In the novel "The Kite Runner," by Kahled Hosseini, the main protagonist, Amir, learns that equality is often based on socioeconomics, but true character comes from within. "The Kite Runner" follows Amir's life from childhood to adulthood and explores his journey to self-realization. Bullying, favoritism and morality affect Amir's personal growth as he tries to reconcile poor decisions he made as a youth.
Jealous and Self-Absorbed
Amir starts out as a young, insecure boy of the wealthy and respectable Sunni Muslim upper-middle class. He is envious of his father's servant's son, Hassan, who steals his father's affections. Amir is often unsettled and puzzled by his father's favoring of Hassan and the attention and praise he gives him, writes William Blizek, founding editor for the "Journal of Religion and Film" at the University of Nebraska. Amir is self-absorbed and has difficulty looking beyond his own issues. He doesn't show compassion or sympathize with Hassan's less fortunate position in life.
Cowardly and Dishonest
During one of the climactic events, Amir doesn't come to Hassan's rescue when he is bullied, assaulted and traumatized. Even though he witnesses the event, Amir is a coward and doesn't get involved. Afterward, he doesn't want to admit his cowardice and determines to get rid of Hassan. He hides valuables to make it look like Hassan is a thief, resulting in Hassan's father's dismissal as the family servant. Amir's jealousy, betrayal and guilt eventually led to his unethical behavior and dishonorable actions.
Twenty years after Hassan and his father leave, Amir receives a message that Hassan's son, Sohrab, was taken to an orphanage and adopted by one of the bullies who brutally attacked Hassan years earlier. Amir realizes he must answer the call and returns to face the bully and redeem himself, writes Bob Corbett, professor emeritus at Webster University. Amir's journey to self-discovery and self-awareness finally pays off when he realizes that confronting the bully, addressing his guilt and making amends with Hassan are the only decent, moral and acceptable things to do.
As fate would have it, Amir must make decisions concerning Sohrab's future. He makes an honorable and respectable decision that proves his unending love for Sohrab and Hassan. Even though Amir wants to shed his guilty past and poor decisions, he acts unselfishly to protect and care for Sohrab. Self-absorbed, envious Amir evolves into a man of integrity -- loyal, generous and loving. Even though Sohrab suffers mentally and physically from abuses he endured, Amir is a mature man who can effectively play a fatherly role in Sohrab's life.