Courage in Khaled Hosseini’s Novels
'The Kite Runner' and 'A Thousand Splendid SunsCourage' in the midst of adversity is a shared theme in Khaled Hosseini’s novels The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns. The succeeding discussion explores courage as displayed by characters in in both novels. Readings of these novels show that courage stems from love and devotion, particularly one’s love and devotion for other people, and that courage influences people to make sacrifices for those they love.
In The Kite Runner, courage is seen through the eyes of Amir who witnessed Hassan’s courage since they were children. Hassan displayed courage by standing up to bullying even if Amir could not find the courage himself to defend Hassan to other kids in the neighborhood for criticizing his friendship with a Hazara boy. Hassan also displayed courage when he ran to the cut the kite for Amir, which then led to him being abused and assaulted. Amir saw what happened but he failed to act to save Hassan from being raped. Even after this event, Hassan, yet again, displayed courage by keeping his assault to himself if only to save his friendship with Amir. Due to Amir’s guilt and regret, he framed Hassan and his father so his father, Baba, would shun them away. Hassan could have denied that he stole something from Amir’s father because it was not true but he knew what Amir did and so he courageously admitted to something he did not do because he knew it was what Amir wanted. Hassan’s unrelenting courage sprung from his deep devotion and loyalty to Amir, and manifested in the way that he suffered adversity for the other boy. Even years after Amir and Hassan last saw each other, Amir heard of Hassan’s courage from a friend. Rahim Khan told Hassan that he and his wife were killed for refusing to allow the Taliban into Amir and his father’s home in Kabul.
The revelation that Hassan was his half-brother built Amir’s courage. Amir learns that “There is a way to be good again” (Hosseini, 2), and to be good again, he must take courage to pay back everything he owed Hassan because of the latter’s courage and loyalty to him. Amir realized Hassan’s sacrifices for him and revisited his guilt for failing to help and defend Hassan. Despite all that, Hassan remained loyal to Amir and his father, and this loyalty coupled with Hassan’s courage led to his demise. This awoken courage within Amir to return to a hostile country to rescue Hassan’s son, Sohrab. During his journey to find Sohrab, Amir learns to take courage and finds inspiration in Hassan’s sacrifices for him, which he knows he had to repay somehow by helping Sohrab.
A Thousand Splendid Suns illustrates courage as something that is formed by deriving strength and resolve from another individual. Although Mariam’s husband, Rasheed, increasingly abuses her due to her inability to bear a child, she does not find the courage …