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Amir and Baba's Father-son Relationship in The Kite Runner Essay


Amir, the main character of Khaled Hosseinis The Kite Runner, is a boy who longs for the admiration and acceptance of his father. Baba and Amir cannot have the relationship Amir desires because of the characteristics and expectations of each other. Amir wants to have Baba all to himself, Amir is weak in Babas eyes and Amir is not how Baba envisioned his son. All in all, Amir just wants to be respected by his father.

Amir wishes to have his father all to himself, he wants to spend time with Baba without anyone else. Also, Amir wants to be Babas favourite and for Baba to give all his attention to him. Amirs longing for time alone with Baba is shown when Baba takes him to Ghargha Lake. Baba asks Amir to invite Hassan as well, Amir lies to Baba, telling him that Hassan has the runs. By lying to his father, Amir shows he is willing to take a risk simply to spend one-on-one time with father. Amirs desire to have Baba all to himself is shown again after finding out Hassans tenth birthday present. After finding out Baba had organized for a surgeon to fix Hassans harelip he said, I [wish] I too had some kind of scar that would beget Babas sympathy. (Hosseini 50). He directly says that he is envious of the sympathy Baba gives Hassan due to his harelip. Again, Amirs jealousy of Babas treatment of Hassan is shown as they are buying kites for the kite fighting tournament. When Amir would ask for a better kite, Baba would get him one, as well as one for Hassan. This makes Amir jealous and he says, Sometimes I [wish] he wouldnt do that. [Wish] he would let me be the favourite. (Hosseini 54). Once more, Amir directly states that he was jealous that Hassan was treated equal to himself. Amir believes that since he is the only son of Baba, he should be treated better than their servant. Therefore, Amir wants to have all of Babas respect, attention and admiration all to himself.

Furthermore, Baba sees Amir as weak, so they cannot have the relationship Amir wants. As Amir is eavesdropping, he hears Baba say to Rahim Khan, You know what happens when the older boys tease him? Hassan steps in and fends them off. Ive seen it with my own eyes... Im telling you, Rahim, there is something missing in that boy. (Hosseini 24). Amir hears Baba express his dislike of the fact that Amir has to be protected by Hassan. They cannot have the father-son relationship Amit wants because Baba thinks his son is not a real man. He is not a real man because he is weak and gets Hassan to fight his battles. Next, Babas disgust in Amirs weakness is shown after the yearly Buzkashi tournament. After Amir sees a man trampled to death, he began to cry, he cried all the way home too. As Amir cries he notices Babas valiant efforts to conceal his disgusted look as he drove in silence. (Hosseini 23). Amir sees that Baba is unhappy that his son is crying. Baba sees crying as a weakness, especially when watching a sport. Another weakness Baba sees in Amir is his carsickness. Amir gets carsick and tries to hide it because he knows how Baba feels about it. Baba sees Amirs carsickness as yet another weakness that prevents his son from being a man, which prevents them from having the relationship Amir longs for.

Baba has high expectations of Amir, even before he is born. He assumes Amir will be exactly like him as a child. It is due to Babas high expectations that they cannot have the relationship Amir wants. First, Amir says Babas view of his son is fathering a son who preferred burying his face in poetry books to hunting... well that wasnt how Baba had envisioned it. (Hosseini 21). Amir says how Baba is disappointed that his son reads poetry instead of hunting, like a real man. Baba expected Amir to be like he was when he was a boy. Since Amir reads poetry instead of hunting like Baba wants him to, they cannot have the relationship Amir desires. Next, Baba is talking to Rahim Khan about Amir and tells him that [he] wasnt like that at all. (Hosseini 23). When he complains about how his son is not like him, Baba sounds frustrated. His frustration shows that he is uncomfortable that his son is not an exact replica of himself, and this means they cannot have the relationship Amir wants. Another example of Babas disappointment over Amir is, once again, in the conversation with Rahim Khan that Amir overhears. Baba tells Rahim Khan that If [he] hadnt seen the doctor pull [Amir] out of [his] wife with [his] own eyes, [hed] never believe he was [his] son. (Hosseini 25). Baba and Amir are almost completely different people and Baba finds discomfort in this. Baba wanted Amir to be exactly like him and this shows how he feels about the differences between them. Amir and Baba cannot have the relationship amir desires because he cannot fulfill Babas high expectations as his son.

It is because of the assumption of the father-son relationship of Amir and Baba, as well as their clashing traits, that they cannot have the relationship Amir wants. Their contrasting ideas of what their relationship should be is shown by Amirs longing to have Baba all to himself, Amirs weakness and Babas idea of what his son should be like. As a result of these factors, Amir and Baba inadvertently prevent the relationship Amir so sorely desires

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