What are a few character traits of Amir from The Kite Runner?

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Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Self-conscious-Amir struggles to live up to his father's expectations as a child. He wishes to please his father by joining the soccer team and acting masculine, but cannot seem to win his father's affection. Amir is stressed out and becomes jealous of Hassan because he cannot please his father.

Cowardly-As a child, Amir is afraid of Assef and watches behind a stone wall as Assef rapes Hassan.

Deceitful-Amir not only lies to Hassan about the meaning of certain words and stories, but also plants his gifts under Hassan's mattress in hopes that Baba will make him leave.

Conflicted-Amir experiences conflict in his relationship with his friend Hassan because Hassan is a Hazara. Amir also feels bad about not stopping Assef from raping Hassan. Amir eventually travels back to Kabul as an adult to save Hassan's son.

Determined-As an adult, Amir is determined to save Sohrab from Afghanistan. He goes to extreme lengths to rescue Sohrab from Assef and bring him to the United States.

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Amir comes from a privileged background in Kabul. Amir's father, Baba, is quite wealthy, and his family has associated with the past rulers of Afghanistan. Consequently, Amir is a bit spoiled, and he never forgets that his closest companion, Hassan, is but a servant and a Hazari--the most ill-treated and disrespected tribal group in the country. When Baba pays too much attention to Hassan, Amir becomes jealous and vindictive. Amir refuses to spend much time in public with Hassan, because his presence with a Hazari servant embarrasses him. Amir is often condescending when telling him stories and explaining things he has learned in school. Amir shows incredible disloyalty and cowardice when he refuses to help Hassan when he is sodomized by Assef. Amir's deceit intensifies when he plants his birthday gifts under Hassan's mattress because of his jealousy over Baba's attentiveness to Hassan. Although intelligent, Amir feels incapable of living up to his father's expectations, and he has an unquenchable desire to attain his father's love and respect.

As an adult, Amir eventually matures into an honorable man and loving husband. Still desperate to receive atonement for his indiscretions, he willingly risks his life during a courageous return to Afghanistan to hunt for his nephew, Sohrab.