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Manhood in Kite Runner

on Sun Mar 25, 2018 11:24 am
Manhood In Kite Runner

Amir expresses concerns, or more accurately, doubts about his manhood. Throughout his early childhood, he constantly mentions how he never lived up to Baba’s expectations of what I proper man/son should be like. Baba is the somehow-accurate definition of a real man—a man who earns everybody’s respect when he walks into a room; a man who have scarves from fighting a real bear; a man who earned the nickname “Mr. Hurricane” because he is a force of nature.



By contrast, Amir is nothing like his father Baba. He is a poet. He likes to read poems and write some stories. Unfortunately, the countless efforts from Baba to turn Amir into a man have always failed. He doesn’t get along well with sports either by playing or watching games. If that was not enough, he is constantly the subject of bullying, and never is able to stand up for himself. As Baba has said, “If I hadn't seen the doctor pull him out of my wife with my own eyes, I'd never believe he's my son.”



This lack of fraternal connection leads Amir to question his identity, question his manhood. From what we can see in the few chapters we have read, masculinity is a big part of the Afghan culture. Assef, despite the horrible things he has done secretly, is able to have a positive connection with Baba—something Amir always have struggled with. In Baba’s eyes, Assef is a model of perfect young man. He is polite (even brings Amir a gift), plays sports, and even knows how to make adults laugh. How Assef is able to easily lure Baba to his side with his enchanting, devil-like charm, emphasizes even more Amir’s undeniable weakness.



To sum up, masculinity is something that Amir is unable to escape or hide from. It is deeply embedded in the culture, and we won’t see it going away anytime soon. Even if Amir wants to change, from a psychological point, it would be interesting how Amir’s character develop against such a societal norm.
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Re: Manhood in Kite Runner

on Mon Mar 26, 2018 6:12 pm
It is true that lack of masculinity of Amir become one of his main problem throughout his life. Baba’s desire to let Amir become athletic, strong and dominant is a major part of Afghan culture according to their honor system. Amir’s cowardice maybe caused by lack of maternity and Baba’s over-dominant figure. Amir’s mom died when Amir was born. This is an important theme since Amir always think that Baba hated him since he indirectly murders Baba’s princess. This feeling of guilt and the absence of mother’s figure in Amir’s childhood let him to become sensitive. Baba’s strong and brutal figure may be a good role model for Amir while Baba also brings pressure. Having a father like Baba, Amir is always afraid to fail Baba’s expectation and he will lose Baba while he already loses his mom.
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Re: Manhood in Kite Runner

on Mon Mar 26, 2018 6:16 pm
Your thoughts make me think of another problem: people judging others by their appearances. Baba’s preference towards Assef is a horrible example. He tries to let his son get close with someone who was seen to rape his son’s best friend. For people our age, it is common to see parents misjudging our classmates when they come back from PTAs or teachers deceived by how students appear to be under the light. People who know the truth are often victims in some way, because they have to bear the influence from ignorant but more powerful people. What should be done is to look for enough proves to change the situation, which brings justice and make lives easier.
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Re: Manhood in Kite Runner

on Mon Mar 26, 2018 11:19 pm
Good choice of theme that intrigues me to further analyze on the reasons that led to Amir's "undeniable weakness" in personality.

In my perspective, the hobbies of reading poems or writing stories do not indicate that Amir's lack of masculinity. Nevertheless, it is the lack of encouragement Baba provided him that somehow altered Amir's personality growth. Baba's continuous neglect and disengagement of Amir's own interest, passion and creation greatly dampened the flame in Amir's heart to take his own road. And I think this is also part of the reason Amir is so desperate for the assurance of his father instead of his own self-assurance.
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