The Common Motif Of Betrayal In Kite Runner
Betrayal is a common motif in Kite Runner, and it happens on numerous occasions, mainly with Baba and Amir. Baba betrays Ali, Hassan, and in a way Amir himself by secretly being the father of Hassan with Ali’s wife. Amir betrayed Hassan when he watched Hassan get raped by Assef, although Hassas would always stand up and defend Amir. These betrayals cause Amir’s road to redemption later in the book where he goes to save Sohrab (Hassan’s son) from Assef. Zaman betrayed the orphans and let Assef rape them. Baba, Amir, Zaman are some of the betrayers in the book.
It is evident in the book that Amir’s betrayal of Hassan is rooted in his jealousy, and that he is selfish and scared for himself. In society people betray each other for personal gain, to put someone else down. But it could be under 3 main categories, lust, ambition or greed. When you betray someone, you don’t care about the other person.
Until he had found out about what had happened, Ali was incredibly loyal to Baba. Hassan seems to have learned from him, as he too was very loyal to Amir, and defended him on numerous occasions. He would defend Amir even if it means that he himself would be hurt, as evident when he didn’t give up the kite, and when he had stood his ground to Assef before that.
I believe the base for Amir’s jealousy is the need for attention from his father, and the fact that he wants all of it. He is even envious of the fact that he is constructing an orphanage and overseeing that, causing him to not see his as often. When Hassan would do well such as stand up for Amir, he’d get Baba’s praise, Amir would become jealous, thus negatively affecting their relationship. Not only this, but he’s jealous that Hassan is a loyal friend, while he himself isn’t as loyal.
While Hassan could be jealous to Amir over the fact that he is treated better because he isn’t Hassara, he doesn’t show much jealousy about that at all. It’s also visible that he is selfless in situations such as where he stands up for Amir, and also takes the blame on himself in other situations. He is most likely motivated by his good nature, and having Ali be a role model of how to act (in this case he sees the loyalty of Ali and copies it.
This is an interesting question, but I believe that people are naturally both. Historically thinking, people would benefit from cooperation a lot of the time, when hunting or protecting their territory. But I recall from biology last year that altruistic behaviour was beneficial, but it wasn’t as effective as a revenge mindset, where you trust the other person you interact with until they do you wrong, and then you don’t trust them from then on. It probably depends on the individual, but as a whole, people are probably more selfless from the start.
A basic definition of courage is to be able to do something that frightens them. Hassan is a character in Kite Runner who can be described as courageous, selfless, and loyal. He never backed down from what he believed in, even if it wasn’t purely for himself and he faced the risk of injury. Baba can be described as courageous, due to him fighting the Russian soldier to save the woman. Later in the book when he returns to Afghanistan, Amir is courageous. But overall, thought the whole book, Hassan is the most consistent in being courageous.
Cowardice is a lack of bravery. Young Amir was simply a coward. He didn’t stand up for Hassan in the rape, he betrayed him again with the cash in the mattrass. But later in the book, he redeems himself by saving Sohrab, so it slightly offsets what he had done in the beginning. Assef is also a coward, being a rich bully who doesn’t have to work for anything, and rather than counting himself blessed, he is evil and takes other children’s innocence and ruins their lives.
It’s natural to seek redemption. It means that we have changed our mindset/view of a situation to another perspective. So in a way, redemption is polarity. Amir wants Baba’s love and attention from the start, and he despises anyone else who gets that attention. But due to his actions from that want for attention, in which he betrayed Hassan, he later feels guilt, which sets up his quest for redemption later in the book. He has to suffer and sacrifice his time, health, and safety later in the book to get that redemption.
Rahim Khan is correct when he says that true redemption is…when guilt leads to good, as that’s essentially the whole jist of it. You can’t redeem yourself if you had done nothing wrong, and when you feel guilt you have almost certainly done something wrong, or at least wrong from your perspective. When you can correct that with future actions and make something good happen from that situation, you have done exactly what Rahim Khan has said, turn guilt into good.
You can be finished on atoning a past wrong if the people you did wrong have forgiven you. Like Rahim Khan said, you redeem yourself by making something good happen because of the guilt you feel. As you cannot will backwards, it has to be atoned by altering the future. There are some situations though, that you cannot really fix the damage (murder for example) but you can work on limiting further damage and try to reduce it. In order to atone a wrongdoing, you have first recognise your wrongdoing. Then, there has to be legitimate change and a plan on how to better yourself, which you follow through on in order to atone for it.
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