Amir and Baba

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The Relationship between Amir and his father Baba isn’t your typical father- son relationship, it has a major effect on those within the book although it’s the most important link on two individuals in this novel. They in many ways are complete opposites of each other. Baba, as a young man is widely known as “a bear” and possesses such a name for his ruthless fights and strength of such an animal, this animalistic imagery tries to emphasise the strength and power Baba has. Such physical encounters gave him the reputation of a well-built, tough individual whom people respect highly.

Amir in contrast is more the sensitive type, he’s recognized as more an illiterate individual who shares a compassion for stories and poetry, “I wrote my first short story”. Amir perceives Rahim Kahn as more a father figure who can relate to his illiterate skills “Rahim Kahn hunkered before me and handed me my story”. On the other hand the relationship between Amir and Baba is extremely fundamental and is it sets out foundations that other relationships are built on, such as the first word of Amir and Hassan, “we spoke our first words.

Mine was Baba. His was Amir, my name”, this quote infers that throughout the book Hassan has always been there for Amir and would do anything for him. On the other hand Amir’s first words show a sense of loyalty towards his father rather than Hassan. The attitude and language Baba has for Amir is fairly negative, it shows in this book how Amir craves for love and attention from Baba. However none is portrayed, maybe a sense of disgust and disappointment is shown in Baba linking to the death of his wife.

The example of when Amir asks if he can join Baba and his friends, Baba replies “this is grown-ups time”, this direct speech straight away shows the reader the split in Baba and Amir’s relationship. “He propped me up… pair of tree trunks”, this shows Baba is very sustainable and is not easily broken down reflecting his character. The lexical choice “propped” gives the connotation of being uncomfortable. Such a declarative sentence and adjective “propped” lets the reader know the attitude Baba has for his son.

Another example of Baba’s disapproving attitude toward Amir is the way he patronised young Amir. “I mean to speak to you msn to man do you think you can handle that for once? ” This interrogative sentence demonstrates how Baba emasculates Amir making him less confident and knocking his self a steam. Amir illustrates many childish, attention seeking incidences. “I think I have Saratan, I said, cancer”. This shows the reader how far Amir would go to get the attention from his father, this could in long term effect be related towards Baba and Rahim Kahn’s deaths?

Baba had always wanted his son to be a tough, strong young boy leading after himself, however this was never to be. “A boy who won’t stand up for himself becomes a man who can’t stand up for anything”. This text shows how Baba feels uneasy about Amir and how he fears for him as man growing up. The Buzkashi tournament was another example of how unlike Baba and Amir are. After the tournament Baba ridicules Amir for crying when a man gets killed. “Clenched and unclenched.

Mostly, I will never forget Baba’s valiant efforts to conceal the disgust look on his face as we drove in silence”. The verb clenched is used to emphasise the anger and disappointed Baba is feeling, the word “disappointed” plays a major role further on in the book as it links to Amir not “failing” his father. These dynamic verbs: “kick.. claw.. whip.. punch “shows the reader how Amir is distressed by the violence his is witnessing. Another important aspect to this novel is jealousy and how this in many ways brings one relationship closer but separates another.

A minor incident would be when Amir and Baba are spending time with each other and Baba asks why isn’t Hassan here, Amir says “Hassan had the runs”, this shows the reader such a lie directing towards the aspect of Amir being jealous of Hassan. An additional example of how Amir is jealous towards Hassan would be the birthday present Hassan received from Baba. “Hassan hadn’t done anything to earn Baba’s affections”. This once again shows how jealous Amir is of Hassan and how he desires the “affections” of his father.

During scene seven of the rape sequence Amir has a decision to save Hassan or leave him. The consequence of Amir leaving Hassan results in Amir receiving his winning kite and captivating his father’s “affection”, which in course happens, the kite has to be won at any cost and in Amir’s eyes Hassan is the sacrifice. This act of disloyalty leads to the separation of Amir and Hassan but the creation of Amir and Baba. During chapter 8, after the victory, Baba has celebrations with all of his relatives. The sound of Baba’s voice is described as “unbearable” by Amir. Still ranting about the tournament”, Amir describes Baba’s language very precisely. “Booming voice”. These quotes alone involve verbs, adjectives and pre modifying adjectives.

Baba is described in this way to highlight the fact of his domineering character but to also to include the fact of how he proud he is of his son. This sequence could resemble the symbolism of the two kites connecting. The final idea I am going to discuss is the way in which the language of Baba and Amir contrast one another. He told me Baba had drawn the blueprints himself despite the fact he had no artificial experience”. This shows how Baba sees himself as always write and never wrong, it shows how high his confidence is. This quote is in contrast to his character and how Amir perceives him. “Baba succeeded and everyone shook their heads in ore of his triumphant ways”. This also illustrates the point that although Baba may be wrong he has the confidence and high morale to pull it off.

The most major idea of contrast between these two characters is during both sections where Amir does not stop a rape scene but on the other hand Baba does. ” I caught a glimpse of his face. I saw the resignation in it. It was a look I had seen before. It was the look of the lamb”. This example of connotation introduced itself where it describes Amir as the sacrificial piece, Amir must sacrifice something to win the love of his father. You could argue that the savour of Baba to the young women could be his redemption of his sins in the past, stealing a sons father?

However Amir has to redeem himself in a different way perhaps, both these examples contrast each other as they show one individual saving someone but another sacrificing someone. In conclusion I can sum up that both Amir and Baba had their troubles earlier on in the book however nearer the end I felt the connection of a true father-son relationship. “I lifted Baba’s blanket. What’s this? I said, though as soon as I picked up the leather bound book, I knew”. This quote shows how Baba finally accepts Amir for what he is and what he does.

This is a very good use of language as it shows the acceptance Baba gives to Amir and that’s truly what Amir wanted from him, acceptance. In addition I feel the move to American to some extent makes Baba the “bear” less inferior to what he once was in Afghanistan. Although Amir is a full grown man, he demonstrates how he could never fill his father’s shoes and during Baba’s funeral he shrinks to his knees and “aspires to cowardice” as he does not know what life will be like without his father.

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