In this essay I pretend to demonstrate what betrayal is. In both books it presents a long variety of examples of betrayal. As we know betray is something that has existed in all over the world is also considered as a sin. Most of the people have been betrayed more than one time in their lives, but anyone can tell or express their feelings when they feel betrayed. The only way that people can express that feeling is writing, Khaled Hosseini and Ian McEwan show us in their books how betrayal is presented in the characters.
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The first time when Amir commits a betrayal is when he saw Assef raping Hassan when Amir won the Kites contest because Hassan denied giving up the Amir’s blue kite to Assef; when Assef was raping Hassan said, “A loyal Hazara, loyal as a dog”. (Khaled Hosseini, 2003 the kite runner pages 71-78). With this quote I try to explain how betrayal is clearly presented because he betrayed his confidence. Amir should have tried to do something to help Hassan and stop that act of insanity. Also Amir felt that he deserved it because Amir comes from and high social class. Because their cultural differences are so strong, because Amir’s and Hassan’s father is the same but he made love with the servant but Amir is a Pashtu and Hassan is a Hazara.
In Atonement Briony betrays her sister, because Briony saw her sister having sex in the library with Robbie,
“When she took another few steps she saw then, dark shapes in the furthest corner. Though they were immobile, her immediately understanding was that she had interrupted an attack, a hand-to-hand fight. The scene was so entirely a realization of her worst fears that she sensed that her overanxious imagination had projected the figures onto the packed spines of books. This illusion, or hope of one, was dispelled as her eyes adjusted to the gloom. No one moved. Briony stared past Robbie’s shoulder into terrified eyes of her sister.” (Ian McEwan, 2001, Atonement page 116),
but when the twin’s carrot head escaped to their home, Briony was looking for them and suddenly saw that Lola was being raped by an unknown person, Briony thought that Robbie did it because she thought that he was a sexual maniac because she had read the letter that Robbie had sent to her sister.
Briony betrays her sister because she told the police that Robbie tried to rape Lola, suddenly Briony showed them the letter that Robbie wrote to Cecilia. Briony never realized that she destroyed two lives (Cecilia and Robbie). Here I tried to explain in both books how families can betray their relatives and destroy a life, also these two books have are relation in the same way of betrayal. Why do I say this, well, because Briony and Amir had betrayed in one purpose; to feel secure themselves and demonstrate who is in charge or demonstrate that they are not weak.
As we know when Amir came back to his real country he realized that his father had betrayed him, because his father Baba had sex with Sanaubar, a Hazara servant and he realized that Hassan was his stepbrother. We realized that Amir’s father betrayed his family with the Zahara woman. As I said, most of the men betray women when they feel empty but they forgt the main purpose of getting married, when Baba had sex with Sanaubar, he never thought about his family and the consequences that would bring.
I think that Robbie betrays Briony because she fell in love with him, I realized that because when they were in the swamp she jumped into the lake because she asked him if he will save her, Robbie got angry with her because no one has to do something like that only for love. Somehow these kinds of manners will be respected, because children always have a platonic love and are blind when they make or take unexpected actions and do not take a lot of responsibility on their actions. On the other hand children, in this case Briony, think that if they do things to attract the attention, of Robbie for example, somehow children experience the platonic love. But when you tell them the reality they get upset and may even hate people that hurt them, in this case Robbie hurts Briony.
What are the cultural differences between Kite Runner and Atonement
Next, I’m going to explain what a cultural difference is for me. A cultural difference is a another way of think and act referring to other people, in this case referring to their society, religion, race, social class, color and the way you think. Several years the cultural differences made people create incertitude between people. When people believe in the cultural differences; they create manners, when these manners are out of control in which people lose their values and their culture for one purpose, around the world religions appeared in which unconformity between religions is created and they fight between them and against them. When these cultural differences make people hate or just get angry without purpose.
“When different people of different cultures get together on one platform like in a university, or in some multinational company, and then many problems arise, this is called cultural differences. One thing that is considered good in one culture might be felt as abused in the other culture. Like I have heard in one country green hats are worn by those people whose wives are not happy with them and in other cultures wearing cap of any color is not considered awkward. Similarly many other problems arise as well” (http://www.blurtit.com/q306924.html)
In The Kite Runner the cultural differences are strong because as I said Amir and Hassan, are from different culture Amir is Pashtu and Hassan is Hazara, both cultures are so different because the Pashtu culture thinks that their religion is the pure and the dominant than the Hazaras, they still thinking that the Hazaras only born to deserve the Pashtu families. We saw the cultural difference when Amir is playing in the Kite Runner contest, Hassan only helps Amir because he wants the respect of Amir, when Assef ask for the kite of Amir Hassan refuses to give it to him the Assef rapes Hassan, Amir witnessed the rape but he was to scare to intervene, but he thought that there is no problem because Hassan is a Hazara. “Hassan goes to run the last cut kite, a great trophy, for Amir saying “For you, a thousand times over.” (Khaled Hosseini, 2003, The Kite Runner, page 2 and 67)
Unfortunately, Hassan runs into Assef and his two friends. Hassan refuses to give up Amir’s kite, so Assef exacts his revenge by raping Hassan. Hassan did not give up the kite because he wanted Amir’s respect. Wondering why Hassan is taking so long, Amir Searches for Hassan and hides when he hears Assef’s voice “A loyal Hazara. Loyal as a dog”. (Khaled Hosseini, 2003, The Kite Runner, page 72). He witnesses the rape but is too scared to intervene. He
The Kite Runner page 2 and 67) 4
The Kite Runner page 72)5thinks that to himself, since Hassan is just a Hazara.
In Atonement I saw cultural differences in the beginning of the novel when Bryony asked her sister why she does not talk to Robbie. The answer of Cecilia was because he is not like our social class, why she said this to her youngest sister, she tried to explain that different social classes exist, the high social class and the lower social class, Briony understood the differences because Robbie’s family was helped by Briony’s family.
Another factor that makes the difference in social classes is Robbie family because they live in the land of Briony’s family. Robbie’s mother is a servant because she does the laundry and irons the clothes for the family. Briony’s father helped Robbie to enter the College because he does not have money to support a university. The most important fact is when someone tried to rape Lola they believe in Briony and they really thought that Robbie did it. Another factor that I found in the novel is when Robbie is in the Second World War, their partners told him why a person who studied a lot and speaks another language is a soldier, and he told them that he was in jail and that is the reason why is in the army and also he said that he is no rich.
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The Kite Runner present us how the discrimination and social class is presented showing us how people are racist with different cultures in this case Pashtunes with Hazaras. For example Hassan is a Hazara, when Amir is looking for Hassan and he asked one of his classmates, Omar told him “Your Hazara” (Khaled Hosseini, 2003, The Kite Runner, page 68.) I realized that the cultural differences are strong because the Pashtunes think that they are the highest social class.
Another fact that I realized is Amir asked the old merchant if he saw his friend, the merchant answered, “what is a boy like you doing here at this time of the day looking for a Hazara?” and he told him he needs to find him and the merchant ask him, “what is he to you?” And Amir answered “He’s our servant son” (Khaled Hosseini, 2003, The Kite Runner, Page 69.) here I totally realized that all Hazaras are hated by the Pashtunes and they treat them like a thing not like a person or like servants.
When Hassan was trapped by Assef and his friends; Assef told him,
“but before you sacrifice yourself for him, think about this: Would he do the same for you? Have you ever wondered why he never includes you in games when he has guests? I’ll tell you why, Hazara. Because to him, you’re nothing but an ugly pet. Something he can play with when he’s bored something he can kick when he’s angry. Don’t ever fool yourself and think you’re something more.” (Khaled Hosseini, 2003, The Kite Runner, page 72)
here Assef is provoking Hassan because he wants to create a discord between Amir an Hassan but the loyalty of Hassan is stronger than a few words from Assef.
The most important act of coward ness is when Amir didn’t do anything to help Hassan of being raped because he was afraid and because he is from the highest social class Pashtu and Hassan is only a servant.
Another important factor of betrayal is when Amir accused Hassan of stealing money and his gift for birthday because Amir cannot live with Hassan because he is a servant and he is a Zahara. The most of important thing here is the loyalty that Hassan has for Amir because he accepted that he stole the money and the watch, and Hassan really knew that Amir saw everything In that alley Amir thought that, “He knew I had betrayed him and yet he was rescuing me once again, maybe for the last time.” (Khaled Hosseini, 2003, The Kite Runner, page 105) Amir wants to start a new life without pain and he wants to breathe again, because he thinks that his father loves Hassan more than him, that’s the reason why he do this to Hassan and his family.
In Atonement I read how the army betrays Robbie and his group because they wants to return to their homes but the army man who was in charged told him that he has to wait because they are more soldiers that want to return to their homes. The government betrays all the soldiers because they were forgotten in the battlefield. Also the government promised them ships to take them over there, Robbie got angry because he is waiting for his outlet pass and find his love in this case is Cecilia.
I realized this because the government promised something that is never accomplished because it always has excuses for not doing the right thing and leaving people without dreams. Also soldiers betray themselves because when they are in the middle of a fight they are scared and they forget their values and they start being demoralized and lose consciousness and go scared about it. In the book Ian McEwan explains how the war is the worst place to be as demoralizing as a person and makes you change your way of being and lose little innocence you have left.
How Briony and Amir redeem themselves
In both books I realized how Briony and Amir betray their families and commit a lot of crimes, well not crimes but they create unconformity in the family, they destroy the confidence between brothers.
In The Kite Runner Amir, commits a betrayal, but he wants to redeem himself because he destroyed a family and he felt guilty because he realized that his step brother had died. He returns to Afghanistan and adopts Hassan’s son Sohrab and takes him to USA, because in Afghanistan Sohrab had been raped by Assef. At the end of the book Amir is trying to fly a kite but suddenly he felt a presence, it was Sohrab, Amir asks him if he wants to try to fly the Kite. With this Amir feels that he redeems himself, because he betrayed Hassan when he said to Baba that Hassan stole the money and the Watch, Amir is going to take care of Sohrab as his son.
In Atonement Briony, commits a betrayal because he told the police that Robbie is the person, who tried to rape Lola, but Robbie is sent to the war and he died. Cecilia joins a nursery school and she is sent to the war too, but she died waiting for her boyfriend Robbie in a train station. That’s the reason why Briony wants to redeem herself for the betrayal that she committed with her sister and her lover because she had destroyed two lives because she always knew that she lied about Lola’s rape.
In conclusion both books showed us how people betrayed just only to get one purpose, but when these people realized that they are wrong they tried to redeem themselves because they cannot live with guilt, also most of the people commits some sort of betrayal but they redeem themselves because they help people who they betrayed. In The Kite Runner and Atonement Amir and Briony redeem themselves because they could not live with that guilt and they realized they needed to do something to become better people, they matured as people and the way they think and they grew because they realized the mistakes of the past. As a person I have made mistakes and I’ve searched and redeem them, I think over time one begins to mature as a person and to correct errors that one had made because if you die, you will die with guilt. Most of the characters in both novels had suffered betrayal but the way for them to redeem themselves is correcting their errors and having a new life without pain and realizing that life becomes easy without guilty.
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