changes in his character. When Baba grows ill, dying before Amir's eyes, Amir's bond with his father grows stronger. He loves Baba and shows it as he cares for him. Amir becomes more his own man as he graduates from college, marries the girl he loves, and writes a novel worth publishing. He lives an authentic life, true to who he is and comfortable in that. 

The deepest change in Amir, however, occurs when he acts with courage, risking his life to return to a very dangerous Afghanistan in order to save Hassan's son. There he faces the bully that had so horribly assaulted Hassan, endures a terrible beating, and survives to take the boy home. Through this greatest challenge, Amir's greatest shame is taken away. He gains the deepest kind of self-respect and emerges a whole person, at last.

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The Kite Runner

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