The Portrait of Amir. Elena Bagaeva , 4th year student, BSU, Ulan-Ude

The main character of the story I have read is Amir. He is a narrator and a protagonist of the story. He is a sensitive and intelligent son of the Afghan businessman Baba. He was born in Kabul. His mother died during his birth, and that’s why he feels responsibility for it. He feels that his father Baba hates him because Amir killed his wife. He belongs to Pashtuns, the largest ethnic group of Afghanistan.

Amir is a well-educated person and his speech has a very rich vocabulary. He had a privileged upbringing, and he always got what he wanted. His father had a very big house, Hazara servants and his own business. Baba built an orphanage in Kabul. Amir had his own room; also he had many books from his mother. He got so many guests and many good gifts on his birthday. Baba presented him an expensive watch and a bicycle.

When he was a child he was fond of writing stories, that’s why he wanted to become a writer. But his father Baba didn’t share his interests in writing. Amir is very an intelligent and self-respected person. But Amir is a coward.Amir behaves jealously toward anyone receiving Baba’s affection.

His best friend is Hassan, a Hazara servant of his family, and he goes back and forth between acting as a loyal friend and attacking Hassan out of jealousy whenever Hassan receives Amir’s father’s affection.His great desire to please his father is the primary motivation for his behavior early in the novel, and it is the main reason he allows Hassan to be raped. He mocks Hassan’s ignorance, for instance, or plays tricks on him. At the same time, Amir never learns to assert himself against anyone else because Hassan always defends him. All of these factors play into his cowardice in sacrificing Hassan, his only competition for Baba’s love, in order to get the blue kite, which he thinks will bring him Baba’s approval.

We see the change in Amir’s character while he is growing from a selfish child to a selfless adult. After allowing Hassan to be raped, Amir is not any happier. On the contrary, his guilt is relentless, and he recognizes his selfishness cost him his happiness rather than increased it.

Once Amir has married and established a career, only two things prevent him from being completly happy: his guilt and his inability to have a child with Soraya.

Sohrab, who acts as a substitute for Hassan to Amir, actually becomes a solution to both problems. Amir describes Sohrab as looking like a sacrificial lamb during his confrontation with Assef, but it is actually Amir who courageously sacrifices himself. In doing this, as Hassan once did for him, Amir redeems himself, which is why he feels relief even as Assef beats him. Amir also comes to see Sohrab as a substitute for the child he and Soraya cannot have, and Amir assumes the roles of Baba and Hassan.

Amir turns to be a very interesting and controversial character whose atonement is very educating.

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