The Kite Runner Analysis: Hassan
Hassan is an important character within the novel "The Kite Runner" and below is the general outline of his character. Being the loyal friend of Amir (the protagonist and narrator of the story), and having powerful history with his family, he is referred to throughout the novel. Being betrayed by Amir meant that he is often cited as the reason for Amir's emotional distress, and being Baba's hide-away son, Baba often mentions him in the form of "I wish Hassan was here".
Constants Throughout the Novel
Bravery and Loyalty
Hassan's absolute bravery and loyalty to Amir is constant throughout his short life and unfortunately is the cause of most of his problems. Standing up for Amir and the neighbourhood children, Hassan gets hurt and Amir tells Baba that he just fell. Aggravating Assef with a slingshot in order to protect Amir and then refusing to give up the kite that he ran for Amir, he ends up being raped. Then, as a final show of both bravery and loyalty to Amir and his family, when the Taliban ordered Hassan out of Baba's house, he protested and was shot in the street.
Throughout the story, it appears that Hassan had an ingrained sense of morality. When Amir tells him to shoot a dog with his sling shot, he protests, but out of loyalty does it, not wanting to hurt the dog but not wanting to disappoint Amir more. When asked to leave Baba's house, Hassan feels injustice, and protests, costing him his life.
Hassan's morality remains intact in his adulthood and it is apparent because he passed on those very same morals to Sohrab, teaching him that doing bad things to bad people is always wrong, because they may become good people, making Sohrab wonder about his action of shooting Assef with a slingshot later on.
Forgiving & never loses his temper
Throughout the entire novel, there was never a time that Hassan had lost his temper, not after he was raped, betrayed by Amir, had things thrown at him by Amir, or when he was teased by Amir, instead, he tried to do the right thing, allowing his morality to decide what he would do.
In the case of the pomegranate tree, where Amir had been throwing pomegranates at Hassan and screaming "hit me back", Hassan picks up a pomegranate and rubs it in his own face.
As a child, Hassan helped Ali to do housework instead of going to school, never complaining that he had to do these chores even though his best 'friend' Amir was able to go to school and forego physical labour.
Even after he was raped, he still fulfilled his chores, not letting anything get in the way of doing what was expected of him.
As an adult, he fathered children and was a good husband with Rahim Khan noting that his wife looked at him with a worshipping gaze, implying that Hassan was still hard working at home. Helping out at Baba's house as an adult, doing all of the physical tasks for Rahim Khan also shows that he didn't become lazier as an adult.
Due to the lack of education Hassan faced, he is unable to read and write until he learns how as an adult, up until then, and even then, his vocabulary and eloquence is much less than the other characters who had the privilege of education in Kabul.
However, being keen to learn new words from anyone who is willing to teach him, as an adult, some higher vocabulary can be expected. Other than that, generally basic and clear language is used.
Hassan, due to his social background, a servant's son and a Hazara, is polite to every character he meets in the novel, addressing even Assef with the appropriate afghan formalities, and his all forgiving nature makes sure that this constant never changes. His belief that is revealed later that even bad people deserve respect because they could become good means that he is polite to everybody.
Hassan of course realises that he is a Hazara and what people think of them, and accepts his placement in Afghani society, as a servants son and adherent to a religion that others will look down at him for. (Pashtuns were Sunni muslims and Hazaras Shi'a muslims which causes conflict, especially in Kabul, where Hassan and his father were abused for being Hazaras)
Hassan says to Amir "Amir Agha... You know. . . I like where I live." "It's my home."
Excerpts from Text
Loyalty/Kindness to Amir
"One day, In july 1973, I played another little trick on Hassan. I was reading to him, and suddenly I strayed from the written story. I pretended I was reading from the book, flipping pages regularly, but I had abandoned the text altogether, taken over the story, and made up my own. Hassan, of course, was oblivious to this. To him, the words on the page were a scramble of codes, indecipherable, mysterious. Words were secret doorways and I held all the keys. After, I started to ask him if he'd liked the story, a giggle rising in my throat, when Hassan began to clap.
"What are you doing?" I said
"That was the best story you've read me in a long time," he said, still clapping.
I laughed. "really?"
"that's fascinating," I muttered I i meant it too. This was ... wholly unexpected. " are you sure, Hassan?"
He was still clapping. " it was great, Amir agha. Will you read me more of it tomorrow?"
And just a little later:
"When I read the last sentence [of Amir's next story], he [Hassan] made a muted clapping sound with his hands.
"Mashallah, Amir agha. Bravo!" He was beaming.
"You liked it?" I said, getting my second taste- and how sweet it was- of a positive review.
"Some day, Inshallah, you will be a great writer," Hassan said. "And people all over the world will read your stories."
"you exaggerate, Hassan" I said, loving him for it.
Although Hassan most likely did not like Amir's stories more than the ones he was read before by Amir, he saw it as part of his loyalty to support and encourage Amir, even though he himself found a loophole to the second story, which he may have told Amir about to save him the embarrassment of hearing it from an adult critic later on.
Hassan was born into circumstances that made his life very difficult, and either because of good upbringing by Ali or just being that way from birth, he learned to deal with bad people and unfortunate events with a strong sense of morality, not wishing harm to anyone no matter how bad. Hassan's loyalty to Amir and Baba's family was strong throughout his short life until the bitter end where it ended up getting him shot.
His lack of education and social background made him seem lower to those around him, though he was a loyal and moral companion to Amir and a good son to Baba.