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The role of honor
In many societies, a human being is considered honorable if he is respected, famous,
successful, and owns a high public regard. In other societies, especially the religious societies,
one should be honest, fair, and have integrity in his actions and beliefs to be considered a man of
honor. Yet, most people do the precise contrary of what is considered ethical. According to
Hosseini (10-18), Babas actions portray him as a human being who only valued money and
social class instead of honorable virtues like honesty and bravery.
Honor varies from one person to the other in terms of deeds and integrity. Even though
each and every person has got a different view of what honor is, the bottom line is the same
because all of them have goals of achieving something in their lives no matter what or who they
trample in order to keep their kite of honor flying high. Hassan, who does house chores, does not
appear to be that honorable. Nevertheless, we see him portraying the type of an estimable person
by stepping in for Amir when the other male children from the neighborhood tease him. Given
the status of Hassan in the community, he is someone whom the honorable people can trample
on, but what we see is different because he stands up for his friend who belongs to a different
class than him, Hosseini (10).

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Amir tries so much to be honorable in his fathers eyes. But his moral standard does not permit
him to be honest. He exercises all the negative things that depicts an honest human being. Even
so, he is later eaten up with guilt that he attempts to save himself by executing what is in good
order. Amir and Baba share betrayal of their best friends. Therefore, the only thing for them to do
is to redeem themselves. Baba does that by rescuing the woman who was about to be raped
(Hosseini, 127-8). Amir also makes up for his mistakes by saving his nephew.
Baba tells Amir that the only sin is stealing and all the others are a variation of theft,
Hosseini (17-18). This is Amirs father's philosophy in life and he considers it ethical. Even
though Baba believes in this philosophy, he only does so when it is convenient for him because it
is open later in the novel that Baba had an amour with his best friends wife. For him to maintain
his honor, he lies about this his entire spirit and therefore, steals Amirs right to the truth.
Amir is unable to stop Hassans rape and yet runs ahead to lie about it to his father.
Hassan, who has been hurt by his friend who has not helped him and has hurt him emotionally
still forgives his friend Amir. Hassans forgiveness to Amir shows how truly Hassan is honorable
because he is able to value their friendship. Hassan easily forgives because for him, friendship is
very important to him that he is not ready to judge his friends wrongdoing. That is what being
honorable is truly is. According to Hosseini (20), the only way for one to have complete
forgiveness is when one forgives oneself. For that to happen, one needs to atone for the mistakes
that he has made, as Rahim explains to Amir in his letter.
Love is also depicted in The Kite Runner as a way of being honorable. Amir loves his
father even though he feels that Baba is not reciprocating that love. Amirs desire to be loved by
his father makes him to commit so many mistakes. Baba also is full of quilts for not showing

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love to his son Hassan. In contrast with this, the only genuine and most loving relationship is
between Hassan and his son Sohrab (Hosseini, 120-135).
Hassan is a brave boy who is willing to sacrifice himself for the loyalty he has for his
friend Amir. He is depicted as a lamb who is sacrificed for the sake of others. It is so
controversial that in a society in which people believe in honor, can do unhonorable things such
as exploiting the innocent (Hosseini, 220-27). Amir, in contrast, is not willing to sacrifice
anything for Hassan. He is so selfish that he doesnt worry about what happens to his ally.
However, Amir realizes later how mean he had been. He goes to the mosque to pray so that he
can find peace within him.
Hassans rape is witnessed by Amir and he does not do anything to help his friend who
has sacrificed so much for him (Hosseini 75-8). According Baba, a boy who does not stand up
for himself cant stand up for anything. Amirs main character defect is his cowardice. That is
why he is not able to stand up for Hassan when he is raped by Assef. Apart from that, Amir hides
the truth from everybody when asked about Hassans rape. Even though Amir seems selfish, guilt
consumes him like a snap after the assault so that he becomes an insomniac and he cannot
tolerate being around Hassan, Hosseini (108-9). Even if he doesnt seem to care, he has a quilt,
which shows some sense of humanity on his part.
Honor is not valued by modern society as it was in traditional societies and the religious
societies. However, there is a need for us to put honor in the center of our lives. Since every
persons life is smothered by daily mistakes, redemption is necessary for you to have your honor
and be at peace.

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Work cited
Khaled, Hosseini. The kite runner. Bloomsbury: 2011. Print