Can you discuss the relationship between Amir and Hassan in "The Kite Runner" by Khaled Hosseini?

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The first step in writing a five-paragraph essay is to come up with a thesis statement. If you have been given free rein in this area, here is a good way to come up with a thesis statement: first, decide on the themes you will discuss in your essay.

Will you address racism, betrayal, or redemption? How about class conflict, jealousy, or violence? After you have made your decision, it's time to come up with a thesis statement.

Let's say that you decide to address the themes of betrayal and redemption in your essay. Possible thesis statements could include:

1) Surviving betrayal is difficult but possible.

2) Redemption for an act of betrayal can only be achieved through genuine remorse.

3) Generational betrayal results in grave, extensive consequences.

After you pick your thesis statement, choose 3 examples from the novel that support your assertion. Here are considerations that may prove helpful in your search for examples:

1) When did Amir initially realize the enormity of his actions?

Then, I saw Baba do something I had never seen him do before: He cried. It scared me a little, seeing a grown man sob. Fathers weren't supposed to cry. "Please," Baba was saying, but Ali had already turned to the door, Hassan trailing him. I'll never forget the way Baba said that, the pain, in his plea, the fear.

2) Does guilt correlate to genuine remorse? Refer to Chapter 16, which highlights Rahim Khan's story about Hassan, Sanaubar, and Ali. How do you think Amir felt after listening to Rahim Khan's story? Did the truth inspire genuine remorse in Amir? Here's an important quote to consider:

It hit me again, the enormity of what I had done that winter and that following summer. The names rang in my head: Hassan, Sohrab, Ali, Farzana and Sanaubar.

3) Refer to Hassan's letter to Amir, and the latter's discovery about the manner of his former friend's death. You'll find this in Chapter 17. What was Amir's reaction when he discovers that he has been betrayed as well? Is Baba's betrayal (that of hiding Hassan's paternal heritage) worse than Amir's betrayal of Hassan?

4) What is the result of generational betrayal? Both Hassan and Baba hid the truth from each other. How does this result in Hassan's departure and eventual death at the hands of the Taliban? What about Sohrab? Does his suffering result from Baba or Amir's actions (or both)?

Once you have your thesis statement and supporting examples, you'll be able to write your five-paragraph essay. In your last paragraph, you can reiterate your thesis statement and perhaps address a counter-argument about betrayal and redemption. Let's take for example, a counter-argument: some acts of betrayal can never be forgiven. Thus, redemption is impossible.

If your thesis statement is "redemption for an act of betrayal can only be achieved through genuine remorse," you're saying that redemption is possible. What will you say to someone who argues otherwise? Addressing counter-arguments need not be a laborious process. One or two sentences will do. However, reiterating your thesis statement and addressing a counter-argument is a nice way to finish up your last paragraph.

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