A scared and lonely little boy trying desperately to hold on to his innocence all the while vying for the ever-elusive attention of his estranged father. Do those sound like the characteristics of a menace? These are the fruits of Amir, the protagonist of the highly acclaimed novel “The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini. Amir is a classic example of why first impressions cannot always be trusted; you must unravel the tarnished wrapper to reveal the gem inside.
Graze on his side of the fence for just a moment; witnessing a best friend being violated by a boy who is of a very threatening size is not a situation in which one would like to find themselves. It is a situation that creates certain amounts of panic. The brain shuts down, and moves into fight or flight mode. The brain evaluates the stature of the potential opponent and chooses flight without a doubt. Therefore Amir cannot be held responsible for his seemingly uncaring actions after witnessing Hassan in that very situation. He reacted as any human would, with primal self-preservation instincts, to protect himself and himself only.
Amir was brought up in a society where it is socially acceptable to criticize and mistreat those beneath him. He gets special treatment and he knows this full well. Amir talks about how his teachers punish students and how he’s lucky he hasn’t been punished, “…knowing luck had nothing to do with it. [He] had done [his] share of talking in class too. But [Amir’s] father was rich and everyone knew him, so [he] was spared the rod treatment.” Amir is still a reasonably young boy. He does not fully comprehend that abusing those ‘beneath him” is just as cruel as abusing his “equals”. When he makes rude comments to Hassan, he isn’t recognizing it as a fault. He feels if everyone else can look down his or her noses at the Hazara, it shouldn’t be a problem for him to do it as well.
When one is presented with precise evidence such as this it is clearly...