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Characterization in a novel that is both a fictional or non-fictional literature is often used to describe aspects of life that are regular in the context of the literature. It is often multifaceted because the author should decide to employ a direct approach thru the speech made in the books, or sometimes utilize indirect patterns through the actions of the subjects. The novel by Khaled Hosseini depicts each styles and characterization is made possible from the way the author portrays some of the principal characters in the narrative. It is worthwhile to examine the roles in a novel because it is then that the reader can apprehend the multitude of issues that are featured because it does not restrict someone to a limited thinking confinement. Assef is a controversial character in the novel and is thus perceived as a psychopath from the ill-behavior of being inconsiderate, mortals and notorious in the manner he would relate to others.
Assef is the primary villain in the novel and who is tasked with the role of establishing internal guilt. From an early age, one notes that Assef has a unique behavioral trait because, for the first 9 chapters, all he does was try to humiliate Ali (Mallik 22). He is even perceived to exercise his bully traits to Amir and Hassan, which warrants the establishment of a feeling of guilt that manifests and disturbs some of the characters. For example, the guilt that originates from Assef's behaviors is what ends up haunting Amir for a long time as he faces challenges all along (Hosseini 25). Guilt results from the realization that his behavior contradicts his confession when the book begins in chapter one. He states that "That was a long time ago, but it's wrong what they say about the past, I've learned, about how you can bury it. Because the past claws its way out. Looking back now, I realize I have been peeking into that deserted alley for the last twenty-six years" (Hosseini 25). The statement is thus an element of mockery and can be used as an indication to infer to internal guilt. In fact, the main villain further ensures that the guilt that he creates is what is used to establish a symbol of discrimination that is manifest throughout the novel. The novel further demonstrates Assef as a sociopath because of the people that the drew inspiration as he ends up associating himself with how dictators would behave. Most importantly, it is evident that Assef appears to admire Hitler despite the fact that Hitler is a known controversial person. For example, he even tries to imitate Hitler in the way he relates to others and how he speaks to people. The important clue to this fact is the realization that his voice is heard by everyone and he has a threatening figure likely to suggest that he was imitating Hitler. In fact, when he speaks, one can easily tell that he enjoys the art of threatening people and causing fear wherever he goes.
The impression that the reader gets of Hitler is that of an evil person because he does not respect people but instead gets into confrontations with the society around him. On many occasion, he is described to demonstrate ill-behavior and fails to respect others' rights an even decides to become a member of a terrorist group. As an adult, Assef joins the Taliban, and he furthers his immoral traits to kill people and delights in it. In fact, one many occasion, one would note the subject was misusing his position in the military, and he would take advantage of it to showcase his political muscle. Baba openly accuses him of his behavior when he states "A boy who won't stand up for himself becomes a man who can't stand up for anything" (Hosseini 110). It shows that Assef was fond of taking advantage of the situation and using it to express his evil behaviors at the expense of those around him. It further portends the fact that he cherishes Hitler's behavior and even imitates his killer behaviors (Gunwant and Gaur 59). For example, Assef keeps Sohrab as a slave for such a long time and it is when Amir turned that the captive was freed. He even beats up Amir to the point that he almost killed him and thus proves the extreme of being an evil character. It demonstrates the subject's willingness to abuse his position and physical nature to terrorize other people both when on duty and when of his professional roles.
The psychopath character by Assef is further demonstrated by his mysterious behaviors as one cannot determine exactly what motivates him to act in the manner he does. The case for other characters is simple because it is possible to understand the drive that makes them behave in a particular way (Gunwant and Gaur 45). For example, for Hassan, it is clear that he is so good at what he engages in because he feels it is the best he can do to satisfy his desire However, Assef presents a complicated case because as opposed to the rest of the characters, he remains a mystery throughout. While it could be assumed that he is motivated by Hitler's extreme behavior the real cause of his evil nature cannot be described. It is even described that from the way he behaves, one can deduce that he is a like an earthquake or a tonado as he is a destructive force natural. It is even odd that some characters try to establish themselves with such a characters considering the extreme behavior that he has demonstrated (Danayar). At one time Amir states that "I actually aspired to cowardice, because the alternative, the real reason I was running, was that Assef was right: Nothing was free in this world. Maybe Hassan was the price I had to pay, the lamb I had to slay, to win Baba" (Hosseini 91). The statement only serves to show that Amir was scared of Assef after he had raped Hassan and the illustration of Assef's mysterious character made him conclude that the rape act was a right form of action.
In summary, the psychopath nature of the book's villain and main actor is demonstrated through his evil behavior, inconsiderate nature, and mortal traits that made him a threat to almost everyone. He terrorizes people, engages in rape and kills others for fun and is a prime subject to illustrate mysterious traits as he drew his inspiration from the dictatorial leader Hitler. Overall, the importance of describing Assef's character in the novel enables the reader to understand personality trait and their relevance to the greater theme in the text.
Danayar, Hamid. "New Historicism in The Kite Runner by Hamid Danayar on Prezi." prezi.com. N.p., 2016. Web.
Gunwant, Suraj, and Rashmi Gaur. "The Kite Runner: A New Historicist Reading." IUP Journal of English Studies 11.2 (2016): 57–65. Print.
Hosseini, Khaled. Kite Runner. United States: Riverhead Books, 2003. Print.
Mallik, Mary. "Multicultural Ways of Knowing: Reading ‘The Kite Runner' in a Grade 11 Class." N.p., 2010. Web.
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