Hi! I was planning to publish a dear authors essay today; however something came up and I want to talk about this instead.
Long story short, my school is doing this mandatory book "club" thing. In my group we are being forced to read The Kite Runner. Nobody, not even the teacher has read it but her friends recommended it. Those are some darn shitty friends because the first seven chapters of this book have already gotten on my nerves. Now, just a disclaimer:
I will be including a few spoilers for the first seven chapters, and I'm only speaking for myself, there are some people that really do love this book. Also, I've only read the first seven or eight chapters. Trigger warning, I will be discussing r*pe a bit.
OK, so first of all I wasn't really interested in this book. I didn't know the description, I was angry about being forced to read it, etc. Just the first two chapters were getting on my nerves. I didn't understand it, mostly because I wasn't invested and I didn't want to read it. But once I actually started reading and getting over it, trying my best to at least understand the content, I started hating the protagonist. The protagonist finds the relationship with his father is more important than a relationship with his servant/friend that would literally do anything for him. Now with this information alone you may be thinking "I mean this person is family; this person is just a friend. What's the matter, what's the problem?" Let me break it down.
Amir is the main character, Hassan is his friend...Or at least is supposed to be. Amir is kind of conflicted between whether Hassan he should be his friend or his servant because they've known each other for years but he wants to be like his father and he wants to treat Hassan like his servant. They're obviously supposed to be best friends though because their relationship alone is best friend relationship type material, if you get what I'm saying. Hassan and his father work as servants because of their religious beliefs. I forgot what the two different beliefs are called but basically Amir and his father are rich because of their religious beliefs as well as some other stuff that they have not named in the book yet, Hassan and his father are poor because of their religious beliefs and something else they haven't named in the book yet. If they named it, I missed it. Hassan and his father live right next to Amir and his father. Both Hassan and Amir's mothers have passed. Only their fathers will be mentioned; their fathers are best friends. Again, I'm saying best friends because Amir's father AKA Baba treats him like one.
Baba does not really pay much attention/care too much about Amir. Amir is not happy about that; he tries his best to get on his father's good side and impress his father. Amir once eavesdrops on the conversation between his father and one of his business partners/friends (I don't really remember what their connection is) and basically Baba said he wanted Amir to be stronger, he didn't like how Hassan always had to stick up for Amir and Amir would literally lie about it. Baba wants Amir to be more like him.
Now let's talk about Hassan for a minute AKA the most loyal friend in the entire world. Hassan would stand up for Amir every chance that he got even though he was already hated on for his religious beliefs. Hassan is so pure and kind, all he ever wants is Amir to stay friends with him.
Now there is this kite runner type of contest, you have to catch the last flying kite and you win. I'm just guessing it's a pretty big deal because Amir really wanted to win in order to impress his father. Now the time finally comes down to the last kite, which is the blue kite (Amir's kite) and Hassan decides to help him catch it. He runs to catch it, Amir at some point lost him. Once he found him again, he saw that Hassan was trapped by three bullies they had encountered at some point before. One of them, Assef, had threatened Amir dueing their last encounter and Hassan stuck up for him. The other two were just bystanders/Assef's friends.
Assef told Hassan to give him the blue kite twice. Both times Hassan refuses because he knows how important the kite is to Amir and he wants to help Amir rebuild his relationship with Baba. Now let me just name during this time, Amir is standing behind some wall hiding somewhere. Assef gets angry and decides to rape Hassan. Since Assef's other two friends didn't want to participate, they simply held Hassan down and the protagonist, Amir, stood there and then ran away. The stupid coward simply ran instead of helping this friend that has helped him trillions of times.
I don't care if he's five years old, at least grab an adult! In the end Hassan brings the blue kite to Amir once he finds him and Amir runs back home and his father finally notices him. For the next few days, Amir feels guilty so he ignores Hassan. Hassan does not know what he did wrong, but since Amir goes off on him and tells him to leave him alone, Hassan simply follows orders because he wants what's best for Amir. Now I know I said I hate Mary Sue characters, but again I hate this book.
I hate the protagonist. I hate how nice Hassan is. And I felt like crying. I don't know about you, but when I get tons of description in a book I visualize what is happening in my mind. Visualizing that scene was one of the worst things that has ever happened in my entire life, especially since I was forced to because I was forced to read this book. I wish there was some sort of way to a race it from my mind but at this point there is no way. I'm just angry, I'm sad, I feel bad for this little boy that has done everything to help Amir.
And you know what, I read ahead because I saw these summary videos on YouTube and I wanted to see if they were true. It's revealed Hassan KNEW Amir was there and ran away. However, he didn't say anything to Amir. He still wanted to be Amir's FRIEND. HIS FRIEND. Hassan even lied and said he stole a watch in order to keep Amir's bond with his father strong. HASSAN HAS DONE ALL THIS FOR AMIR . And yet Amir seems to have some type of bipolar thoughts. One minute he's talking crap about Hassan and the next he feels guilty. What the actual heck?
Please pray that this book gets better, because I really do not want to get zeros in this book club.