In The Kite Runner, violence plays a large role to develop both the characters and the story. Scenes such as rape, murder and extremely violent corporal punishments are cheerfully depicted and you can clearly see how those scenes come to affect the character development. The novel describes the life of Amir and his involvement with the violent scenes in the book. The novel also describes how much significance a single event in somebody’s life can have on their future self, especially rape.
The first time rape is portrayed in the book is the scene where Hassan, Amir’s childhood friend, are raped by a known bully known as Assef. Amir and Hassan had just participated in a kite fighting tournament and they luckily won. Hassan runs away to find the kite for Amir and finds him being held down by Assef and his friends. Here, Amir can either interfere in the rape, or run and hide, and he chooses the latter one.
This choice will come to affect and shape the rest of his life. The memory of witnessing Hassan being raped, and him not helping his friend will build up guilt inside of him. The guilt will continue growing until he cannot handle it anymore and feels like he has to redeem himself. This particular rape is not the first instance where rape occurs, and Amir is later reminded of his choice whilst escaping to Palestine with his father Baba when a woman is nearly raped.
His father prevents this and Amir is reminded about his foul decision and also about how different Amir is from his father. About the same time, Amir is told about the rape of Kamal, a boy Amir used to know. These two events enriches the guilt he already felt and it grows even more. Later in life, Amir will look back at the scenes of rape in his life and will compare it to a coin only showing the upside when thrown; “What was the old saying about the bad penny? My past was like that, always turning up” (Hosseini 2003, p.281). Later in the story, Amir and his father arr…