The Kite Runner

Why does Hassan always do what Amir wants and never tells on Amir?

This is in chapter 2.

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The theme of loyalty is central to the novel. Amir's lack of loyalty to Hassan is what keeps him rooted to that one moment in the winter of 1975. Hassan's unflinching loyalty to Amir is what results in his rape, his leaving Wazir Akhbar Khan, and one could argue, his death many years later. We learn the basics of Amir and Hassan's relationship early on, as embodied in their mischief making. Amir is a child of privilege who wants attention, so he feels safe and even entitled to getting into trouble. Yet his insecurity and fear of Baba makes him unable to stand up for himself or take credit for his mistakes. In contrast, Hassan is a servant who has a very close and constant relationship with his father, Ali. Ali has taught Hassan to be so righteous and loyal that he would not dream of starting trouble and does not hesitate to cover up for Amir. As we learn, Hassan is so determined to protect Amir and not to cause anyone grief that he keeps his rape a secret. The difference between Amir and Hassan underscores the connection between loyalty and family. Hassan is loyal and long-suffering just like Ali, who kept the secret that Baba had an affair with Sanaubar and that Hassan was not his biological son. Amir betrays Hassan just as Baba betrayed Ali, and like Baba, Amir must suffer for what he did and pay retribution.

The theme of loyalty is connected to the theme of silence and secrets. Remaining silent about injustice is Ali and Hassan's way of showing loyalty to Baba and Amir. The story of The Kite Runner is filled with things untold or unspoken. Baba's adultery, Hassan's rape, and Amir's betrayal of Ali and Hassan are examples of things untold. One major unspoken thing in the boys' household is the difference between Pashtuns and Hazaras. Amir does not even know why the Pashtuns demean the Hazaras until he secretly reads a history book. It is only twenty-six years later, when General Taheri refers to Sohrab as a "Hazara boy," that Amir breaks his silence about this issue and demands respect for Sohrab. Another major unspoken truth in the household is the lack of mothers. Sanaubar gets little attention until the end of the novel, when she reappears in Hassan's life and redeems herself by caring for Sohrab. Baba maintains such silence about Amir's mother, Sofia Akrami that he assumes Baba blames him for her death. He learns more about her from the beggar in Kabul than he ever did from his own father. The key secret keeper and revealer in the story is Rahim Khan, who protects secrets for Baba, Ali, Hassan, and Amir. Ultimately, he is the one who insists on Amir's redemption.