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

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David Morrison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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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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Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Assef did not exercise...

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Susan Hurn eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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