Life Lessons From the Kite Runner

The life lessons of the Kite Runner, the story about two boys, Amir and Hassan the Sultan’s of Kabul, is that life’s lessons will repeat until we that lesson.

The story starts with Amir and Hassan being inseparable. Amir the son of a rich merchant believes that his father blames him for the death of his mother who died in childbirth. Hassan along with his father, Ali, were servants to Amir and his father, Babba. Hassan demonstrated incredible character, loyal, honest, caring, and bravery. Hassan looks up to Amir and professed that he would eat dirt if Amir were to ask him. Amir overhears a conversation between his father, Babba and Rahim Khan, who is Babba’s business partner and best friend in Kabul. Babba secretly confines in Rahim Khan his concerns with his son’s lack of courage and strength.

During the annual Kite fighting contest in Kabul, Amir’s kite is the last kite flying. Hassan runs off to collect the last kite that Amir cut down. When Hassan does not come back after a spell, Amir goes looking for Hassan to find him corner by three local bullies that harassed Hassan and Amir earlier in the movie. The larger of the bullies offered to forgive Hassan at a price, the price was the kite that Hassan swore to run down and return to Amir. Hassan told the bullies that the kite was not his to give, and in return, the bullies beat him and raped him, as Amir watched, afraid to come to Hassan’s defense.

Amir’s shame for not standing up and fighting for Hassan inspired him to betray Hassan even further by Amir seeking to have Hassan and his father forced out of their home. Amir asked Babba if he would get new servants and Babba swore at Amir and told him that Ali has been part of the family for over forty years and his father raised him like a brother and never to speak of it again. Amir then framed Hassan, planting his watch and money under Hassan’s pillow. When Babba confronted Hassan and Ali, Hassan took responsibility and admitted to stealing the watch and money, further protecting Amir. Babba forgave Hassan, but Ali informed Babba that he and Hassan were leaving.

Rahim Khan calls Amir and request Amir to come back home to make things right again. Rahim Khan explained to Amir that Hassan died protecting his father’s home in Kabul, loyal to his death and that unknown to both Amir and Hassan that they were half-brothers. Amir had relations with Hassan’s mother who gave, birth to Hassan. Rahim Khan gave Amir a letter that Hassan wrote to him telling him about his son and about missing the good times that they had as children. Amir decides to make things right and go to Kabul and take Hassan’s son, Sohrab. When Amir finds Sohrab, he finds that the child had been taken by his childhood nemesis, Assef, who raped Hassan. Sohrab was traumatized and raped by Assef, his father’s rapist, and made to dress as a girl and dance for Amir. Amir stands up to Assef and tells him that he is here to take Sohrab back to United States. Assef fights with Amir and Sohrab defends Amir with his father’s slingshot that Amir gave to Hassan for his birthday earlier in the movie.

Amir returns to United States with Sohrab who is traumatized and withdrawn. When Amir’s father-in-law, General Taheri, questions Amir what he is to tell people why he has taken in a Hazara (consider to an inferior race) into his home. Amir stood up to General Taheri, and told him that his father slept with his servants wife and that he was the Sohrab’s uncle and that the General will not refer to Sohrab as that Hazara boy in his presence.

Amir’s courage and loyalty was tested several times during the movie, and he fails to live up to his father’s and his own expectations. He abandons and betrays his brother and best friend Hassan. However, true to real life, Amir was given an opportunity to redeem himself and become the man his father wanted him to be, and the friend that Hassan deserved. Amir saved Hassan’s son, Sohrab from the Taliban and brings him home to United States and raised him as his son. If ever there were a movie written to evoke emotions it is this movie. The book has been controversial as well as the movie. The Kite Runner shows us that in life no matter our shame, guilt, or mistakes we have made in the past we will be presented with new opportunities to make different choices and opportunities for personal growth. Amir was given an opportunity to face his fears, stand up to his nemesis and his father-in-law, and demonstrate his loyalty and courage.

As in real life, the movie The Kite Runner, we often find ourselves making choices that are based on our fears. For Amir, his fear was that his father blamed him for the death of his mother during his birth. This fear drove Amir to resent his friend Hassan who demonstrated loyalty and courage. The traits that Amir’s father wished for Amir to learn. Just like Amir we find ourselves making life choices based on our fears. Maybe we choose to remain quite when someone we know is being treated unfairly. It could be a choice that is more personal, maybe we stay stuck in a relationship that is abusive or a job that is a dead end, because our fears of change over shadows our desire for change. We might find our self-esteem lacking because of shame or guilt from our past. The lesson from The Kite Runner is that when life presents us with new opportunities we can make different choices, we can face our fears, and we can grow as a person. We can develop those characteristics and traits that we value and become the person we want to become.

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