What aspects of human nature are portrayed in The Kite Runner?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Through its rich characterization and plot development, The Kite Runner reveals much about human nature, especially through the life of Amir, the novel's narrator. In Amir we find both cowardice and courage and the desire to be more than we deem ourselves to be. Amir is a person of conscience,...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

Through its rich characterization and plot development, The Kite Runner reveals much about human nature, especially through the life of Amir, the novel's narrator. In Amir we find both cowardice and courage and the desire to be more than we deem ourselves to be. Amir is a person of conscience, tormented by shame and guilt for his actions as a boy. By the novel's conclusion, he shows that human beings are capable of spiritual and moral growth and redemption. As an adult, he chooses to live a life of courage and honor. He chooses to embrace his heritage and reclaim his faith.

Amir also shows the deeply felt human need for love and approval, most significantly in his troubled relationship with his father. Feeling unloved and unacceptable as a boy shaped Amir's life as he grew up and affected him profoundly. These were needs he could not ignore or minimize. Even as an adult, when he chose to become a writer, Amir longed for Baba's approval.

The novel explores a darker side of human nature, as well, primarily the abuse of power. Amir abuses his power over Hassan, Assef abuses his power over Amir and Hassan, and on a larger scale, the Taliban's abuse of power in Afghanistan is unforgettable.

Finally, Hassan's character shows some of the most affirming aspects of human nature, the ability to love without limits, to remain loyal beyond reason, and to forgive without regret.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team