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The Kite Runner

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The theme of loyalty is presented throughout The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. The definition of loyal is "unswerving in allegiance: as faithful in allegiance to one's lawful sovereign or government, faithful to a private person to whom fidelity is due, faithful to a cause, ideal, custom, institution, or product" ( There are many examples of loyalty throughout this story but the loyalty between Amir and Hassan is most prominent. Hassan had complete and utter devotion to Amir, displayed in his oath, "For you a thousand times over" (Hosseini 67), which ultimately lead to his greatest suffering and eventually, his death. Hassan demonstrates the limits of loyalty where he willingly accepts blame for Amir's childish pranks, protects him in confrontations with Assef and even endures rape in order to carry out Amir's plea to get the kite. Amir never reciprocates the loyalty to Hassan by constantly testing Hassan's devotion to him. Amir asked Hassan to eat dirt and was always underestimating him for not being able to read or write. Amir continues on to take advantage of Hassan's loyalty and uses it to frame him in the theft of his money and watch. "This was Hassan's final sacrifice to me ... Hassan never lied" (Hosseini 105). Hassan comes from a rough social background, "Hazaras are often considered outsiders by other Afghans: Shiite Muslims in a mostly Sunni Muslim nation, they are further distinguished from other Afghans by their Asian features." ( Due to the social circumstances in Afghanistan and the role model of Baba who doesn't consider Ali as a friend, Amir is conflicted as to how he should treat Hassan. "I was a Pashtun and he was a Hazara, I was a Sunni and he was a Shi'a and nothing was ever going to change that" (Hosseini 4-5). It is Amir's tremendous desire to earn his father's love and respect, which further motivates him into abusing his own relationship with Hassan, "Maybe Hassan was the price I had to pay, the lamb I had to slay to win Baba" (Hosseini 77). Despite initially not displaying the characteristics of loyalty, by returning to Afghanistan and saving Sohrab, Amir could finally be at peace for his past sins and it also allowed him to finally display his loyalty to Hassan by acknowledging Sohrab as his nephew.

Another theme of loyalty lies with Baba. Even though powerful and strong, he doesn't always display loyalty. "There is only one sin, only one. And that is theft. Every other sin is a variation of theft" (Hosseini 17). Baba has broken his own sin by stealing Ali's honor by sleeping with his wife, stole Hassan's identity by keeping his paternity a secret, and by stealing Hassan from Amir by never telling them they were brothers. In their social culture loyalty was part of their code. "Another aspect of the code is



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