In The Kite Runner, notions of community run steadily throughout the book. One of the most definable traits of community is the interdependence of individuals, and taking action to benefit others in their community at little to no gains for the self. This sentiment is extremely evident in The Kite Runner, through the repeated use of the phrase "For you, a thousand times over." Throughout the book, characters do things for each other and take care of each other to support their community; conversely, characters who do not behave in the best interests of the community feel guilt because of that inaction, and strive to do better for the remainder of the story. Oftentimes, characters who fail to properly sacrifice for their community take great steps to make up for these injustices, filling the gap in reciprocity between individuals within the community.
In the beginning of the story, the two boys Amir and Hassan form a very close friendship, which also involves their affection for their father Baba (though Hassan does not know that Baba is his father). Their roles as a kite fighting team are a wonderful microcosm for notions of a perfect community; Amir does the kite fighting itself, while Hassan is a 'kite runner' who can retrieve the kite after the fact. Hassan's running for Amir is done out of great affection for him, as Hassan considers him a brother; "For you, a thousand times over" (Hosseini). Hassan's great love for Amir is bolstered by notions of community, as he looks up to Amir and wishes to spend more time with him. As a result, Hassan does many things for Amir, as someone in a community should; he stands up to Assef after he threatens Amir, for one thing.
Amir's primary journey throughout the book is to learn how to be an effective community member. Despite his kindness and friendship toward Hassan, he still behaves inherently selfishly; instead of helping Hassan or telling Baba about the attack and rape Hassan endures (and Amir witnesses), Amir stays back and keeps quiet. This betrays the concept of reciprocity and exchange of kindnesses and effort that community living requires; Amir takes advantage of Hassan's kindness, while Hassan is punished for sacrificing for Amir. Amir's motivation for doing this is to seek Baba's approval, as Baba frequently ignores Amir and is dismissive of him. All the same, Amir still looks up to Baba and not Hassan, though Hassan looks up to Amir; this imbalance in respect and reciprocity establishes a very uneven community at the beginning of the book.
After Amir and Baba move from Kabul to California, a piece of them still remains with the others in Kabul, separating them from the rest of their community. However, Amir and Baba are able to make a new community with Soraya, a woman that Amir marries, though Baba dies shortly afterward. From then on, Amir's responsibility lies solely with Soraya and his family, though he cannot have children. He has left the responsibilities (and the guilt) of befriending and caring for Hassan behind; however, his mentor, Rahim Khan, brings him back to his old community by telling him, "There is a way to be good again" (Hosseini).
Once Amir returns to Kabul, he finds a way to reconcile his past behavior in order to rejoin the notion of a community. Though he is too late to save Hassan from execution, he is able to both rescue Hassan's son, take care of him, and finally stand up to the person who victimized and raped both Hassan and his son - Assef. By undertaking this search for Hassan's son, Sohrab, and delving into the belly of the beast (Assef's house), Amir attempts to reconcile the lack of effort and sacrifice he made in the community he had as a child, and bring Sohrab into his new community.
In conclusion, Amir's journey through The Kite Runner is one of discovering one's role within the community - which primarily involves sacrifice and bravery on its own. Amir takes advantage of Hassan's kindness and willingness to sacrifice, which he feels guilty about to the point where he rejects community. Later, having escaped that community and started a new one in a new environment, he is forced to confront the demons of his earlier inaction, and combines the old and new communities through his newfound sense of sacrifice. Putting himself in harm's way to save Sohrab and raise him as part of his family is a means to make up for not helping Sohrab's father, Hassan, as a child. By the end of the book, when Amir starts the cycle again, now in Hassan's role of kite runner, he understands the significance of Hassan's sentiment: "For you, a thousand times over." He has appropriated this principle into his life now, working for others (Soraya and Sohrab) instead of acting in self-interest.
Hosseini, Khaled. The Kite Runner. Riverhead Books, 2003. Print.