When Amir and Baba move to the States in The Kite Runner, their relationship changes.  Discuss their changes. Do you see these changes as tragic or positive?

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Amir and Baba's relationship seems to grow distant after they move to the United States. It seems like Baba is a broken man, having lost his wealth and lifestyle from when they lived in the Middle East. This makes him more despondent, irritable, and distant. Amir, on the other hand, matures greatly in his time in America, and he maintains respect for his father but acknowledges his decline.

I think the depression and culture shock Baba experiences draws him farther away from Amir—as Amir acquiesces to normal American life and Baba can't quite get a hold of the lifestyle. It seems tragic, but I believe it also helped Amir gain strength and independence at the same time, which makes him a better man in the end.

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Most of the changes are positive (at least from Amir's perspective). In America, Amir is able to escape his guilt regarding Hassan (for a while), and he does not have to compete for Baba's attention.  Eventually, he earns Baba's approval by graduating from college and choosing Soraya to marry.  On his deathbed, Baba shows interest in Amir's writing, something that Amir had longed for his whole life.

For Baba, the move to America is less positive.  He goes from being one of the wealthiest and most powerful men in Afghanistan to being a struggling immigrant working at a gas station in America.  He longs for his old life and friends, but the depth of his love for Amir is evident in his choice to move to America in the first place.

Interestingly, Hosseini chooses to portray America as a place where Amir prospers and grows closer to his father; yet his portrayal of Afghanistan--at least in regards to Baba's and Amir's relationship--is of a place which stirs up turmoil for the two characters. Even as an adult when Amir returns to Afghanistan, his old feelings about Baba return when Rahim Khan reveals Baba's lies and betrayal of Ali.

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