Human beings are morally ambiguous people. We are neither purely evil nor purely good, but often a mix. And maybe that’s why many of us are attracted to literature works with morally ambiguous characters such as The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. The Kite Runner was set in Kabul, Afghanistan, proceeds to United States during the Soviet Union invasion, and then the setting goes back to Kabul when the Taliban rises in power. In this novel, Amir, to whom the whole story of the book is centered around, is a morally ambiguous character.
Amir is a Pashtun boy; he betrays his friendship with Hassan, a Hazara son of Amir’s father’s servant. Guilt haunts Amir for years even after he had left Kabul and moved to United States. Amir is a morally ambiguous character because he’s a coward, he’s selfish, he betrays his friend and lies, but he also finds courage to face what he had done wrong and finds salvation. The first part of the book The Kite Runner proves how Amir is not a purely good character.
Kite Runner Essay Example
Amir often hangs out with the Hazara boy, Hassan and would tell Hassan that they are friends, but he still feels he’s above Hassan because Amir is Pashtun and Hazara people are considered below the Pashtun people. Amir wouldn’t hang out with Hassan when other Pashtun boys are with him, he also mocks the fact that Hassan can’t read, not considering the fact that Hassan doesn’t have the opportunity to get an education. Amir couldn’t stand Hassan’s intelligence: Amir had written a story about how a man’s tears turn into pearls when they fall into this magic cup, and the story ended with man’s wife dead in his arms on a mountain pile of pearls.
When Hassan heard the story, he had enjoyed it, but he also raised a few questions that angered Amir, “Why did the man kill his wife? In fact, why did he ever have to be sad to shed tears? Couldn’t he have just smelled an onion? ” (p. 34). Amir was angry because a mere Hazara boy who couldn’t read had taught Amir something he, an educated boy, didn’t figure out. These few examples that show how Amir is mean and arrogant are nothing compared to what he does to Hassan later on.
Assef is a Pashtun boy that truly hates Hazaras and believes that Hazaras should all disappear. When Amir catches Assef raping Hassan, instead of stepping in, Amir runs away and pretends nothing had happened. When guilt started eating Amir up and he couldn’t stand facing Hassan because Hassan reminds him of his cowardly action, he pinned a crime of thievery on Hassan in order to have Hassan evicted from his house. The second part of the book shows that Amir isn’t purely evil despite what he has done.
For a while, Amir’s life is filled with the guilt of not saving Hassan from the rape and it kept Amir from being completely happy, even though he found the love of his life in America and got married. Then one day, Amir’s father’s friend, Rhahim, called him to give him a chance to redeem himself. “There’s a way to be good again” (p. 226). Amir did find a way to be good again. Amir went back to Afghan to find Hassan’s son, Sohrab, to take him with Amir because Hassan and his wife had been shot to death on the street by the Taliban.
Amir finds Sohrab with Assef and ends up getting into a physical fight with Assef. Amir basically lets Assef beat him up and while being beat up, Amir feels relieved. “My body was broken – just how badly I wouldn’t find out until later – but I felt healed. Healed at last” (p. 289). Amir felt that he was being healed from the guilt that has been crawling beneath his skin every single day. He had betrayed his one and only friend, Hassan, lied, and destroyed a chance where Hassan might have left to United States with him and would still be alive.
Amir felt that he finally got what he deserved and he felt much better, he had found salvation. And he had afterwards taken in Sohrab as his own son. Amir had been a coward; he had made selfish decisions and ruined Hassan’s live, but if he had been purely evil then he would not have felt guilt, nor would he have risked his life to bring back a mere Hazara’s son. But he had been filled with guilt and he had gone to find Sohrab and redeemed himself. And thus, Amir is a perfect example of a morally ambiguous character.