What is Hosseini saying about the role of the family as a theme throughout the novel? Logan St.Amand 7th

Many people don't appreciate their family as a whole and will usually take it for granted until they get older and finally understand and appreciate what it has done for them. This is one such case in the Kite Runner. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini; is a Drama set in the setting of Afghanistan before and after the Afghani War. Hosseini portrays the role of the family throughout the novel as the driving point for many decisions and it is the thing that supports you the most when in need. Hosseini develops this idea by showing the secrecy between Amir and Baba, then the gradual shift in friendship between Baba and Amir and them supporting each other, and finally showing Amir risking his life trying to save his nephew in Afghanistan.

In the beginning of the book, the role of the family is represented by the lack of trust and understanding between Amir and Baba and the secrets they keep from one-another. After the event of Hassan getting raped, Amir accidently blurted out in his sleep that he watched the event take place. No one was awake during this little outburst of his; and Amir wished that someone would overhear so that he would not get away with his crime: pg. 36 ""I watched Hassan get raped" I said to no one...A part of me was hoping someone would...hear so I wouldn't have to live with this lie anymore." This quotation reveals that Amir does not want to get away unpunished and would like someone to talk to about it, but he is overall disheartened by the uncomfortable environment Baba and he had made due to lack of trust. Clearly, the environment in the quote shows that indeed the role of the family in the beginning of the book is defined by their secrecy. Furthermore, when in Afghanistan for the second time, Amir learns from Rahim Khan that Baba was hiding the fact that Hassan was Amir's half-brother, for all this time: pg. 225 "How could he have lied to me all those years?" This quote illustrates that Baba did not trust his own son with this important information and no doubt this action contributed to the divide of trust between him and Amir in the beginning and the end of the book. Therefore, with this act of secrecy shown in the beginning of the book, this action conveys that the role of the family in the beginning was partly represented by the lack of trust in the family. Both Amir and Baba ended up holding secrets from each other. It might be possible that if Baba came clean about his secret, Amir might feel comfortable and justified to tell his secret as well.

In the middle of the book, the role of the family represents the growing bond between Baba, Amir, and Amir's new family; and them all supporting each other. For example, after Baba's outburst and the whole ordeal with the convenience station, Amir suggests that maybe they should move back to Afghanistan because it is painfully obvious that Baba cannot assimilate well with American culture and laws. That's when Baba stated that he moved to United States for Amir, and not from himself. pg. 130: ""Besides, I didn't bring us here for me, did I?"...One last gift for Amir." this quotation proves that Baba moved to Afghanistan for Amir and not for himself. Clearly, this quote proves that in the middle of the book, that the role of the family represents supporting one-another, because of the fact that Baba would not be able to benefit from this immigration as he has a difficult time assimilating, and that Amir has his whole life ahead of him as he still hasn't gotten his education. In addition, after Baba has been diagnosed with cancer, Amir paid Baba back for all he has done for him, by having himself and his newly appointed wife, Soraya, spend most of their time taking care of Baba. pg. 172 "Soraya dedicated herself to taking care of my father." This quote demonstrates that even though Amir and Soraya are newly elected husband and wife, and that Baba can be a burden with him being sickly as he is, that no doubt Amir is taking care of his father to gracefully pay Baba back for the things he has done for Amir in America. Thus, this quote proves that the bond between Amir and Baba has grown considerably since Afghanistan, but also, that they are supporting each other. I think Baba has done everything in his power for Amir in America to atone for his sins in Afghanistan, while Amir does it because he is paying back Baba for his support while he was getting a college education.

In the end of the book, the role of the family represents risking everything to save fellow family members in need. For example, when Amir is debating with Rahim Khan on whether or not he should go and save Sohrab, Amir brings up the fact that he cannot risk giving up the cozy life he has set up for himself in America; to go on a wild goose-chase after Sohrab: pg. 221 ""I have a wife in America, a home, a career, and a family."" This quotation reveals that even with high-stakes, Amir is willing to risk everything he has accomplished and built up in America, just to save his nephew-a fellow family member. Clearly, this example represents the role of the family in the end of the book, just to save a family member in need. Furthermore, after Amir is able to recover Sohrab safely, he faces the challenge of legally adopting Sohrab. Suggested many times by an advisor of the adoption process, Amir refuses to give up and spend a lot of time and effort into trying to adopt Sohrab: pg. 330-332 ""Give it up"..."... your petition faces significant obstacles, not the least of which that this child is not an orphan. "..." I mean to pursue this."" This quote proves that in the face of overwhelming odds stacked against him, Amir refuses to back down, and continues to spend a lot of time, effort, and money to make sure his nephew is well taken care of. As a result, this example proves that the role of the family in the end of the book, is to spend a lot of effort, supporting another fellow family member. It is interesting to think that even though Sohrab was the son of Amir's most beloved best-friend Hassan, that he might have not even bothered going through the long-drawn process of finding him, saving him, and legally adopting him, if he wasn't related to him in some way.

Throughout the book, Hosseini develops and shows the role of the family by emphasizing the secrecy and tension between Amir and Baba, the eventual bond developing between Amir and Baba and how they supported each other, and showing the difficult process Amir goes through to save his nephew. It might be possible that if Amir didn't go through the whole ordeal in the beginning and middle part of the book, that he wouldn't realize the importance of family, and never go out of his way to save Sohrab.

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Logan St.Amand
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