The two main characters in Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner are Amir, the protagonist and narrator, and his father, Baba. Another primary character is Hassan, a servant and friend of Amir. The setting of the first part of the novel is Kabul, Afghanistan, where Baba is a wealthy businessman. Baba and Amir later move to California following the Russian invasion of their country, which involves one of the many conflicts found in the story.
One of the major conflicts arises between Amir and Hassan. Amir is never able to fully accept Hassan--who is of the lowly ethnic group, the Hazara--as a friend or equal. Amir later commits several transgressions against Hassan for which he is forever haunted; Amir's search for atonement for his acts is a major theme of the novel. Another conflict comes in the relationship between Amir and Baba. Baba is ashamed of his young son, who prefers literary pursuits over the physical, athletic traits that Baba so desires. As Amir grows into an adult, the two manage to resolve most of their differences. A third major conflict occurs when Amir returns to Afghanistan to search for Hassan's son, who Amir discovers is also his half-nephew. Amir's dangerous mission is successful, yet more conlficts arise during his stay in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and when he returns to California with Sohrab, his nephew.