The relationship that is first going to be explored is the one between Amir and his father (Baba). In the first half of the movie, they are shown to possess different characteristics. Baba is brave and powerful, while Amir is a coward. Unlike them, the relationship between their Hazara servant, Ali, and his son, Hassan, is very similar. Ali is defined by his modesty and is very loyal to his master, catering to his needs diligently. His son has the same personality and will do literally anything for Amir, as is seen in various incidents in the movie. However, when I got to know that Hassan was Baba’s illegitimate son further on in the movie, I realized how similar Baba really is to Amir. He acted out of impulse and consequently made a blunder in their lives and never disclosed what he had done. Moreover, he tried to atone for his action in other ways to clear his guilty conscience.
Amir had a lot more to atone for. Somehow, the guilt of not being able to stop what happened to Hassan transformed into anger. This was further fuelled when Hassan remained impassive when Amir insulted him repeatedly. Not only had he abandoned his friend at the time when he most needed him, but he also tried to get rid of him later; he planted false evidence to ‘prove’ that Hassan stole Baba’s watch. However, not once does Hassan betray Amir; he ‘admits’ to the ‘crime’ in order to make Amir happy. ...
It could also be because Hassan was a Hazara, which was termed as a lower cultural class in Afghanistan, due to which Amir only ‘used’ him by letting him stand up to Amir’s bullies alone. However, their bond must have been pretty strong, owing to how burdened Amir became with the guilt of what he had done. Moreover, after finding out that Hassan’s son, Sohrab, was taken by Assef (the bully who had raped Hassan in his youth), Amir courageously steps forward and receives a beating from Assef for the sake of Sohrab’s freedom. In addition, he took Sohrab to safety and later adopted him. These acts of his prove that he did indeed redeem himself (indirectly, through Sohrab) in front of Hassan. This also shows that this is a buildungsroman story; Amir developed from being a selfish boy to a selfless adult. On the other hand, Assef has an extremely selfish and remorseless character, as he never even thinks of redemption for the sins he committed to Hassan and Sohrab. Sacrifice has been a major recurring motif in The Kite Runner; Hassan, knowing how important the blue kite was for Amir, refused to give it up even if it caused himself to get sexually abused. He also sacrificed his honesty for Amir by owning up to a crime he did not commit (stealing Baba’s watch). However, even Amir later selflessly put himself in danger’s mouth to save Sohrab. Kites symbolize the difference between Amir and Hassan’s social class and status in their friendship; the kite flyer (Amir) is important and controlling, while the kite runner (Hassan) is minor and ever-available. This movie also showed me that if there is hope for a better future for Sohrab-who has suffered in the hands of Assef-then there is hope for Afghanistan-which has suffered in the hands of the Taliban-as