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Not Like Father or Son

In: English and Literature

Submitted By NurseB
Words 1279
Pages 6
Amir and Baba may be father and son, but they are nothing alike. Amir, is the cowardly one, and Baba is the bear. Amir spent most of his time trying to impress his father, and not succeeding. Amir would try and just end up disappointing Baba. In the end, Amir ruined his own life and the life of others trying to impress his father.

When Amir’s mother died while giving birth to him, he felt it was his fault, and that Baba somehow blamed Amir. This is not true. Baba was very much in love with his wife; she was his princess. Baba’s problem was not that Amir had taken his princess away, but that Amir was nothing like Baba, and he could not relate to his own son. This was a big burden on Amir. Amir felt Baba treated him differently because he had taken his mother away from Baba. Amir felt the need to make up for it. Amir’s mother being alive would not have changed the way Baba treated him because Amir would have been the same little boy that was weak and cowardly, and that was what Baba hated so much.

Baba gave special treatment to their servant, Hassan, and this made Amir jealous. Baba treated Hassan like a son. After all, Hassan was easier to relate to for Baba because he would stand up for himself when he needed to. Hassan did not let people push him around like Amir did, and I thought this appealed to Baba because that is what he wanted
Amir to be like. Later on, I learned it was because of a secret that was much bigger than I could have ever imagined. The secret being the real reason Baba treated Hassan special, like a son.

Baba had taken Amir to the yearly Buzkashi tournament. Amir watched as one of the chapandaz fell off his saddle and was trampled to death. Amir cried all the way home. This bothered Baba because he did not want his son to be weak and emotional. Baba was fierce, strong, and without a weak bone in his body. Amir was supposed to be strong, and laugh at the death of chapandaz being trampled, not cry. Later on that night Amir overheard Baba talking to Rahim Khan about him. Baba 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.(21)” Because of this Amir wanted to be mean, and even though he was not a mean child, he did it to impress Baba.

While flying the kite in the kite tournament, Amir thought about Baba the whole time. He said, “my eyes kept wandering over to Baba.(63)” Amir imagined how Baba would react, and that he would be happy. Amir thought to himself, “But this would be my one chance to become someone who was looked at, not seen, listened to, not heard. If Baba was wrong and there was a God like they said in school, then he’d let me win. (65)” Amir hoped for an embrace by Baba for winning, worthiness, vindication, salvation, and redemption. Amir did not know that winning the tournament would change his life forever, and not for the better.

When Amir walked into the alley, and watched while Hassan was raped, it was because Amir was a coward. Instead of protecting Hassan he just stood there. Amir was not worried about his friend. He was concerned about his precious kite. Amir was worried that he would not have anything to show Baba for winning the tournament. Baba would not have a trophy to brag about with his friends. Once again, Amir was concerned about himself. Baba would never have allowed the rape to happen, because he was the type of person who would stand up for anyone just to do the right thing. Such as the time when Baba and Amir were escaping to America, when the Russian tried to have his way with one of the woman they were riding in the van with in exchange for letting them by. Baba stood up for the woman. With a gun pointed at his chest, Baba did not even flinch. He risked his own life without hesitation even though he had only known her for as long as the van ride. Amir will not even stand up for his own friend. Amir was only a child at the time, but he should have known that Assef would not do anything to harm him, if not for any other reason, just for the mere fact that he was Baba’s son, and Baba was very powerful.

The incident in the alley affected Amir’s life immensely. Amir was consumed by guilt, and was extremely mean and hateful to Hassan even though Hassan was not the one to blame, Amir was. Amir tried everything he possibly could to make himself feel better about it, and when that failed he decided Hassan and his father, Ali had to leave. Amir planting the money and watch under Hassan’s bed was the worst thing he could have done. Amir was punishing Baba, Hassan, and Ali for his mistakes. They were all innocent victims.

Amir and Baba became closer after having to leave their country and come to the United States. They were all that was left of the life they once had. Baba was very set in his ways, and when they moved to America Baba needed Amir’s help adjusting. Things were a lot different here. Baba getting a job at the gas station was humbling for him and Amir. Baba was doing hard labor compared to his life in Kabul. The luxury they once had was gone. Amir was able to see Baba in a different way. Baba was no longer the powerful figure that he once was, and sometimes even depended on Amir, which Baba was not used to.

The death of Baba had not changed Amir much. Baba was his father, but he had Soraya to lean on. At the funeral Amir thought,
Listening to them (the mourners), I realized how much of who I was, what I was, had been defined by Baba and the marks he had left on people’s lives. My whole life, I had been “Baba’s son.” Now he is gone. Baba can’t show me the way anymore; I’d have to find it on my own (174).Amir was now his own person, and no longer defined by but Baba had been or done.

When Rahim Khan called to ask Amir for a favor, he felt he had no other choice. Amir had to redeem himself for all the wrong he had done. He was an adult now, but he still acted as a child. Amir was always second-guessing himself, and how all that he was about to do would effect him, and his life. Not like Baba. Baba would have jumped at the chance to help anyone without any hesitation, but Amir was not like Baba he did it because it was a chance for him to be good again.

Amir was shocked to hear that his father betrayed Ali, and that Baba too had secrets. It did not matter now though. There was nothing that could be said to Baba since he was gone. Amir went to find Sohrab because that was what Baba would have wanted if he was still alive. Had Amir not of known that Sohrab was his half nephew, he would have been the same coward as always, and lived with the disappointment in himself that he had grown used to. Amir was nothing like Baba.…...

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