What was the relationship between Rahim and Amir in The Kite Runner, and did Amir prefer Rahim over his Baba?

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bullgatortail's profile pic

bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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Rahim Khan is Amir's confidante, the only adult Amir can turn to when he needs to get something off his chest. Rahim is always supportive of Amir, providing him with the positive reinforcement that he rarely gets from Baba. Rahim convinces Amir to continue writing after Baba "feigned interest" in his son's first short story; it is Rahim who "rescued me" from Baba's long silence and refusal to read even one word of Amir's story. Rahim "buoyed" Amir's spirits by asking to read it and then provided him with a note that assured Amir that

     My door is and always will be open to you.  (Chapter Four)

Rahim defends Amir when Baba is critical of his son's lack of a "mean streak," and it is from Rahim that Amir learns much of his family's history. Amir still "worshiped Baba," but there were times when

I wished I could open my veins and drain his cursed blood from my body.  (Chapter Four)

Rahim is

... Baba's quiet alter ego, my writing mentor, my pal...,  (Chapter Eight)

and it is Rahim who convinces Amir to return to Afghanistan, where the boy he never stopped loving could finally find that "There is a way to be good again."

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gmuss25's profile pic

gmuss25 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Distinguished Educator

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As was mentioned in the previous post, Rahim Khan is Amir's close friend and confidant. Unlike Baba, Rahim Khan understands Amir and offers him encouragement after reading his first story. Rahim Khan supports Amir's dream of becoming an author and even buys him a leather notebook for his birthday so that he can write his stories inside. Although Amir loves his father, he wishes that Baba would treat him like Rahim Khan treats him. Rahim Khan makes Amir feel special and worthy, which is why he prefers Rahim over his father at times. Rahim Khan also understands Amir's secret and provides him a chance "to be good again" by asking him to save Sohrab from a dangerous life in Kabul. Rahim Khan even tells Amir the truth about his upbringing and family. Amir is shocked to learn from Rahim Khan that Hassan is actually his brother. Rahim Khan then provides Amir an opportunity to redeem himself by sharing Sohrab's story with him. Throughout the novel, Rahim Khan offers his support, advice, and friendship to Amir. 

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