The Kite Runner

Khaled Hosseini
  • Study Guide


Characters Hassan

If Amir’s character arc is about growth, Hassan’s arc is about not changing at all. From the start and through his death, Hassan remains the same: loyal, forgiving, and good-natured. As a servant to Baba and Amir, Hassan grows up with a very particular role in life. While Amir prepares for school in the morning, Hassan readies Amir’s books and his breakfast. While Amir is at school getting an education, Hassan helps Ali with the chores and grocery shopping. As a result, Hassan learns that it is his duty to sacrifice himself for others. Furthermore, by nature he is not prone to envy, and he even tells Amir he is happy with what he has, though he sees all the time how much more Amir has. Hassan comes across as the personification of innocence as a result, and this innocence is crucial in creating the drama and symbolism of his rape by Assef. First, Hassan’s innocence gives Amir no justifiable reason to betray Hassan. Amir’s behavior cannot be rationalized, making it consummately selfish and reprehensible. Second, Hassan’s rape becomes the sacrifice of an innocent, a recurring motif in Islam, Christianity, and Judaism that carries a great deal of symbolic meaning.