In The Kite Runner, why did Assef have the courage to violate Hassan?

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Courage is completely the wrong word to use about Assef's violation of Hassan. It was nothing more than a wicked crime, an act of brutality against a poor, defenseless young boy.

Audacity would be a much better word to use in these circumstances as it has largely negative connotations. Assef...

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Courage is completely the wrong word to use about Assef's violation of Hassan. It was nothing more than a wicked crime, an act of brutality against a poor, defenseless young boy.

Audacity would be a much better word to use in these circumstances as it has largely negative connotations. Assef gets the audacity to rape Hassan from his socially privileged upbringing. As Assef is much higher up the social ladder than Hassan, he thinks this gives him the right to treat those beneath him however he pleases. To him, Hassan is an inferior species, somewhat less of a human. So having dehumanized Hassan in thought, Assef feels no compunction in doing so in deed. His rape of Hassan has nothing to do with sex and everything to do with power—in this case the power of social class.

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Assef did not exercise courage by raping Hassan. He simply committed a violent, heinous act, which completely ruined both Hassan's and Amir's childhood. Assef is depicted as a brutal maniac, who is also a wealthy, entitled child. Assef has never been reprimanded for his actions, and he essentially gets away with everything as an adolescent because his parents fear him. Assef also has an affinity for violence and has no conscience. He is the ultimate antagonist in the story and willingly violates others because he is an intimidating individual. Despite the comments from both of his friends trying to prevent him from raping Hassan, Assef is unconcerned with their opinions and does not fear any repercussions. Assef knows that he will not get into trouble for harming a Hazara boy and is aware that his friends will not stop him from raping Hassan, which is why he commits such a heinous, violent act.

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Assef's rape of Hassan was not an act of courage, not in any way. It was an act of sadistic brutality and violence, an assertion of his power. Assef is an arrogant bully, born of privilege, who preys upon those whom he deems inferior. There is no courage in Assef. He has no conscience, and he has no humanity. He does not hesitate to attack Hassan because Hassan is cornered and defenseless, and since he is Hazara, Assef sees him as subhuman. He knows no one will hold him accountable for his actions against any Hazara. Assef enjoys hurting and humiliating Hassan, overpowering and dominating him, because Hassan had stood up to him earlier to defend Amir. Assef is in fact a coward; he attacks Hassan when he has two friends with him to gang up on Hassan.

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