“Power is of two kinds. One is obtained by the fear of punishments and the other by acts of love. Power based on love is a thousand times more effective and permanent than the one derived from fear of punishment.”
Power is defined as the capacity or ability to direct or influence the behavior of others or the course of events. The idea of power is omnipresent in The Kite Runner. Evident through the manipulation of his characters and his immaculate plot design, Hosseini uses an array of circumstances to display the utter truth that many people use their power to inevitably corrupt the lives of those around them. Through acts of deceit, betrayal, and cowardice, everyday men are being transformed into monsters.
The first and most obvious example of abuse of power is Baba. His blatant disregard of Amir’s well-being is easily revealed through his manipulation and hypocrisy. Sleeping with the wives of his friends and servants, then pushing Amir to be an honest man. The irony of all of this is Amir desperately tries to appeal to his father, to those high expectations, yet Baba himself doesn’t even meet the expectations he sets for Amir. This father-son dynamic is extremely unhealthy, and we see how Baba’s influence and lack of nobility affects Amir- how it shapes him as a man. Baba’s main issue is he sees the world in black and white, either you’re right or wrong. Either Amir is a man or a boy. There is no grey area for him or others to explore, which hurts him on many occasions. His expectations of Amir, his son, are contradicting to how he himself acts.
Even Amir abuses his power. In the beginning of the novel, he frequently fools and teases Hassan by telling him the wrong definit...
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...art Afghani and part German, he was a fork in the road, and chose the path to destruction. Now the most preposterous part of this is Hassan’s rape is only one thing off of Assef’s laundry list of sins, which included molestation and theft. His belief that he is more holy and Godly than Hassan or even Amir is ludicrous, yet he abuses his power time and time again. Corruption at it’s finest.
All in all, it is safe to say that the characters in The Kite Runner (though some may have pure intentions at times) do nothing but abuse the power they have been given. Perhaps it is human nature to preserve our dignity and put our safety above the safety of others, but to put oneself before their kin is treacherous. Manipulation, silence and the robbing of innocence are three key themes and motivators throughout this story. Possibly even parallels regarding the human experience.
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