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Cowardice, jealousy, disloyalty and dishonesty are among Amir's weaknesses as a boy growing up in Kabul. Amir is fully aware of his father's status among the most powerful and wealthy men in the city; but unlike Baba, who is generous and philanthropic in his dealings with others, Amir thinks always of himself. He refuses to consider Hassan as either an equal or as a best friend, and he seems to revel in the way Hassan worships him. Amir becomes jealous when Baba divides his attentions between the two boys. Amir's cowardice appears on the streets of Kabul when Hassan is forced to stand up for him against Assef and his thugs. On the day of the kite-flying competition, Amir refuses to come to Hassan's aid when he is sodomized by Assef. When Amir's guilt makes it difficult for him to face Hassan at Baba's house, Amir plants his birthday gifts under Hassan's mattress and allows the Hazara boy to take the blame for stealing them. Even when he realizes that Baba is willing to forgive Hassan, Amir does not stand up to his father and admit his deceit. He allows Ali and Hassan to leave Baba's home, thinking he will have his father's attentions all to himself.
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