In The Kite Runner, why did Amir and Baba's relationship become more successful after moving to America?
For Amir, the move to America meant a fresh start--a new life. Left behind in Kabul was the guilt he felt concerning his mistreatment of Hassan, and the distance between Afghanistan and California did help to ease his conscience. Amir learned to speak English while attending school in Fremont, and his command of the new language far exceeded that of Baba, giving the son a rare edge over the father. Baba had been one of the wealthiest and most powerful men in Kabul, but the move to California left him working in a gas station. Although he still commanded the respect of the fledgling Afghan community in the San Francisco Bay area, Baba was nonetheless reduced to lower-middle class status. Meanwhile, Amir was earning a college degree, and his continued success as a writer was assurance that he would surpass his own father on the American socio-economic ladder. Baba's fall from power did not stop him from providing for his son, however, and a more mature Amir recognized the hardships and sacrifices his father endured. In Afghanistan, Amir had long desired to become closer to his father; his motives there as a boy were often selfish and self-serving, but in California the two men literally grew closer. Instead of their spacious Kabul mansion in which the two could easily disappear and avoid one another, they shared a small apartment that rarely kept them apart. They developed a love of the flea market, giving Amir and Baba a common bond to share each Saturday. At the San Jose flea market, Baba was still a giant in the eyes of the other Afghan vendors who remembered him from Kabul. But in America, where all men are created equal, it was evident that the once vast differences between Baba and Amir had been greatly narrowed. Baba, although never completely happy with his role in American society, had become the proud and doting father that eluded him back home. Amir, meanwhile, had his father all to himself, and part of his own growth and maturation included the realization that his father had focused his life--and love--on the future of his son. The gaps which had once separated the two--age, power, education, and money--had disappeared, and their roles would later reverse when Amir found himself taking care of his father during Baba's last days with cancer.