Power In The Kite Runner

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Leveling the Scales: The Kite Runner and the Abuse of Power Power abuse is typically associated with corruption in the government or dictatorships. It is not commonly attributed to people on an everyday scale, and especially not to children. Yet, the abuse of power can be present in many different situations, most of which stem from the same root issues. Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner illustrates how the abuse of power originates when people have felt insecurity and a lack of power in their own lives, and it can happen on many different scales, shown through Amir, Assef, and the Taliban. Throughout the whole book, Amir has been vying for love from his father, often against Hassan, and feels powerless when he does not get it; this causes him to attempt to assert power in other aspects of his life, usually over Hassan. Amir feels as if Baba does not love him, and feels powerless to fix it; he says, “I always felt like Baba hated me a little, And why not? After all, I had killed his beloved wife, his beautiful princess, hadn’t I? The least I could have done was to have the decency to have turned out a little more like him. But I hadn’t turned out like him. Not at all” (Hosseini 19). He believes there is nothing he can do to make his father love him; after all, he cannot change the past, and he cannot change himself substantially. This feeling of powerlessness affects him in such a way that he feels the need to compensate for this loss of power elsewhere in his life. He would exploit the kindness and forgiveness Hassan always showed him, and would try and prove his superiority and worth in that relationship. Amir once asked if Hassan would eat dirt if he asked him to, and afterwards said, “I knew I was being cruel, like when I’d taunt him if he didn’t know some big word. But there was something fascinating--albeit in a sick way--about teasing Hassan. Kind of like when we used to play insect torture. Except now he was the ant and I was holding the magnifying glass,” (Hosseini 54). Amir is filling the power gap he feels in his life with power over Hassan, and is trying to show Hassan how much control he has over him. Hassan, Amir’s servant and a genuinely kind person, is in a vulnerable position against Amir,
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