Injustice and Justice

        Religion tends to be
followed by many citizens, but it may be interpreted differently amongst many
people in societies. The Kite Runner,
written by Khaled Hosseini,
illustrates how individuals may hurts others with their own personal choices
and beliefs. The novel portrayed how the characters were divided into two major
sects in Afghanistan, the Hazaras and Pashtuns. The culture of Afghanistan classified
the nation into two groups which described the society’s way of living. The
distinguishing factor between the two major castes is that Pashtun’s respect
and pride are valued. Their status in Afghanistan is highly recognized.
However, Hazaras are regarded as people from a lower-class society who are
treated with hate and are unaccepted for their standard way of living. Although
the two sects follow the same religion and beliefs, one’s action may result in
chaos due to their individual opinions and class of society. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini demonstrates
that injustice often stems
from personal choices, not necessarily from institutions.

        The Kite Runner illustrates how Baba’s relationship with Amir is different
when compared to Hassan. Amir and Hassan are both considered to be a part of diverse
groups, the Hazaras and Pashtuns. The book depicted how Baba saw more potential
in Hassan as a successful individual than his own son, Amir. Amir’s abilities to
prove his father wrong had failed multiple times in the story. Baba’s thoughts reflect
and alters his beliefs being expressed in the story when comparing Amir and
Hassan.

“Self-Defence has nothing to
do with the meanness. You know what always happens when the neighborhood boys
tease him? Hassan steps in and fends them off. I’ve seen it with my own boys.
And when they come home, I say to him, ‘How did Hassan get that scrape on his
face?” And he says, “He fell down.’ I’m telling you, Rahim, there is something
missing in that boy [Amir]. (Hosseini, 2003, 18)

“He
needs someone who…understands him, because God knows I don’t. But something
about Amir troubles me in a way that I can’t express. It’s like…”I could
see him searching, reaching for the right words. He lowered his voice, but I
heard him anyway.” (Hosseini, 2003, 18)

        This quote expresses how the
relationship of Baba is differentiated between Hassan and Amir. Baba sees more potential
in Hassan than his own son Amir because of his desire to approach certain tasks
in a resolved manner. In the following context, Amir is eavesdropping on Baba’s
conversation with Rahim Khan. “Amir troubles me in a way that I can’t express” shows
how Baba feels very concerned with Amir and is worried about whether he will succeed
as an individual afterwards in life. This internally affects Amir because he
believes he has no value and reducing his self-confidence down because his
father is displeased with Amir’s lack of quality being a successful individual
like Hassan. However, Baba praises Hassan as quoted, “Hassan steps in and fends
them [boys] off.” This quote shows how Hassan has the abilities which Amir
lacks in himself.  Throughout the text, Baba
gave many chances to Amir to redeem himself and prove his father wrong that
Amir will succeed eventually in different scenarios. However, Amir failed to do
so countless times to prove Baba wrong. Religion isn’t at fault because Baba
believed in Amir many times (personal choices) however despite being in the
same group, Pashtuns, Baba recognizes the potential Hassan has over his own son
Amir.  Injustice is being expressed
towards Amir because it comes from Baba’s personal choices and beliefs, not
from institutions.

      The novel depicted how Amir’s decisions caused
a lot of chaos and violence which negatively harmed Hassan. Assef severely
rapes Hassan for refusing to give up the kite when Amir successfully wins the
overall “Kite Tournament”, to which Amir was disturbed and shocked. Assef, a
Pashtun, believes in chaos and violence. In the following context, he severely
rapes Hassan and mocks Amir for interacting with a Hazara. Although Amir and
Assef are Pashtuns, Assef mocks Amir because Assef realizes the importance of
being a Pashtun meant that Hazaras must be treated with hate. Amir decides not
to do anything because his personal choices prevented him from intervening.
Amir was ambivalent when making an appropriate decision which was to run away
from the situation or interfere in the fight. This demonstrated that Amir’s
decision to not intervene came from his choices, not from institutions. Due to
this, Hassan was forced to fight alone against Assef and the boys. Religion didn’t
alter Amir’s choices because Amir knew from his personal choices, he’d stand no
chance.  

“But before you sacrifice yourself
for him, think about this: Would he do the same for you? Why he only plays with
you when no one else is around? Because to him, you’re nothing but an ugly pet.
Something he can play with when he’s bored, something he can kick when he’s
angry.” (Hosseini, 2003,107)

 “I’ve changed my mind,” Assef said. “I’m letting
you keep the kite, Hazara. I’ll let you keep it so it will always remind you of
what I’m about to do.”. Assef yelped as he flung himself at Hassan, knocking
him to the ground. Wali and Kamal followed. I bit on my fist. Shut my eyes.” (Hosseini,
2003, 107)

        Amir’s personal choices led him to make a
poor decision and allow Hassan to get brutally raped. By not intervening, Amir
felt guilt for not standing up for Hassan despite the fact that Hassan had stood
up for Amir several times based on the philosophy that they are best friends. This
incident illustrates how Amir’s choices had affected Hassan severely. In the
following quote, “before you sacrifice yourself for him,” shows how Hassan was practically an “ugly pet” who
had no value in society. Amir didn’t stand up for Hassan because he knew Hassan
and Amir stood no chance against Assef and his boys. As Assef was getting ready
to harm Hassan, Amir decided not to intervene which resulted in Hassan getting
raped sternly. Amir’s guilt and betrayal were very significant in the book because
it portrayed how injustice affected Hassan due to his status in the country
(Hazara). Religion did not play a role in Amir’s decision because Amir felt he
would stand no chance alongside Hassan against Assef and his boys. Despite
Hassan and Amir being in diverse groups, the decision Amir made was because of
personal choices, not because of diversity in the two major sects, Hazaras and
Pashtuns. Furthermore, the personal choice of an individual comes from his/her deliberation.

       The choice of an individual can severely affect
a person’s standard way of living.  Amir’s
betrayal and guilt is revealed in the novel as he decides to take his birthday
money and watch to put under Hassan’s mattress. Amir’s intention was to avoid
Hassan by allowing him to be accused of stealing money and Amir’s watch. This would
provoke Hassan and Ali to leave the house for falsely being accused of
stealing. Baba always told Amir that “there is no other act more wretched than
stealing.” Amir believes if Ali and Hassan were caught stealing, they’d have to
face the consequences. Amir’s personal decision illustrates the injustice that
affects the other individuals who are superior to Pashtuns.

“They stood before Baba, hand in hand,
and I wondered how and when I’d become capable of causing this kind of pain.” (Hosseini,
2003, 111)

 “Did you steal that money? Did you steal
Amir’s watch, Hassan?” Hassan’s reply was a single word, delivered in a
thin, raspy voice: “Yes.” (Hosseini, 2003, 111)

“I flinched, like I’d been slapped.
My heart sank and I almost blurted out the truth. Then I understood: This was Hassan’s
final sacrifice for me. If he’d said no, Baba would have believed him because we
all knew Hassan never lied.” (Hosseini, 2003, 111)

       The decision Amir had made
not only affected him, but the lives of two Hazaras (Ali and Hassan). Amir sensed
how “capable” he is of “causing this kind of pain.” It depicts how his own
decisions are ones that he regrets and possibly will regret for the rest of his
life. When Hassan falsely acknowledges that he had stolen the money and Amir’s
watch, Amir felt as if he had been “slapped” and his “heart sank.” This depicted
the injustice he created with one decision affecting others around him. The
decision Hassan made was also significant in the novel because it was a “final sacrifice”
for Amir. In the text, Amir recognizes his guilt 20 years later when he must
rescue Hassan’s orphaned son. Religion was insignificant in this case because Amir
believed his guilt and betrayal were difficult to live with. Despite Hassan being
with Amir through thick and thin, Amir’s personal choices tells him that he
must take action to get Hassan out of his sights. This wasn’t because of
Hassan’s status in Afghanistan. Instead it was Amir’s choices, which led him to
take the wrong action that affected Hassan and Ali. Amir had given injustice
based on his personal choices which also refers to how injustice is based on
personal choices, not from institutions.  

         Furthermore, The
Kite Runner written by Khaled Hosseini illustrated the significant ways that religion can divide a nation
into two major sects. The novel portrayed many examples how injustice can emerge from personal
choices and beliefs. It depicted how the relationship of Baba is differentiated
between Amir and Hassan. The rape of Hassan by Assef and the betrayal from Amir
all derived from personal choices, not from institutions.