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Kite Runner Essay

1374 words - 6 pages

In his tremendously bold and thought-provoking novel ‘The Kite Runner’, Khaled Hossieni leads his audience down the path of a young boy growing up in Afghanistan and his road to find redemption. At the beginning of the novel, we find a grown man named Amir, still struggling to overcome his ‘shameful past’ of sins, lying and betrayal. As we are transported into the world of Amir in his home town of Kabul in North-East Afghanistan, we experience his life story; from early childhood, where he flew kites daily with his Hazara friend Hassan, to his adulthood in America where he struggled to live in the poor conditions with his ill father. Amir’s wrong-doings back in his childhood forever haunt ...view middle of the document...

In fact, instead of trying to redeem himself for that act of cowardice, Amir continues to make additional mistakes, pushing away his problems by putting his money under Hassan's bed, framing his best friend through his jealously of his the attention his servant gets from Amir’s father, Baba. Baba has his own difficulty connecting with Amir. He feels guilty treating Amir well when he can’t acknowledge Hassan as his son. As a result, he is hard on Amir, and he can only show his love for Hassan indirectly, by bringing Hassan along when he takes Amir out, for instance, or paying for Hassan’s lip surgery. Amir’s belief that he was the cause of his mother’s death and consequent desperation to be redeemed by his father drives him to do horrible things to Hassan in order to gain respect from his authoritative father.
Amir, at the age of 18, moves away with his father to Freemont, California in order to escape the Taliban. Amir sees this as a way to escape his guilt he feels of his shameful past. Amir’s whole outlook on life alters and something within him changes. Perhaps Amir is able to forget about his betrayal of Hassan. America, Amir believes, would offer his a forgetfulness of his shameful past that would be impossible in Afghanistan. Amie takes care of his father and works diligently to provide for him. As Baba dies of cancer, Amir's kindness becomes apparent. Amir is not a self-centered and vindictive boy anymore and comes to realise that he must stand up to the past and seek redemption for his former sins. It is questionable whether Amir changes his personality like this because he now gains full support from his father as a result of Hassan’s lack of presence. Despite all the improvements and good deeds, Amir remains silent about his past deeds. Baba dies without Amir ever telling him about the times he betrayed Hassan.
Amir’s desperation to free himself of the guilt that he has endured since his childhood leads takes him to Pakistan where his old mentor Rahim Khan coerces Amir into a quest to search for moral freedom. Amir finds himself on a search for his, now deceased, friend’s son. Amir’s battle to take Sohrab back and ‘do good’ for others, leave him scar-faced and brutally wounded. However, it is Amir’s guilt that drives him and motivates him to do the things that he did and rescue his half-nephew from the wrath of the powerful Taliban. It is not sheer determination and loyalty that inspires Amir to return to Afghanistan and ‘save the say’ but instead it was Amir’s own fear that he would otherwise live the remainder of his life full of sin and harmful secrecy.

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