The Kite Runner QW 2: Father/Child

Note: Click here for more information on Quick Writes, the works I respond to, and disclaimers. Mistakes were kept unchanged. Also, spoilers ahead.

Date QW Written: May 5, 2015

Prompt: (TBA)

Response:

In The Kite Runner, father and child relationships are explored quite thoroughly through four such relationships. The main father/child relationship the readers experience is the one between Baba and Amir. Initially, readers witness the sour relationship between Baba and Amir. Amir wanted to please Baba and Baba seemingly refused to be pleased. Amir constantly vies for his fathers favor as forgiveness for not being the son Baba wanted and for “killing” his mother and Baba’s wife. This aspect of their relationship is heightened with Amir’s jealousy of Hassan, who seemed to have the favor of Baba many times. This whole situation makes sense later when we realize Hassan was also Baba’s son. 

In the story, the dynamic suddenly changes between the two as Baba gets older and mellows out. In a land where no one knows of Baba the bear-fighter, Baba was able to care for his son and see his son in the way he saw Hassan. Without the status of money and prestige, as solely his son. Near Baba’s death, we view Baba’s attempts to be the father he failed to be and while its heartbreaking, it’s also heartwarming. 

Another father/child relationship that echos Baba and Amir’s relationship is the one between Saraya and her father, General Sahib. General Sahib was a proud man, dishonored by his free-willed daughter who ran away with a man. Although the two do not see eye to eye, due to this event and the expected strain between father/daughter relationships, General Sahib grows more tender with her as he realizes his age and, like Baba, tries to be a better father in his shortening period of time. 

In the relationship of Hassan and his father, Ali, readers see the essense of a genuine and loving relationship between a father and son. Although we learn Hassan is not actually Ali’s son, we realize that relationships without materialism came out the most nurturing. Ali and Hassan had nothing but each other, building a dependence, love, and trust that’s unbreakable between them. 

Finally, we see the relationship between Sohrab and Hassan, although very indirectly. The relationship between these two is the coveted relationship between father and son: one in which mutual love is present. This is most ironic because we never see any true interaction between Hassan and Sohrab, but we realize their relationship must have been the most fulfilling than any listed. Sohrab was nearly a copy of his father, in looks, habits, bravery, and talent with a slingshot. Both of them reflect the guilt and redemption of Amir and this outside connection only serves to make their relationship even more perfect. 

Score: 20

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