The Kite Runner demonstrates that people are motivated more by self-interest than by honour. Discuss.
The Kite Runner written by Khaled Hosseini, is a novel written about a boys life. It shows many characteristics of people and how they behave. The Kite Runner has many examples of people being motivated by their own self-interest rather than honour. This is shown in many circumstances and for many different reasons; it defines the characters as real people, making choices that are made by people in everyday life.
Many people act out of self-interest rather than honour and this is because self-interest acts get the person what they want, while an act of honour only gives a person a feeling of doing something right but they have nothing to show for it. Amir the narrator and main character of the novel acts out of self-interest rather than honour, not because he wants personal gain but because he is to afraid of what will happen if he does the honourable act. This can be seen when he watches Hassan get raped by Assef, he goes to be honourable and step in, help try and save Hassan but he does not want to be replacement of Hassan and take the rape himself if it goes wrong so he stands around the corner.
Amir acts out of self-interest again when he frames Hassan for as Baba put it the only sin, Theft. He puts his birthday money and watch under Hassans bed, to make Hassan look like a thief and have Ali and Hassan leave the family. As Baba cares for Ali and Hassan he tells them not to leave but Ali decides it is best that they do. Amir forced Hassan to leave because he could not bear to live with Hassan still helping him out with any request no questions asked after how cowardly he had been in the alleyway.
Amir keeps his actions from a self-interest view into his adulthood, where he allows Assef to bash and hospitalise him, for not helping Hassan all those years before. Amir did not do this as it was the right thing to do, Amir did this to be able to feel free of his guilt he had carried from a child of knowing what he should have done but did not.
However Amir did do an honourable act after his bashing by Assef, by saving Sohrab, Hassans son from Assef. Amir may have done this out of self-interest though as his wife and himself could not get pregnant, to have a child of their own. Even though Amir had saved Sohrab he had still been to late as Sohrab had also been treated the way Hassan had years earlier, however Sohrab got his revenge by dealing out the threat his father had mad as a child and shot Assef in his left eye with a slingshot.
Assef was always motivated through self-interest from a child right through adulthood, he believed being a Pashtun he had the right to do as he pleases. Assef saw being a Pashtun as a birth right to be seen as a higher class, act as a higher class and treat anyone else as dirt.
Hassan is one of the only honourable characters in The Kite Runner, he does everything to live up to Amirs wishes and look good in Amirs eyes. Even when Amir attacks him and tells him to fight back he would not, even though he will fight anyone else for Amir. Hassan is totally loyal to Amir and everything he does is for what he sees and has been taught are the right reasons.
The Kite Runner is definitely a book that shows people are motivated by self-interest more than honour, but it does show that people are honourable as well. The Kite Runner shows the people in all the stages of their life and why they make these choices. Self-interest is usually chosen over honour because you are rewarded or because you will be better off than taking the honourable option.