What are some examples of betrayal between Amir and Baba in The Kite Runner?  

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The most prominent example of betrayal is when Amir passively witnesses Assef rape his close friend, Hassan, and does not intervene or call for help. Amir's jealousy and fears influence him to betray Hassan in his time of need, which ruins his friendship with Hassan. After refusing to help Hassan,...

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The most prominent example of betrayal is when Amir passively witnesses Assef rape his close friend, Hassan, and does not intervene or call for help. Amir's jealousy and fears influence him to betray Hassan in his time of need, which ruins his friendship with Hassan. After refusing to help Hassan, Amir becomes overwhelmed with guilt and once again betrays Hassan by placing his birthday gifts in Ali's shack to make it seem like Hassan stole from him. Amir's betrayal results in lifelong guilt and motivates him to risk his life in order to save Hassan's son, Sohrab, as a way to atone for his past sins.

Baba is also responsible for betraying various individuals in the story. Baba betrays his longtime Hazara friend, Ali, by sleeping with his wife and getting her pregnant. Baba then betrays his illegitimate son, Hassan, by refusing to acknowledge that he is his biological father. Baba also betrays Amir by hiding the truth regarding Hassan. As an adult, Amir is astonished and extremely hurt when Rahim Khan tells him that Hassan is his half-brother. Both Baba and Amir suffer from overwhelming guilt as a result of betraying people they were close to and are forced to make significant sacrifices to find redemption.

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Betrayal is a major theme in The Kite Runner. The central betrayal of the novel, of course, is Amir's inability to help his best friend Hassan while Hassan is being assaulted by Assef. Before this even happens, though, Amir has a troubled relationship with his father, Baba. Amir imagines that Baba sees him (Amir) as a reminder of Amir's mother, who died in childbirth, and that Baba associates him with and possibly blames him for her death. Amir also knows that he is a different person than Baba; Amir wants to be a writer and is a more gentle, sensitive soul, while Baba is a shrewd businessman and is very social. Baba never talks about Amir's mother, and it's possible that Amir views this withholding of information as a kind of betrayal on his father's part.

The most crucial betrayal between Baba and Amir, though, is the secret of Hassan's parentage. Hassan is supposedly the child of Ali (servant to Baba) and Sanaubar, who abandons the child and her husband. Later in the novel, it is revealed by Rahim Khan that Baba is actually Hassan's father. Amir finds this out only after Hassan has died. He never has a chance to make amends for his betrayal of Hassan when they were children; this is what inspires him to rescue Sohrab, Hassan's son. Amir takes the news that Hassan was more than his friend but was also his biological half-brother especially hard because of Baba's purported hatred of dishonesty. When Amir is a boy, Baba tells him that the worst sin a man can commit is theft and explains to Amir that dishonesty is theft because it takes the truth from another person.

Amir has trouble reconciling Baba's secret with this earlier proclamation. At the time he learns that Baba is Hassan's father, Amir has also lost his father to an illness, so he cannot discuss this with him or get any further explanation. Eventually, Amir tries to exorcise the pain he feels at this betrayal by adopting Sohrab and doing what he sees as his duty to Hassan and his family's legacy.

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