Religion tends to befollowed by many citizens but may be interpreted differently amongst manypeople in societies. The Kite Runner,written by KhaledHosseini, illustrates how individuals may hurts others with their own personalchoices and beliefs. The book portrayed how the characters were divided intotwo major sects in Afghanistan, the Hazaras and Pashtuns. The culture ofAfghanistan classified the nation into two groups which described the society’sway of living.
The distinguishing factor of the two major castes is that Pashtun’srespect and pride are valued. Their status in Afghanistan is highly recognized.However, Hazaras are regarded as people from a lower-class society who aretreated with hate and are unaccepted for their standard way of living. Althoughthe two sects follow the same religion and beliefs, one’s action may result inchaos due to their individual opinions and class of society. The Kite Runner byKhaled Hosseini illustrates injusticeoften stems from personal choice, not necessarily from institutions. The Kite Runner illustrateshow Baba’s relationship with Amir is different when compared to Hassan. Amirand Hassan are both considered to be a part of diverse groups, the Hazaras andPashtuns. The book depicted how Baba saw more potential in Hassan as asuccessful individual than his own son, Amir.
Amir’s abilities to prove hisfather wrong had failed multiple times in the story. Baba’s thoughts reflectand alters his beliefs being expressed in the story when comparing Amir andHassan.”Self-Defence has nothing to do with the meanness.You know what always happens when the neighborhood boys tease him? Hassan stepsin and fends them off. I’ve seen it with my own boys. And when they come home,I say to him, ‘How did Hassan get that scrape on his face?” And he says, “Hefell down.’ I’m telling you, Rahim, there is something missing in that boyAmir.
(Hosseini, 2003, 18) Imean that. He needs someone who…
understands him, because God knows I don’t.But something about Amir troubles me in a way that I can’t express. It’slike…”I could see him searching, reaching for the right words. Helowered his voice, but I heard him anyway.
” (Hosseini, 2003, 18) This quote clearlyexpresses how the relationship of Baba is differentiated between Hassan andAmir. Baba sees more potential in Hassan than his own son Amir because of thedesire to approach certain tasks in a resolved manner. In the following context,Amir is eavesdropping Baba who is having a conversation with Rahim Khan.
“Amir troublesme in a way that I can’t express” shows how Baba feels very concerned with Amirand worried about whether he will succeed as an individual afterwards in life. Thisinternally affects Amir because he believes he has no value and reducing hisself-confidence down because of his father is displeased with Amir’s lack ofquality being a successful individual like Hassan. However, Baba praises Hassanas quoted, “Hassan steps in and fends them off.” This quote expresses howHassan has the abilities which Amir lacks in himself. Throughout the text, Amir was given manychances by Baba to redeem himself to prove his father wrong that Amir will succeedeventually in different scenarios. However, Amir and failed to do so countlesstimes to prove Baba wrong.
Religion isn’t at fault here because Baba believedin Amir many times (personal choices) however despite being in the same group, Pashtuns,Baba recognizes the potential Hassan has over his own son Amir. Injustice is being expressed towards Amirbecause it comes from Baba’s personal choices and beliefs, not from institutions. The book depicted how Amir’s decisions hadcaused a lot of chaos and violence which negatively harmed Hassan. Assef severelyrapes Hassan for refusing to give up the kite when Amir successfully wins theoverall Kite tournament, to which Amir was disturbed and shocked. Assef, aPashtun, believes in chaos and violence. In the following context, he severelyrapes Hassan and mocks Amir for interacting with a Hazara. Although Amir andAssef are Pashtuns, Assef mocks Amir because Assef realizes the importance ofbeing a Pashtun meant that Hazaras must be treated with hate. Amir decides notto do anything because his personal choices prevented him from intervening.
Amir was ambivalent when making an appropriate decision which was to run awayfrom the situation or interfere in the fight. This demonstrated that Amir’sdecision to not intervene came from personal choices, not from institutions. Dueto this, Hassan was forced to fight alone against Assef and the boys. Religion didn’talter Amir’s choices because Amir knew from his personal choices, he’d stand nochance. “But before you sacrifice yourself forhim, think about this: Would he do the same for you? Have you ever wondered whyhe never includes you in games when he has guests? Why he only plays with you whenno one else is around?. Because to him, you’re nothing but an ugly pet. Somethinghe can play with when he’s bored, something he can kick when he’s angry.
” (Hosseini,2003,107) “I’ve changed my mind,” Assef said. “I’m lettingyou keep the kite, Hazara. I’ll let you keep it so it will always remind you ofwhat I’m about to do.”. Assef yelped as he flung himself at Hassan, knockinghim to the ground. Wali and Kamal followed.
I bit on my fist. Shut my eyes.” (Hosseini,2003, 107) Amir’s personal choices led him to make apoor decision and allow Hassan to get brutally raped. By not intervening, Amirfelt guilt for not standing up for Hassan despite Hassan had stood up for Amirseveral times based on the philosophy that they are best friends. This incidentillustrates how Amir’s choices had affected Hassan severely. In the following quote,”beforeyou sacrifice yourself for him,”shows how Hassan was practically an “ugly pet” who had no value in society. Amirdidn’t stand up for Hassan because he knew Hassan and Amir stood no chanceagainst Assef and his boys.
As Assef was getting ready to harm Hassan, Amirdecided not to intervene which resulted in Hassan getting raped sternly. Amir’sguilt and betrayal were very significant in the book as it portrayed howinjustice affected Hassan due to his status in the country (Hazara). Religionhad not played a role in Amir’s decision because Amir felt he would stand nochance alongside Hassan against Assef and his boys. Despite Hassan and Amirbeing in diverse groups, the decision Amir made was because of personal choices,not because of diversity in the two major sects, Hazaras and Pashtuns.
Furthermore,the personal choice of an individual comes from his/her deliberation. The choice of an individual can severely affecta person’s standard way of living. Amir’sbetrayal and guilt is expressed as he decides to take Hassan’s birthday money toput under Hassan’s mattress.
Amir’s intention was to avoid Hassan by allowingHassan to be accused of stealing money and Amir’s watch. This will provoke Hassanand Ali to leave the house for falsely being accused of stealing. Baba always tellsAmir that “there is no other act more wretched than stealing.” Amir believes ifAli and Hassan are caught stealing, they’d have to face the consequences. Amir’spersonal decision illustrates the injustice that affects the other individualswho are superior to Pashtuns. “Theystood before Baba, hand in hand, and I wondered how and when I’d become capableof causing this kind of pain.” (Hosseini, 2003, 111) “Did you steal that money? Did you stealAmir’s watch, Hassan?” Hassan’s reply was a single word, delivered in athin, raspy voice: “Yes.
” (Hosseini, 2003, 111)”Iflinched, like I’d been slapped. My heart sank and I almost blurted out the truth.Then I understood: This was Hassan’s final sacrifice for me. If he’d said no, Babawould have believed him because we all knew Hassan never lied.” (Hosseini,2003, 111) The decision Amir had madenot only affected him, but the lives of two Hazaras (Ali and Hassan).
Amir sensedhow “capable” he is “causing this kind of pain.” It depicts how his owndecisions are ones that he regrets and possibly will regret for the rest of hislife. When Hassan falsely acknowledges that he had stolen the money and Amir’swatch, Amir felt as if he had been “slapped” and his “heart sank.” Thisdepicted the injustice he created with one decision affecting others aroundhim. The decision Hassan made was also significant in the book because it was a”final sacrifice” for Amir. In the text, Amir recognizes his guilt 20 yearslater when he has to rescue Hassan’s orphaned son. Religion was insignificantin this case because Amir believed his guilt and betrayal was difficult to livewith. Despite Hassan having Amir’s back through thick and thin, Amir’s personalchoices tells him that he must take action to get Hassan out of his sights.
This wasn’t because of Hassan’s status in Afghanistan, but it was because ofAmir’s choices which led him to do the wrong thing that affected Hassan andAli. Both Amir and Hassan had given justice and injustice based on theirpersonal decisions which also refers to how injustice and justice (in thiscase) is based on personal choices, not from institutions. Furthermore, the Kite Runner illustrates thesignificant ways which religion can divide a nation into two major sects. The Kite Runner writtenby Khaled Hosseini, portrayed many examples how injustice and justice can emergefrom personal choices and beliefs. The Kite Runner depicted how therelationship of Baba is differentiated between Amir and Hassan.
The rape ofHassan by Assef and the betrayal from Amir all came from personal choices, notfrom institutions.