Compare and contrast the characters Baba and Amir in The Kite Runner.

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In The Kite Runner, Baba and Amir are both privileged Pashtuns who are extremely close to Ali and Hassan. Baba and Amir both betray their best friends and make significant sacrifices to atone for their sins. Baba and Amir are also generous, successful, and conflicted. Despite their similarities, Baba is more masculine, outspoken, and courageous than Amir, who is unathletic and timid. Baba also values sports and competition, while Amir enjoys literature.

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In The Kite Runner, Baba and Amir have dramatically different interests and personalities. Baba is portrayed as an aggressive, bold man who is intimidating and hypermasculine. Baba is also outspoken, successful, and insensitive. Baba laments that Amir is not athletic or tough like Hassan and views his son as effeminate.

Unlike his father, Amir prefers reading literature over playing sports and shies away from physical altercations. Amir relies on Hassan for protection and would never defend himself. In contrast, Baba is not afraid of altercations and even comes to a woman's defense by challenging an intoxicated Russian soldier. Baba is also a popular extrovert, while Amir is a timid introvert.

Despite their differences, Baba and Amir share several similarities. Baba and Amir are both privileged Pashtuns who are not religious fanatics and enjoy Western culture. Baba drives a Mustang, and Amir has an affinity for watching American movies with Hassan. Baba and Amir are also extremely close to Ali and Hassan, who work for them and live on their estate. Baba knew Ali as a child, and Amir and Hassan are best friends growing up. After Amir discovers that Hassan was his half-brother, he recognizes that he is more similar to Baba than he previously thought.

Both Baba and Amir betrayed their best friends and are guilty of lying. Baba had an affair with Sanaubar behind Ali's back and refused to claim Hassan as his biological son to avoid scrutiny. Likewise, Amir betrays Hassan by not coming to his defense while Assef is raping him and by lying about Hassan stealing his gifts. Despite their flaws, Baba and Amir are generous and atone for their sins by making extreme sacrifices. Baba leaves his successful business behind by immigrating to America to give Amir a second chance at life, while Amir jeopardizes everything to save and adopt Sohrab.

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In The Kite Runner, are Baba and Amir more similar or more different? How? Why?

In The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, there are significant differences between Baba and Amir. Their personalities are extremely different and Amir worries that he is a disappointment to his father. When they flee Afghanistan, Amir writes, “My eyes returned to our suitcases. They made me sad for Baba. After everything he'd built, planned, fought for, fretted over, dreamed of, this was the summation of his life: one disappointing son and two suitcases.”

Baba is brave. On the trip out of Afghanistan, they encounter Russian soldiers, and Baba displays tremendous courage that borders on recklessness. Amir thinks to himself, “Do you have to always be the hero?” Conversely, Amir believes that he is a coward who betrayed Hassan when he was attacked. Amir writes that he had:

One final opportunity to decide who I was going to be. I could step into that alley, stand up for Hassan—the way he'd stood up for me all those times in the past—and accept whatever would happen to me. Or I could run.

In the end, I ran.

He does not recognize that he was extremely young and this incident plagues him throughout his life. He compares himself unfavorably to Baba, who tells the Russian soldier:

"Tell him I'll take a thousand of his bullets before I let this indecency take place," Baba said. My mind flashed to that winter day six years ago. Me, peering around the corner in the alley. Kamal and Wali holding Hassan down ...

Some hero I had been, fretting about the kite. Sometimes, I too wondered if I was really Baba's son.

Yet, Amir does not fully recognize how proud Baba is of him. For instance, Baba tells a friend, "Amir is going to be a great writer ... He has finished his first year of college and earned A's in all of his courses.”

Moreover, there are also many similarities between them, including their liberal acceptance of people from all walks of life. Amir comes to recognize that his father was only human and, as such, was flawed like anyone else. After Baba’s death, Amir writes:

I was learning that Baba had been a thief. And a thief of the worst kind, because the things he'd stolen had been sacred: from me the right to know I had a brother, from Hassan his identity, and from Ali his honor.

Amir also writes that he is proud of Baba:

As it turned out, Baba and I were more alike than I'd ever known. We had both betrayed the people who would have given their lives for us ... Baba had nearly gotten himself shot by a singing, stoned Roussi officer—Baba had made me so mad that night, so scared, and, ultimately, so proud.

Also, at the end of the novel in a defiant act of bravery and loyalty to his dead half-brother and to his father that would have made Baba proud, Amir tells his wife's father:

... my father slept with his servant's wife. She bore him a son named Hassan. Hassan is dead now. That boy sleeping on the couch is Hassan's son. He's my nephew. ... And one more thing, General Sahib...You will never again refer to him as "Hazara boy" in my presence. He has a name and it's Sohrab.

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In The Kite Runner, are Baba and Amir more similar or more different? How? Why?

One could argue that Baba and Amir are more similar than they are different. Baba and Amir are both privileged Pashtuns, who enjoy many opportunities in Afghanistan. They both value Western culture and are not particularly religious. Baba admires American leaders and drives a Mustang, while Amir enjoys watching old Westerns with Hassan. Baba and Amir also are very close with their Hazara servants, Ali and Hassan. Baba and Ali grew up together and share a close bond in the same way Amir and Hassan are best friends.

Baba and Amir both betray their Hazara friends and live with the guilt of their terrible decisions. Baba had an affair with Ali's wife, Sanaubar, and Hassan is his illegitimate son. Baba hides this information, and Amir is appalled to discover the truth as an adult. Similarly, Amir betrays Hassan by refusing to intervene while Assef is raping him in a back alley. Amir does not tell anyone about this traumatic event, which ruins his relationship with Hassan.

Both Baba and Ali are extremely generous, hardworking, and successful. In Afghanistan, Baba was a successful businessman and donated money to build a massive orphanage. Similarly, Amir grows up to be a successful writer and eventually adopts Hassan's son, Sohrab. Both Baba and Amir also understand sacrifice. Baba sacrificed his secure, wealthy life in Afghanistan to give Amir a second chance at life in America, while Amir risks his life to save Sohrab from Taliban-occupied Afghanistan. Baba and Amir's differences are more surface-level and concern their own particular interests. For example, Baba is more traditionally masculine and enjoys sports, while Amir is more intellectual and has an affinity for literature.

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In The Kite Runner, are Baba and Amir more similar or more different? How? Why?

Father and son share more similarities than differences in their personalities. Starting from their early childhood, both Baba and Amir are exposed to a high standard of living. They have servants who double as their playmates. Ali serves Baba while Hassan serves Amir.

They are both educated and possess a deep understanding of academic subjects. Baba and Amir are also portrayed as secretive individuals, especially if the issue exposes them to some level of shame. In such situations, the two individuals are only focused on safeguarding their interests despite the fact that the people close to them may get hurt due to their actions. An example of this is when Baba withholds the truth about Hassan being his son, which eventually hurts Amir when he finds out. On the other hand, Amir withholds information about the attack on Hassan by Assef. Hassan is later forced to serve his attackers when they attend a party hosted by Baba in his home.

Father and son are not deeply religious and are inclined towards blending their religion with rational thinking. Baba was not convinced that God was concerned about people eating pork or drinking scotch.

“If there’s a God out there, then I would hope he has more important things to attend to than my drinking scotch or eating pork. Now, hop down. All this talk about sin has made me thirsty again.” [Baba]

Then I remember I haven’t prayed for over fifteen years. I have long forgotten the words. [Amir]

Amir and Baba are also generous and caring. Baba constructs an orphanage, while Amir makes the trip to Afghanistan to rescue his nephew, Sohrab.

In light of these similarities, it is important to recognize their differences. One of the major differences between Baba and Amir is that Baba is inclined towards sports and other "manly" activities while Amir is inclined towards literary works.

Of course, marrying a poet was one thing, but fathering a son who preferred burying his face in poetry books to hunting… well, that wasn’t how Baba had envisioned it, I suppose. Real men didn’t read poetry—and God forbid they should ever write it! Real men—real boys—played soccer just as Baba had when he had been young.

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In The Kite Runner, are Baba and Amir more similar or more different? How? Why?

Amir and his father Baba are alike in that they show a certain egocentricity and insensitivity to others. They both blunder around in life, acting out of impulse, which in turns hurts those around them.

They are even more alike than what one sees at first glance:

  • They both are bound to regret for choices they have made in the past.
  • They first set "conditions" before being really able to accept each other as they are.
  • Under duress and financial precarity, they learn to be better people than they were before.
  • Each tries in his own way to keep his secret but at the same time attempts to make up for past wrongs.

So I guess in this story, the old adage holds: 'Like father, like son.'

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What are the similarities and differences between Amir and Baba in The Kite Runner?

In The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, Hassan and Amir are best friends. While there are similarities between the two, there are also significant differences. Their personalities, faiths, social status, and even experiences are different. Amir is wealthy; Hassan is the son of Amir’s father’s servant.

Amir lives in “Baba's mansion,” and Hassan in “the mud shack where he had been born.” Their religions are different. Hassan is a Shi'a Muslim and an ethnic Hazara. Amir is a Sunni Muslim. Amir attains an education and becomes a writer. Hassan, as the son of a servant, is destined to be a servant himself.

Amir is able to leave Afghanistan with his father. Hassan must stay. Hassan is sweet, good-natured, and often brave: “Even in birth, Hassan was true to his nature: He was incapable of hurting anyone.” Moreover, “Hassan...never told on me.” He always took the punishment himself. By comparison, Amir runs when Hassan is attacked in an alley.

Yet, despite these differences, there are also many similarities between the boys. The reader’s introduction to them is the following:

Hassan and I used to climb the poplar trees in the driveway of my father's house and annoy our neighbors by reflecting sunlight into their homes...We would sit across from each other on a pair of high branches, our naked feet dangling, our trouser pockets filled with dried mulberries and walnuts. We...pelted each other with them, giggling, laughing.

They are like mirror images of one another. Moreover, both boys are motherless. Also, “Baba hired the same nursing woman who had fed me to nurse Hassan." The narrator writes, “Hassan and I fed from the same breasts. We took our first steps on the same lawn in the same yard. And, under the same roof, we spoke our first words.“

When soldiers taunt Hassan about his mother, “I heard Hassan next to me, croaking. Tears were sliding down his cheeks. I reached across my seat, slung my arm around him, pulled him close. He rested his head on my shoulder.” They beg for songs. “What did she sing, Hassan and I always asked, though we already knew…We just wanted to hear Ali sing.”

The images of the two up in the tree and Amir comforting Hassan drive home their similarities. However, the biggest similarity between the boys is that they are actually brothers. Amir says, toward the end of the book, “my father slept with his servant's wife. She bore him a son named Hassan. Hassan is dead now. That boy sleeping on the couch is Hassan's son. He's my nephew."

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What are the similarities and differences between Amir and Baba in The Kite Runner?

Baba is a respected, masculine businessman in Kabul, who builds his own beautiful home and orphanage in Afghanistan. Unlike his timid son, Baba is boisterous and confident. He is extremely benevolent and risks his life in order to prevent a Russian soldier from raping an innocent Afghan woman. Baba is revered throughout Kabul but gives up his luxurious lifestyle to flee Afghanistan and immigrate to America. In contrast, Amir is a rather quiet, sensitive boy, who does not excel at athletic competitions. Baba views his son as weak and does not support his literary interests. Amir spends the majority of his childhood attempting to please his father. Despite Amir's timid personality, he harbors a dark secret and is forced to live with guilt for the majority of his life.

While Baba has to live with the guilt of socially rejecting his secret son, Hassan, Amir feels extremely guilty for not intervening while Hassan was being raped. Both characters also search for redemption and end up atoning for their past sins. Baba sacrifices everything in order to give his son an opportunity in life by immigrating to America. Amir atones for his sins by risking his life to travel back to Afghanistan in order to save and adopt Hassan's son, Sohrab. 

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What are the similarities and differences between Amir and Baba in The Kite Runner?

A major similarity between Baba and Amir is that they keep damning secrets from their loved ones. They understand the principle of honesty, but they fail to practice it when the situation appears dire. Amir learned that Hassan was his half-brother through Rahim Khan. Baba kept the information a secret until his death. Amir, on his part, did not tell Baba what happened to Hassan after the kite flying tournament. In addition, Amir never told Baba that he framed Hassan for theft.

A major difference between father and son is that Baba was a courageous man, while Amir was cowardly. For instance, Baba stopped the Russian soldier from making advances on the married woman in the truck. Amir, on the other hand, failed to intervene when Assef raped Hassan.

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What are the similarities and differences between Amir and Baba in The Kite Runner?

Although Amir spends most of his childhood trying to please his father, he can never live up to Baba's great expectations and larger-than-life personality. Baba is strong and fearless, having lived to tell the tale of fighting a bear. Amir is weak and cowardly; it is Hassan who stands up for Amir when the two boys are accosted by Assef and his young gang. Amir resorts to lies when he believes it will be to his advantage, while Baba strongly believes in a personal code of honesty:

"When you tell a lie, you steal someone's right to the truth. When you cheat, you steal the right to fairness."  (Chapter 3)

Baba loves the outdoors and is a great hunter; Amir prefers the solitude of writing in his bedroom. Baba loves the company of men and throwing parties; Amir prefers being by himself. Baba shows only love and compassion for Ali and Hassan, while Amir is ashamed of being seen in public with the Hazara, Hassan.

The father and son share some similarities. Amir becomes a champion kite flyer, just as Baba had been as a child. They both share a love of American life, though Baba's expectations ultimately fall short of Amir's. They both respect the old Afghan culture and practice it faithfully in California. They both share a new love of the flea market culture on weekends. And, both Baba and Amir marry teachers.

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In Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner, how were Amir and Hassan similar to and different from each other?

In Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner, Amir and Hassan are best friends when they are boys, but they are very different in character. Let's look at this in more detail.

In some ways, Amir and Hassan are typical boys. They enjoy their games and participate in childhood rivalries. Amir, however, is not nearly as brave as Hassan. When other boys threaten Amir, Hassan always comes to his defense. Amir, however, does not do the same for Hassan. In fact, when Amir discovers Assef assaulting Hassan, he does nothing to try to save his friend. He just runs away.

Amir feels very guilty after this, so much that he can hardly handle spending time with Hassan. Amir also tends to be somewhat snobbish toward his friend, for Hassan is of a lower social class and is actually a servant. Amir decides that he will get rid of Hassan and his father so that he does not have to be plagued by guilt any longer. He frames Hassan for stealing, and Hassan and his father leave.

As Amir grows up, though, his character changes, and he becomes more like the loyal, courageous Hassan. In fact, when Hassan and his wife are killed by the Taliban, Amir returns to Afghanistan at great personal risk to rescue his old friend's son. He has found his courage and become as selfless as Hassan always was.

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