Pomegranate thrown at Hassan, he doesn’t fight back.
Hassan stands up to Assef.
for him “sociopath.”
Bullied his parents.
in identity: loyal to Pashtun part.
thrown at Hassan, he doesn’t fight back.
Assef: Irony: questions in identity: loyal to Pashtun part.
Hassan has a remarkable form of integrity. For example, after
Amir and Hassan have a falling out for which Amir is responsible, Amir tries to
free himself of guilt by throwing pomegranates from their favorite tree at
Hassan (pg #). Hassan is a little like a puppy following Amir about, regardless
of how Amir treats Hassan. The servant boy seems to concede to his “master” Amir’s
behavior, perhaps out of being of a lower social class (Hazaras were considered
ethnically inferior to the Pashtuns) (pg #), almost as one behaves as a guest
in another’s house. Hassan does not contest Amir’s cruelty, even though he
knows it’s wrong. Hassan very maturely can see past Amir’s pettiness, or “smallness,”
and that this may be a phase because Amir is angry at himself. (moral high road integrity always)
Assef is also loyal in his way. The adolescent is half-German
(from his mother’s side) and half-Pashtun/Afghani. Perhaps because most boys
idolize their fathers, Assef embraces his Pashtun heritage. However, there’s a
social advantage to this identified, too. Pashtuns are considered the superior ethnicity
in Kabul. For whatever reason, Assef is
a merciless bully. This strange preference reveals some of Assef’s early
sociopathic tendencies, by which he reshapes circumstances to always benefit
himself, regardless of the morality of such choices. Thus, Assef is loyal
predominantly to himself. Perhaps this shows one of the other problems with a
society that promotes one type of ethnicity over another: people make bad
choices to adapt to those unjust, irrational social divisions. Therefore, in an odd way,
Assef is actually a victim.
Interestingly, both Hassan and Assef are victims—victims
of society. One chooses to respond by
becoming an oppressor, the other accepts being oppressed. Still, both are loyal
to their classes. Choices individuals make can and do contribute not only to
the repeating of history but the perpetuation of evils like racism. Therefore,
little choices, which may be unconscious and unspoken on the part of both Assef
and Hassan, these little “pebbles,” make huge ripples in the “lake” of life.
Loyalty is therefore not a virtue in and of itself. (note:
many of the points could be further discussed to be even clearer, more