Rahim Khan's Influence In The Kite Runner

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The Power of People: The Lasting Influence Rahim Khan has on Amir in The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini It is often the individuals taken for granted that have the most impact in the lives of others. Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner explores the profound power that lies in the hands of influential figures, and the resulting impact that they can have in terms of shaping ones identity and actions. While personally lacking rich character development, Rahim Khan’s role in the novel is significant, not only in terms of influencing Amir’s life, but also as a tool of personification used to embody the overall themes that are exemplified. By serving as a father-figure in Amir’s life, acting as a friend and encourager, Rahim Khan is able to provide…show more content…
Rahim acts as a physical link between the characters and themes of the story, a middleman that deepens the context of the plot. The role of a father-figure, shared by Baba and Rahim Khan is a complex relationship that heavily impacts Amir’s actions and emotions. Whilst Baba is the biological father and role model of Amir, it is Rahim Khan who is the one to provide emotional support, and stability. Amir’s selfish tendencies are a result of the lack of affection that is given to him by Baba, a man who wants to, but struggles to find similarities between himself and Amir. As a result, he often has difficulty relating to his son, leading him to think that “there is something missing in [Amir]”, because he is not like himself (Hosseini 24). Amir continuously tries to impress Baba, a longing that has a lasting negative impact, as he bases his self-worth on the approval his father. As a result, Amir develops a habit of being overly jealous towards people, such as Hassan, that hold Baba’s interest. Even trivial items-such as the construction of the orphanage-have the power to provoke…show more content…
He is the first person to read and praise Amir’s stories, something that has great impact on Amir. Through simple yet genuine remarks, Rahim is able to “encourage [Amir] to pursue writing [more] than any compliment” has done, indicating the value of his words in Amir’s eyes, and the strong bond that the two share (Hosseini 14). As Amir transitions into adulthood, Rahim’s role in the friendship shifts into someone who must push Amir to do what is best. He understands that the only way to convince Amir to go back to Afghanistan is through painful reminders of the past, demonstrated through telling Amir that “there is a way to be good again”, and by questioning Amir’s courage, accusing Amir of being a “man who can’t stand up to anything” (Hosseini 2, 233). In contrast, Rahim also exhibits a sense of tenderness and caring when needed. Rahim’s last words, provided in a letter, tries to justify the secrets that are kept from Amir, in hopes of preserving the image of Baba in Amir’s eyes, both of whom are important friends of Rahim. His letter, which explains why they keep “Amir in the dark” illustrates the pain Baba faces as a “man torn between two halves”, a parent who “[loves Amir and Hassan] both, but [cannot] love Hassan the way he [longs] to” (Saraswat 8) (Hosseini 316). Through his final remarks, Rahim is further emphasized as the moral center of the
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