The Kite Runner

Khaled Hosseini
Quotes

Important Quotations Explained

Quotes Important Quotations Explained
2. “A boy who won’t stand up for himself becomes a man who can’t stand up to anything.”

Baba says these words to Rahim Khan while he is talking about Amir at the end of Chapter 3, and the quotation reveals important traits in both Amir and Baba. With these words, Baba sums up one of Amir’s major character flaws—his cowardice—and Baba shows how much value he places in standing up for what is right. Baba is reluctant to praise Amir, largely because he feels Amir lacks the courage to even stand up for himself, leaving Amir constantly craving Baba’s approval. Amir’s desire for this approval as well as his cowardice later cause him to let Assef rape Hassan. The quotation also foreshadows the major test of Amir’s character that occurs when he must decide whether to return to Kabul to save Sohrab. As Amir searches for redemption, the question he struggles with is precisely what concerned Baba: does he have the courage and strength to stand up for what is right?