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Page history last edited by Amy Schothorst 12 years, 6 months ago

Conflicts in "The Kite Runner"

Pages 1-79

Pages 80-194

Pages 195-291

Pages 292-end



 Conflicts in Pages 1-79: 


     One of the first conflicts in this story that I recognized was between Amir and his father, Baba. Amir feels like he can never quite win over his father's affection. Amir believes that Baba blames him for his mother's death and also feels responsible for it. Amir feels like sometimes his father does not truly love him the way that Rahim Khan does. Rahim Kahn was happy to read Amir's very first story he wrote, while Baba would not even offer to have a look at it. When Amir told Baba about the story he simply replied with, "Well, that's very good, isn't it?" (31). Amir does not feel near the connection with Baba as he does with Rahim Khan. Amir will do anything to try to please his father and make him proud of him, which does not seem like it happens very often. This conflict is still ongoing and has not yet been resolved.


     Another conflict of this story is between Baba and himself. Baba is ashamed of what his son has become. Instead of a soccer lover or a hunter, Amir would rather sit at home and read novels. Baba does not like about his son that he will not stick up for himself among the neighbor children, nor will he fight back. Baba is angry that Amir turned out nothing like him. One night as Amir is overhearing a conversation between Baba and Rahim Khan Baba says, "But he's always buried in those books or shuffling around the house like he's lost in some dream" (21). Baba believes that there is something missing in his son and not quite right. Baba ends the conversation with Rahim Khan by saying, “If I hadn't seen the doctor pull him out of my wife with my own eyes, I'd never believe he's my son" (23). Baba does not want to accept Amir for how he acts and what his personality is. Instead, he just deals with it by not getting overly involved with Amir. I think that by Amir coming home with the blue kite that he aquired from the competition helped Baba open up his eyes a little more in seeing that his son really does have accomplishment in him.


     The third conflict is between Amir and Hassan versus Assef, Wali, and Kamal. Assef and his gang first confronted Amir and Hassan when they left the house to go climb trees after the night the gunshots were heard. Assef proceeded to call Hassan names such as Fag, Flat-Nose, and dirty Hazara. When Assef approaches and tries to fight Hassan pulls out his slingshot aiming it at Assef's face. Assef, Wali, and Kamal than backed off. Assef could not leave without threatening saying," You should know something about me, Hazara, I'm a very patient person. This doesn't end today, believe me" (42,43). Amir and Hassan never encountered the guys again until the day of the kite competition. Hassan went to retrieve the blue kite Amir had cut when he was cornered in the alley by Assef, Wali, and Kamal. Amir hides behind the wall not able to do anything because he was to afraid. Hassan is held down by Wali and Kamal while Assef rapes him. Amir runs away from the scene unable to watch. I do not believe that this conflict is yet resolved, as I feel that Amir and Hassan will still run into problems with Assef, Wali, and Kamal. 


     A forth conflict is between Assef vs. himself.  Assef knows that Hassan is a good friend and that Hassan does not question his actions or friendship toward Assef. As the rape was happening, Assef was hiding behind the wall.  In his head he was deciding what would be the right thing to do.  "I could step into that alley, stand up for Hassan-the way he'd stood up for me all those times in the past- and accept whatever would happen to me" (77).  "In the end, I ran" (77).  I think he is unable to act on what he knows is right.  He should have stuck up for Hassan but didn't.  He tries to pretend that Hassan is not important to him when  telling himself "He was just a Hazara, wasn't he?" (77).  I think this conflict is not resolved and will continue on throughout the book.


     Amir vs. Hassan is another conflict that can be easily overlooked. Reason being, it is a one-sided conflict.  Hosseini gives several clues indicating that Amir feels extremely inadequate with himself. The novel doesn't really come out and tell us Amir is jealous of Hassan but all of his thoughts and actions reveal how he truly feels. "But he's not my friend! He's my servant...Why do I play with Hassan when no one else is around" (41). This statement gives us an idea as to Amir's true character and weaknesses. "He stopped. Swayed on his feet like he was going to collapse. Then he steadied himself. Handed me the kite" (78). The is an excerpt that happened briefly after Hassan was raped by Assef. Again, this shows Hassan's loyalty to his friend. He was willing to take on a a terrible feat for his friend; something Amir would NEVER do. Unbenounced to Hassan, Amir is truly not worthy of a friend as true as he. 


    Amir vs. Himself conflict continues.  Amir is guilt ridden with not stopping or saying anything about the rape.  He spends all of his time trying to stay away from Hassan so he won't have to confront the rape issue.  He thought that by staying away from him the guilt would go away but it never did.  At one point at Homayoun's house, everyone had fallen asleep.  Amir said out loud "I watched Hassan get raped." (86)  He wanted someone to hear him so that he would not have to hold the secret alone any longer. Amir decides that the only way that he can free himself of his guilt would be to plant his money and his watch in Ali and Hassan's house.  "I lifted Hassan's mattress and planted my new watch and a handful of Afghani bills under it." (104)  Amir tells Baba that Hassan stole it from him in hopes that Baba will send them away.  "Hassan confesses to a crime he did not commit and to Amir's disbelief, Baba tells him "I forgive you." (105)  Although Ali and Hassan do leave, now the guilt is in the lie he told and the sadness Baba is feeling as they leave.  Amir is relieved that that they are going and hopes that will make everything better within himself.  The conflict between Amir and Himself continues. 


     Man vs. Man (Baba vs. Mr. and Mrs. Nguyen)  Baba and Amir are in America and are living a completely different life than they had previously known in Kabul.  Back home, Baba was a rich and respected man.  In America, he is poor and just a commoner.  Baba went into a store owned by the Nguyen's to purchase some oranges and paid with a check.  When he was asked for ID to go with his check, Baba was offended and angry.  "Almost two years we've bought his damn fruits and put money in his pocket and son of a dog wants to see my license!" (127)  Baba does not understand that is it not a personal attack to require and ID for his check.  Mr. Nguyen had made the decision to not allow him back into his store mostly out of fear.  "You're nice young man but your father, he's crazy.  Not welcome anymore." (128)  Baba was used to the clout he had in Kabul and didn't understand the difference between trust and policy.  I believe this particular conflict is solved and Baba does not go back to Mr. Nguyen's store again.  


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