The novel The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini introduces a large number of characters. The main character is Amir, who presents events spreading from his childhood in Afghanistan to his adult life in the United States. Amir is a character who undergoes a significant evolution because of the events he experiences and witnesses. The relationship between him and other characters determines who he is and who he will become.

Baba, Amir’s father, is an important character who shapes Amir’s life. Throughout his childhood, Amir wants to impress Baba and win his approval, so all his decisions are influenced by this goal. Another very important characters is Hassan, Amir’s friend. Hassan is the son of Ali, Baba’s servant, and is entirely devoted to Amir. The two boys grow up together and become best friends even though Hassan is a Shi’a Muslim and Amir is a Sunni Muslim. 

 Other characters worth mentioning include Rahim Khan, Baba’s associate and best friend is an important influence in Amir’s life. During Amir’s childhood, Rahim Khan is the one who encourages him to continue writing and the one who eventually influences Amir’s writing career. In Amir’s adulthood, Rahim Khan is the one who tells him the truth about Hassan’s identity and Sohrab. Another character is Soraya – Amir’s wife. Amir and Soraya are unable to conceive, but they are given a new chance when they adopt Sohrab, Hassan’s son. Sohrab’s fate is similar to that of his father, as he was also sexually abused as a child by his father’s rapist, Assef


Below, you can read an excerpt from our study guide: 

Inner characterization

Hassan has spent his entire life being devoted to Amir, ever since his first word, which was Amir’s name (Chapter 2, 100%). Throughout the boys’ childhood, Amir often gets into trouble but Hassan always has his back and takes the blame: “… he never told on me. Never told that the mirror, like shooting walnuts at the neighbor’s dog, was always my idea” (Chapter 2, 17%).

During the kite-fighting tournament, Hassan shows his devotion and dedication to his friend by promising to retrieve the fallen kite:

‘Hassan!’ I called. ‘Come back with it!’ 

He was already turning the street corner, his rubber boots kicking up snow. He stopped, turned. He cupped his hands around his mouth. ‘For you a thousand times over!’ he said. Then he smiled his Hassan smile and disappeared around the corner. (Chapter 7, 35%)...

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