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Character Analysis of Amir in The Kite Runner

Updated on August 9, 2016

At the beginning of this book, we encounter a self-centered young boy living in an upper-class house. Amir lives with his wealthy father, his best friend Hassan, and his Hazera servant Ali who is also Hassan's father. Amir has grown up usually getting whatever he wants. However, what he doesn't have is a strong emotional bond with his father Baba. Amir believes that Baba wishes that Amir was more like him, also he feels he is responsible for the death of his mother who died giving birth to him, in turn this makes the void in their relationship more complex. Subsequently Amir became jealous of people that receive any sort of affection from his father, particularly Hassan. This becomes evidence when Amir states, "If I changed my mind and asked for a bigger and fancier kite, Baba would buy it for me - but then he'd buy it for Hassan too. Sometimes I wished he wouldn't do that. Wished he'd let me be the favorite." Even though that Hassan and Amir grew up together, Amir feels as if Hassan is underneath him because he is a Hazera and a servant. We can see this at the end of the kite fighting tournament. Hassan was being raped by Assef and his friends while Amir watches and does nothing to help him out. After the rape of Hassan, Amir tries to justify his actions by saying that, “He was just a Hazera, wasn’t he?” Amir never learns to fight for himself and is considered a coward as he departs for America.

When Amir arrives in Fremont, a drastic change in his personality and morals occurs. This could be due to the fact that he has an easy time adapting to the United States or that he sees his father simply as a man instead of some heroic figure. Entering this new life Amir says, "America was different. America was a river, roaring along, unmindful of the past. I could wade into this river, let my sins drown to the bottom, let the waters carry me someplace far. Someplace with no ghosts, no memories, and no sins. If for nothing else, for that, I embraced America." America became the place where Amir could easily cover up his past and begin focusing on other important things. In California, Baba and Amir could work on their relationship without the distractions of Hassan and his fathers business. Amir quickly started growing up into a man. finishing high school, taking good care of his aging father, and he even meets a beautiful women named Soraya which he soon married. This sequence of events tells the reader that Amir is not the same selfish coward we met in Afghanistan, he has a new sense of purpose and has successfully matured into the man his father envisioned him to be. Despite all of Amir's improvements he still tries to hide his past actions from everyone, thus letting his guilt overpower his newly found happiness.

Baba ends up dying of cancer leaving Amir to complete his journey alone. Soon afterwards, Baba's old friend, Rahim Khan, calls Amir back to Afghanistan for a final chance of redemption. On his way back to Afghanistan we perceive Amir as a truly defined character righting the wrongs of his past. Coming back to Kabul Amir learns his true connection to Hassan, that Hassan is in fact his half-brother. Rahim tells the news to Amir that Hassan and his wife were murdered by the Taliban, and that Hassan also had a child. “I remembered Baba saying that my problem was that someone had always done my fighting for me." Realizing this, Amir commits himself to finding Hassan's son Sohrab. On his way he brought forth his courage to stand up to the Taliban nearly getting himself killed. He finds Sohrab and is forced to fight Assef who was the core reason to all the conflicts that have emerged in the story. Amir puts his life on the line for the boy just like Hassan did many times for him and successfully escapes. Amir brings back Sohrab to California to live with them. Doing this Amir finally vanquished his guilt from his past and redeemed himself and his father but most importantly atoned for what he did to Hassan. As The Kite Runner ends Amir can now be described as a confident and selfless man who courageously fought his own battle.

Amir undergoes enormous personal transformations from when he was a boy to a matured man. Amir's character in the beginning can be seen almost as an antagonist through the events dealing with Hassan. Making his way into America, his character starts to redefine itself into one that is more accepting and generous. At the end, Amir is given the opportunity of redeeming himself, making his character the one that Baba had envisioned him to be. In The Kite Runner written by Khaled Hosseini remarkable changes are seen in Amir's character as he transitions through the story from a selfish boy in Afghanistan to a successful man.

© 2016 Aaron Abbott


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