Hosseini’s novel depicts how much people’s perceptions of their duties depend on their relationships with those in need of help. Amir, the protagonist, risks his life to save Sohrab, who turns out to be his nephew, from the Taliban. Based on Amir’s little compassion for Sohrab before learning about their family ties, Amir’s readiness to rescue Sohrab from Assef could be attributed to the family obligation.
Amir’s decision to take Sohrab from the Taliban is a sense of duty to support the family since his perspective on doing anything for Sohrab changes when he realizes that he is Sohrab’s uncle. After Hassan’s death, Rahim Khan asks Amir to take Sohrab, this “gifted little boy,” from Kabul, but Amir directly refuses to do it (Hosseini 219). Unwilling to risk his life, Amir even encourages Rahim Khan to hire someone to proceed with this risky assignment, which leads to his interlocutor’s disappointment (Hosseini 220). However, the knowledge that Hassan was his half-brother changes Amir’s perception, making him recognize that “there is a way to be good again” (Hosseini 226). In his inner dialogue prior to making the final decision, Amir emphasizes that Sohrab is “an orphan” and “Hassan’s son” (Hosseini 227). He does not show compassion just due to the fact that the boy is in slavery. Therefore, Amir is surprised when he is first asked to go after Sohrab. Nevertheless, new information that Sohrab is his blood relative, despite taking some time to process, makes it clear to Amir why the trip should be his duty.
Finally, differences in how Amir views Sohrab’s situation before and after revealing the truth about Hassan’s parents suggest the role of kinship in his decision-making. Amir’s initial reaction to Rahim Khan’s request implies that a basic moral obligation to save a helpless person is not persuasive enough for the protagonist. At the same time, the fact of being the boy’s only relative capable of rescuing him changes Amir’s mindset.
Hosseini, Khaled. The Kite Runner. The Penguin Group, 2003.