What are three major conflicts in this novel, and how are they resolved?  Be specific—not just a man against man or man against society.

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The man vs. man conflict is presented by Amir's struggle against Assef throughout the novel. Initially, Amir is too frightened to save Hassan while he is being raped by Assef, which fills Amir with extreme guilt for the majority of his life. Later on in the novel, Amir returns to Kabul to save Sohrab and has to fight Assef in order to leave Afghanistan with Hassan's son. Despite being badly beaten, Amir survives the brutal fight and escapes the Taliban-occupied city with Sohrab.

The man vs. self conflict is depicted through Amir's inner struggle to find redemption. After witnessing Assef rape Hassan, Amir distances himself from Hassan and eventually forces him to leave their home. Amir's feelings of guilt and jealousy ruin his relationship with his best friend, but Amir finds reprieve in his new life in America. Decades later, Amir receives a call from Rahim Khan telling him, "There is a way to be good again" (Hosseini, 1). Amir then travels to Pakistan, learns the truth about Hassan, and redeems himself by traveling to Taliban-occupied Afghanistan to rescue Sohrab, Hassan's son. Amir then decides to adopt Hassan and provides him with a comfortable, secure life in America.

The man vs. society conflict is illustrated through Amir's struggle to escape Taliban-occupied Afghanistan. The Taliban, a Sunni Islamic fundamentalist terrorist organization, controls the city of Kabul when Amir returns to Afghanistan. Amir is forced to hide his identity by wearing a fake beard as he cautiously traverses the dangerous city to avoid being arrested by Taliban soldiers. Amir is even forced to engage in a brutal fight with Assef, who is a leading Taliban official. Fortunately, Amir survives the fight and is able to escape from Afghanistan safely.

goreadabook eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One of the major conflicts in the story is Amir's perception of himself.  He is unable to forgive and accept himself after betraying Hassan as a child, and he struggles with this deep into adulthood.  Eventually Amir is able to redeem and forgive himself after traveling to Afghanistan as an adult and rescuing Hassan's son, Sohrab.  After bringing him back to America, Amir begins to heal from a lifetime of guilt and shame.

A second conflict in the story is Amir's relationship with Ali.  Because he is always trying to win his father's approval, as a child, Amir goes as far as betraying his best friend in order to gain favor with his father and protect that relationship.  After they move to the United States when Amir is eighteen, the conflict continues as Amir attempts to pull away from his father and become his own person.  At Amir's college graduation, Ali expresses how proud he is of his son, causing them to begin mending their fragile relationship.

A third conflict is the struggle that Afghanistan faces against both the Russians and the Taliban.  Early on in the novel, the Russians have invaded Afghanistan, causing several people to flee to Pakistan for safety.  Later in the novel, the Taliban have taken control of Afghanistan, tearing apart the country and threatening the  livelihood of the people.  While this particular conflict has not yet been resolved, the novel serves as an in depth illustration of the historical struggle that still persists today.

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The Kite Runner

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