The Kite Runner

what tension does Amir feel toward Hassan in chapter six?

chapter six

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Many of the tensions that have been building till now, such as the treatment of Hazaras by Pashtuns, Amir’s desperation to please his father, and the question of whether he can stand up for what is right, come together in the events of this section. The central event is Hassan’s rape, and it will be the catalyst that propels the rest of the novel forward. This event is the source of the guilt Amir feels as an adult, and it is why why the image of the alleyway, the place where Hassan was raped while he stood by and watched, stays with him. Hassan, we are led to infer, is the kite runner of the book’s title, and Amir tells us the story both as a confession and an act of penance. He wants to atone for his sins, and in fact atonement will become a major theme. Two other important themes also converge in the single image of Amir struggling with the decision to intervene while Assef, a rich Pashtun boy with a powerful father, rapes Hassan, a poor Hazara. This image conveys the challenge and importance of doing what is right, and the rape of Afghanistan’s powerless by those who have power.