Religion tends to befollowed by many citizens, but it may be interpreted differently amongst manypeople in societies.
The Kite Runner,written by Khaled Hosseini,illustrates how individuals may hurts others with their own personal choicesand beliefs. The novel portrayed how the characters were divided into two majorsects in Afghanistan, the Hazaras and Pashtuns. The culture of Afghanistan classifiedthe nation into two groups which described the society’s way of living. Thedistinguishing factor between the two major castes is that Pashtun’s respectand 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 by Khaled Hosseini demonstratesthat injustice often stemsfrom personal choices, not necessarily from institutions. The Kite Runner illustrates how Baba’s relationship with Amir is differentwhen compared to Hassan. Amir and Hassan are both considered to be a part of diversegroups, the Hazaras and Pashtuns.
The book depicted how Baba saw more potentialin Hassan as a successful individual than his own son, Amir. Amir’s abilities toprove his father 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 todo with the meanness. You know what always happens when the neighborhood boystease him? Hassan steps in 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 hisface?” And he says, “He fell down.’ I’m telling you, Rahim, there is somethingmissing in that boy Amir.
(Hosseini, 2003, 18)”Heneeds someone who…understands him, because God knows I don’t. But somethingabout Amir troubles me in a way that I can’t express. It’s like…
“I couldsee him searching, reaching for the right words. He lowered his voice, but Iheard him anyway.” (Hosseini, 2003, 18) This quote expresses how therelationship of Baba is differentiated between Hassan and Amir. Baba sees more potentialin Hassan than his own son Amir because of his desire to approach certain tasksin a resolved manner. In the following context, Amir is eavesdropping on Baba’sconversation with Rahim Khan.
“Amir troubles me in a way that I can’t express” showshow Baba feels very concerned with Amir and is worried about whether he will succeedas an individual afterwards in life. This internally affects Amir because hebelieves he has no value and reducing his self-confidence down because hisfather is displeased with Amir’s lack of quality being a successful individuallike Hassan. However, Baba praises Hassan as quoted, “Hassan steps in and fendsthem boys off.” This quote shows how Hassan has the abilities which Amirlacks in himself. Throughout the text, Babagave many chances to Amir to redeem himself and prove his father wrong thatAmir will succeed eventually in different scenarios. However, Amir failed to doso countless times to prove Baba wrong. Religion isn’t at fault because Bababelieved in Amir many times (personal choices) however despite being in thesame group, Pashtuns, Baba recognizes the potential Hassan has over his own sonAmir. Injustice is being expressedtowards Amir because it comes from Baba’s personal choices and beliefs, notfrom institutions.
The novel depicted how Amir’s decisions causeda 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 his choices, not from institutions.
Due tothis, 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 yourselffor him, think about this: Would he do the same for you? Why he only plays withyou when no one else is around? Because to him, you’re nothing but an ugly pet.Something he can play with when he’s bored, something he can kick when he’sangry.” (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 the fact that Hassan had stoodup for Amir several times based on the philosophy that they are best friends.
Thisincident illustrates how Amir’s choices had affected Hassan severely. In thefollowing quote, “before you sacrifice yourself for him,” shows how Hassan was practically an “ugly pet” whohad no value in society. Amir didn’t stand up for Hassan because he knew Hassanand Amir stood no chance against Assef and his boys. As Assef was getting readyto harm Hassan, Amir decided not to intervene which resulted in Hassan gettingraped sternly. Amir’s guilt and betrayal were very significant in the book becauseit portrayed how injustice affected Hassan due to his status in the country(Hazara). Religion did not play a role in Amir’s decision because Amir felt hewould stand no chance alongside Hassan against Assef and his boys. DespiteHassan and Amir being in diverse groups, the decision Amir made was because ofpersonal choices, not because of diversity in the two major sects, Hazaras andPashtuns.
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 revealed in the novel as he decides to take his birthdaymoney and watch to put under Hassan’s mattress. Amir’s intention was to avoidHassan by allowing him to be accused of stealing money and Amir’s watch.
This wouldprovoke Hassan and Ali to leave the house for falsely being accused ofstealing. Baba always told Amir that “there is no other act more wretched thanstealing.” Amir believes if Ali and Hassan were caught stealing, they’d have toface the consequences.
Amir’s personal decision illustrates the injustice thataffects the other individuals who are superior to Pashtuns. “They stood before Baba, hand in hand,and I wondered how and when I’d become capable of 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)”I flinched, like I’d been slapped.My heart sank and I almost blurted out the truth. Then I understood: This was Hassan’sfinal sacrifice for me. If he’d said no, Baba would have believed him because weall 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 of “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.” This depictedthe injustice he created with one decision affecting others around him. Thedecision Hassan made was also significant in the novel because it was a “final sacrifice”for Amir. In the text, Amir recognizes his guilt 20 years later when he mustrescue Hassan’s orphaned son.
Religion was insignificant in this case because Amirbelieved his guilt and betrayal were difficult to live with. Despite Hassan beingwith Amir through thick and thin, Amir’s personal choices tells him that hemust take action to get Hassan out of his sights. This wasn’t because ofHassan’s status in Afghanistan.
Instead it was Amir’s choices, which led him totake the wrong action that affected Hassan and Ali. Amir had given injusticebased on his personal choices which also refers to how injustice is based onpersonal choices, not from institutions. Furthermore, TheKite Runner written by Khaled Hosseini illustrated the significant ways that religion can divide a nationinto two major sects. The novel portrayed many examples how injustice can emerge from personalchoices and beliefs. It depicted how the relationship of Baba is differentiatedbetween Amir and Hassan.
The rape of Hassan by Assef and the betrayal from Amirall derived from personal choices, not from institutions.