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Critical Analysis of “The Kite Runner”


 On my first reading of the book “The Kite Runner”, it was clear that the narrator’s story reflects around the incidences in life which greatly contributed to his success. But close scrutiny of the book reveals contrary to my initial thought by presenting the other side of the story that the narrator struggled with, a past that haunts and pains so much that is impossible to let go. Amir, the narrator of the story vividly remembers the memories that awaken in him the spirit of friendship and brotherhood.


The story opens by presenting family members who in the longest time possible have been kept away from the truth regarding their identities and relationships. In a contrasting set up, as a young boy the narrator has his father that he looks up to, admires in most of his dealings, and wishes to be like. Worse still, the narrator exhibits the jealousy that contributes to a greater extent their rivalry with his half brother, and eventual separation for the rest of their lives. The Amir’s father proves beyond reasonable doubts that he can manage almost all the things that people thought he will never manage. It draws in Amir the strength and desire to push on in life and become a successful person just like his father. Unfortunately, the words of his father seems not relevant to the narrator’s life, neither his assertions of the past that made him to be what he is. The father tells Amir at one point that, “a boy who does not stand up for himself becomes a man who cannot stand up to anything” (Hosseini 19).

 Despite the unconditional positive regard Amir has toward his father at a young age, most of the things the father advocated for were slightly different from his ambitions. For instance the father is weary that Amir concentrates to his dreams of writing and poetry at the expense of more valuable ventures such as soccer. In this context, Amir is not given the best parenting that can help promote the talents in him, which should account for his future success.

 Amir in his life gets strong support in his writing career from Hassan, the person he hates rather than from his loved father, something that is so ironic. While the narrator is presenting facts about what made him who he is as of the time of narration, the memories of his childhood do communicate ironically about his favorite dad. Earlier on, the father is noticed by Amir when he is communicating to his friend Khan that he wastes much of his time with readings and writing (Hosseini 19). But at one incident when Amir is reading a story to Hassan, he receives a sincere acknowledgement of it being the best of all the stories ever read to him, without Hassan’s awareness that it was a made up story (Hosseini 23). It is realized that it was at this moment that subsequently Amir wrote his first story. Consequently, he continued to receive more attention from Hassan, by writing and asking him to be awake so as to read his stories to him. And although Hassan is illiterate, he offers insights that trigger Amir’s reasoning, something that promoted his career positively. It therefore turns out that, the words of the father did not contribute towards his success stories but rather the encouragement and audience he received from Hassan.

It is impracticable that the man, who is looked at as a role model, has quite a lot of limitations both on his morals and family leadership. Amir wishes to be like his father despite the fact that they do not agree on many principalities such as morality and career. For instance the mother of Hassan is said to have run away after giving birth to Hassan. It brings forth a question on the leadership in the family, perhaps to have propped the running away (Hosseini 15). When Amir confronts his father on the question of drinking whisky despite their religion’s teachings, the father says that it is not a sin as the only sin he recognizes is associated with stealing (Hosseini 22). The failures of the father in uniting the family and letting the children know that they are brothers contribute greatly to the situation befalling Amir. Amir regrets for not being there for his brother and takes up the blame for his eventual death; however this can be linked to their father’s selective considerations rather than genuine love to all his children as presented by Khan while Amir is in hospital (Hosseini 178).

 The eventual life of the narrator is characterized my remorsefulness and repentance, a life that is full of guilt feelings throughout. Despite the narrator’s belief that his life has been shaped by his past events, something probably he thinks has greatly contributed to his success, it is clear on the other hand that his past greatly puts him in the shoes of remorsefulness and guilt. By virtue that his father did not teach him to regard others irrespective of race and discrimination, Amir hated his own half brother to the point of not wanting to tell him or even help him while he was raped (Hosseini 98). This forms the central point of his eventual feeling of guilt. If the father was able to train the boy as for his words of knowing what to stand for, then maybe he would have made efforts of helping his brother in the times when he most needed his support.

 The life of the narrator is coupled with revenge challenges and regrets. From the onset of the story, Amir wants to revenge to Hassan for the continued attention from their father, based on his liking for soccer. While working out to let off from our lives the people whom we think take our space, we end up hurting them maybe intentionally or unknowingly. The anger and revenge that the narrator felt led him to tricky the father, that Hassan had stolen from him his belongings by deliberately placing them in Hassan’s beddings, a case of their separation for life.

 I am sure in his heart Amir finally felt to meet Hassan for at least a chance to say sorry, but unfortunately that was the last time they set eyes before he was killed with the wife (Hosseini 124). Such acts of unfair treatment of another human being would have been avoided if the environment that the two brothers grew enabled them to accept each other as brothers.

 For one to be comfortable, one does not need to stand up for himself, but rather seek to make peace with the past. Amir can only be relieved from his feelings of guilt if he makes peace with his past. In the message addressed to him by Khan, he is directed to “make efforts and go for Hassan’s son, left at the orphanage, for that was the only way to clear his haunting past” (Hosseini 180). These directives from Khan bring back to Amir the father’s thoughts about Amir for not standing up for anything as a man. Challenged with the memories, indeed he is left with no choice rather than setting forth to find Hassan’s orphan, not minding whatever it would cost him. This preparedness reveals a person who significantly wants to free himself from a dark and dirty past that denies one the happiness of the present life. The challenges that Amir goes through especially in tracing the boy shows the determination and serves as the beginning of reconciling himself with the late brother, Hassan. The action proves otherwise the statement made about him by the father for indeed he proves to be a man who can stand up for something when compelled to do so.

 The people that we ignore in our lives at some time can be the ones to come for our aid either directly or indirectly. Throughout the book, incidences to support this thesis are very clear. For instance, despite the fact that Amir agreed to go out to look for Sohrab, he was definitely not aware of the danger that was waiting for him. He became the victim of the circumstances when the leader of the team that was defiling the boy offered to fight with him, only to realize that it was one of his oldest friends, who had actually raped Hassan (Hosseini 208). However, he did not fear. Based on the fact that he had no other alternative to the circumstances, the only possible choice to him was not to act a coward, at least for once in the presence of his nephew. Fortunately, as he was being beaten up, it is actually Sohrab who assisted him and together they free for their safety. Critically this presents another iron in the book that despite Amir’s early act of refusing to help Hassan while he was defiled; it is actually Hassan’s own son that helps him from a possible death. The author presents this whole truth that one time in our lives we may need the assistance of the people that we ignore directly or indirectly. This shows clearly that the support of others is totally inevitable.

 Our successes are not only based on our hard work and determination, but also the relationship of people around us. The associational relationship with other people brings incredible opportunities and happiness that marks the climax of our success. As social beings, human beings obviously need the people to share with their failures and success as well. Hassan needed most the attention of Amir during the rape incidence but unfortunately he did not get. Amir needed the audience of Hassan for his success in his career which he got. Although Amir betrayed Hassan eventually, his success is no doubt built on the foundations founded during Hassan’s time. Critically, for Hassan’s boy to have escaped, he needed the assistance of Amir, and more importantly Amir too needed him for escaping from death. This therefore disapproves the words of his father that one needed to stand up for himself, because at times human beings need others for them to succeed (Hosseini 19).


 The book addresses many views that depict the misleading nature of Amir’s father in his beliefs and principles, as our successes do not only depend on our efforts but also on the well-being of those around us in the society and how we relate with them.