Sunday, 20 October 2013

The Two Sides of Afghanistan

Amir and Hassan's relationship is a very interesting one. On one hand we have Amir, a smart Pashtun boy who come from a very rich and reputable family. On the other hand is Hassan, a poor Hazara who cooks and cleans up for Amir. Despite having these differences, they play with each other everyday after school. Hassan will do anything for Amir's safety and acceptance. This is evidenced multiple times in this novel so far. The scene where Hassan runs Amir's kite for him and is trapped by the bullies shows this. Hassan has the blue kite with him, but the bullies want it for themselves. To Hassan, his friendship with Amir is so powerful that he will give up anything to the bullies except for Amir's kite. He knows how important it is for Amir to be accepted by his father and the only way to do that is to show the kite to him. Hassan gives up his self respect and dignity to the bullies for Amir's happiness. Even though Hassan would literally give everything he has to keep a friendship with Amir, he doesn't have this this mutual respect for Hassan. Amir saw everything that happened in the alley with Hassan and the bullies, but refuses to do anything about it. He stands there and watches this 12 year old boy give up his dignity for a mere kite. Amir doesn't value their relationship enough to step in and even try to stop what the bullies were about to do. Instead, he runs home, pretending as if nothing had happened and waits for Hassan to give him his kite. Hosseini really exercises the Pashtun and Hazara relationship in Afghanistan. He uses Hassan to represent the Hazaras and Amir to represent the Pashtuns and the discrimination that occurred in the 1970's.