What role does the leit motif of childhood play in 'The Kite Runner?'
How does a motherless background effect the characters? What can we infer from their upbringing? Whats the signifance of childhood? etc.
'The child is father of the man' is an proverb which well portrays the influence of early experiences over into adult life. As Hassan learned very early on to play second fiddle to his legitimate brother and to accept his station in life stoically, Amir was superficial, haughty and condescending until a few hard knocks from "the school of life" set him straight. The family secret of sharing the same father stigmitized them both even though Amir did not learn about this until adulthood.
The good thing about Amir is that he eventually learns from his past mistakes and becomes a better person for it. He first acknowledges the fact that Soraya is superior to him because of her truthfulness and honesty, and later he saves Sohrab from Assef's clutches at great personal cost to himself (something he was not willing or ready to do for Hassan). The reader knows that his "redemption" (including self- acceptance) is complete when he adopts Sohrab as his son and runs the kite for him in the same way that Hassan had done for him when they were boys.