In The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, Amir has several clear character weaknesses as a young boy. Not surprisingly, he takes his position as the son of a wealthy man for granted. Although he spends all of his childhood days with Hassan, he does not consider Hassan a friend. This is probably because Hassan is the son of his father’s servant. Amir says,
The curious thing was, I never thought of Hassan and me as friends either. Not in the usual sense, anyhow. Never mind that we taught each other to ride a bicycle with no hands, or to build a fully functional homemade camera out of a cardboard box. Never mind that we spent entire winters flying kites, running kites.
He also plays pranks on people, generally without caring about what the impact of the pranks will be. For instance, he says,
When we were children, Hassan and I used to climb the poplar trees in the driveway of my father's house and annoy our neighbors by reflecting sunlight into their homes with a shard of mirror.
He even instigates Hassan into doing even naughtier things, and Hassan never likes to say no to Amir. Amir takes advantage of this:
Sometimes, up in those trees, I talked Hassan into firing walnuts with his slingshot at the neighbor's one-eyed German shepherd. Hassan never wanted to, but if I asked, really asked, he wouldn't deny me. Hassan never denied me anything.
Importantly, he also allows Hassan to take the blame for his misdeeds. He says,
He never told on me. Never told that the mirror, like shooting walnuts at the neighbor's dog, was always my idea.
Amir can also be extremely self-centered. When he and Hassan enter the kite-fighting tournament, he relies on Hassan to retrieve his kite. He goes running off in search of Hassan and thinks primarily about the kite, not about his childhood companion. For years after he sees Hassan being assaulted in the alley, he anguishes over the fact that all he thought about in the moments leading up to that attack was his kite.
He is guilt ridden throughout his life because he did not step in to help Hassan. However, he was a young boy, only twelve years old, and frightened. Yet, his reaction after this incident is also somewhat telling: it reflects his guilt and his desire to drive Hassan and Ali away. He takes his own watch and steals cash from Baba and plants them in Hassan’s room so that Hassan will be blamed. He does this because he is too afraid and lacks the courage to confess to his father that he witnessed Hassan’s assault.