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As the main character of the book, The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, Amir struggled throughout the novel with jealousy, cowardice, disloyalty, and entitlement. Amir grew up entitled and was given everything he could ever want except the love of his father. He had always looked up to his father, Baba, and desired so much to have a strong relationship with him. This desperation to be close to his father caused him to perceive that Hassan had a better connection with his father. Amir was jealous of Hassan’s connection to his father. Amir’s jealousy influenced his decisions to look out for himself and to not be loyal to his friend, Hassan. The book shows Amir’s childhood and growing pains as he struggles with jealousy, cowardice, disloyalty, and entitlement.
One character trait that is seen in Amir is jealousy. The majority of Amir’s jealousy stems from his perception of Baba’s relationship with their servant Hassan. Amir is constantly seeking Baba’s affection but feels overshadowed by Hassan. When Baba gives Hassan his birthday gift which is surgery to fix his cleft lip Amir says, ” I wished I too had some kind of scar that would beget Baba’s sympathy. It wasn’t fair. Hassan hadn’t done anything to earn Baba’s affections” (Hosseini, 46). In this quote, you can see that instead of being happy for Hassan’s life-changing surgery Amir is envious of Hassan’s disadvantage and wishes he himself had a scar. Amir wants all his father’s attention even if that attention is in the form of sympathy. Amir also shows his jealousy towards Baba and Hassan’s relationship when Baba quickly forgives Hassan for stealing his birthday money. Amir states, ” If Baba could forgive that, then why couldn’t he forgive me for not being the son he’d always wanted?” (Hosseini, 106). Baba has neglected Amir because Amir isn’t exactly like him. Amir isn’t living up to his father’s standards and they don’t share similar interests. With this distance between the two, Amir is always trying to gain his father’s love. He is jealous of Baba and Hassan’s connection and believes that if Baba can accept Hassan for being a thief he should also be able to accept him for who he is.
Another character trait that Amir demonstrates throughout the novel is disloyalty and cowardice. Hassan looks up to Amir just like Amir looks up to Baba. Hassan would do anything for Amir. He is constantly making sacrifices for Amir to gain his approval and happiness. Despite Hassan’s unwavering dedication, Amir is continuously betraying his “friend” and doesn’t show Hassan the same loyalty that is shown to him. When Hassan is being held down and raped Amir explained, “I had one last chance to decide who I was going to be. I could step into that alley, stand up for Hassan–the way he’d stood up for me all those times in the past….Or I could run….In the end, I ran” (Hosseini, 77). In this quote, you can see that instead of helping his friend and standing up for him he betrays him and inevitably lets him down. Friendships are based on having each other’s backs and standing up for each other. Hassan has stood up for Amir on numerous occasions, but when Hassan needs Amir the most he instead chooses to run away. Ultimately, Amir neglected his obligations as Hassan’s friend and was a coward in the face of trouble. If that’s not bad enough, Amir betrays Hassan again by framing Hassan for thievery in order to remove the cause of his guilt. Amir said “Everywhere I turned, I saw signs of his loyalty, his goddamn unwavering loyalty…Baba, have you ever thought about getting new servants?”

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