The Kite Runner
In the book “The Kite Runner” the main character Amir and his father “Baba” almost seem not related. You could never tell Amir was the son of the strong and powerful “Baba”, even mentioning in the book “you are no son of mine”. He always cherished the moments when they talked due to how scarce it happened. While Amir was a cowardly boy, his father scolded him for not being as he was as a child. They were almost polar opposites, making them character foils. Baba was admired for his strength and bravery.
There were even tales about him wrestling a bear with his hands. He wasn’t somebody to mess with, and expected his son to follow in the same footsteps. Baba became disappointed in his son when he soon realized that Amir simply was very different from himself, and also from other kids. He went to lengths of even anger towards his son when he read books and wrote poetry instead of playing sports. Their relationship was never very strong due to the fact Amir could never please his father.
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Amir would become jealous when Baba patted Hassan on the back, praising him. Baba constantly looked down upon Amir for never living up to his expectations. Only did they build a stronger relationship when he won the kite fighting competition, finally doing something admirable in the eyes of his father. This friendliness didn’t last long. An example of their obvious differences is the scene in the truck. A Russian solider wanted to “have his way” with a married woman in the truck in order for them to pass.
Baba refused for him to take away a woman’s pride or honor like that, so he stood up for her even at gunpoint. Amir told him to sit down and just do as the Russian solider says, showing his cowardliness. Their differences in how they handled situations became evident at this point. They were character foils because of how well they contrasted each others strengths and weaknesses. Their personalities emphasized one another. For example, Amir looked much weaker next to the “larger than life” appearance of his father.
Or that you could notice how brave Baba was when beside such a coward. The use of character foils is what makes this book such a great piece of literature, for it is done very well and contributes to the books quality. Even after his father’s death, he still looked up to his bravery. Baba got to see his son get married before his death, making him proud one last time. Overall I thought this was a great book. I believe Amir’s development was admirable; he went from a coward to become a man more like his father.