What are the different levels of loyalty in The Kite Runner?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The characters in the novel display loyalty to many different people and political regimes. Baba is primarily loyal to his own self- interests, and he "molded the world around him to his liking." Though Baba is a "towering Pashtun" and Sunni Muslim, he shows little loyalty to his ethnic culture or his religion. Instead, he praises America and the modern world, and he holds a special place in his heart for Ali and Hassan--Hazaras scorned by most Sunni Pashtuns. When he arrives in America, Baba reluctantly accepts his lower social status and turns his attentions to his son, Amir. Amir becomes the center of his life, but Baba also maintains close relations with other transplanted Afghans; politically, he loves Ronald Reagan because he, too, despises the Russians. Amir shows loyalty to no one accept Baba and, later, his wife, but after Baba dies he does manage to turn his attentions to other causes. He makes Sohrab his main focus after he learns of Hassan's death and how Sohrab is actually his nephew, though it is as much out of personal gratification and a search for atonement as it is for family loyalty. General Taheri maintains his allegiance to his old country, patiently waiting for a new regime to emerge so he can return to Afghanistan and resume his former social and political status. Assef remains loyal to his love of Hitler and his hatred of the Hazara, and when the Taliban come to power, he recognizes that he is in his true element. Hassan never fails in his love for and loyalty to Amir, forgiving Amir for his treachery and waiting for the day he will one day return to Kabul. Ali's wife Sanaubar discovers a new form of loyalty late in life, and Sohrab becomes the "center of her existence." Ali, like his father and son, is loyal to Baba and his family until he believes he (Hassan) has disgraced their name.

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The Kite Runner

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