The Spectrum of Sacrifice in The Kite Runner and the Last Unicorn
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In the fantasy novel, The Last Unicorn, Peter S. Beagle wrote that “Real magic can never be made by offering someone else's liver. You must tear out your own, and not expect to get it back” (Beagle). While this quote is a bizarre non sequitur, its core holds true. It states that the only sacrifice that is truly worth anything is the sacrifice of one’s self. Too often in this age, people step on others to help themselves succeed, gain prestige and positions for themselves while leaving those stepped on in the dust. In 2003, Khaled Hosseini wrote The Kite Runner, which explores the same theme of self-sacrifice and love. It follows the life of Amir, a rich Pashtu boy, who spends his childhood in Afghanistan with his father, Baba and his…show more content… Baba immediately stands up and tells the soldier to leave her alone. The soldier then threatens to shoot Baba, to which Baba replies “‘[you’d] better kill me good with that first shot. Because if I don’t go down, I’m tearing [you] to pieces […]’” (Hosseini 123). Fortunately for Amir, the soldier’s superior calls the soldier off and Baba survives the encounter, but the act resonates with the reader: Baba is willing to sacrifice his life for others. A smaller example of his self-sacrifice is the orphanage that Baba had built before the start of novel. Baba is a wealthy man, and presumably it did not make to large an impact on his riches, but he went out of his way to build an orphanage simply because it was the right thing to do. Baba’s love of humanity in general inspired him to sacrifices quite a lot to make the world a better place.
While Baba is a large presence in the novel, the most prominent character in respect to self-sacrifice is Hassan, Amir’s servant and illegitimate half-brother. Very early on in the book, Amir describes Hassan as “incapable of hurting anyone” (Hosseini 11), and Hassan lives up to that nature. Hassan hurts nothing and no one, taking what is given to him without any complaint. For example, when Amir and Hassan make mischief by annoying their neighbour with a shard of glass, Hassan takes the fault. However, the most famous example of self-sacrifice in the novel is after