The Kite Runner Redemption
The Kite Runner is filled with many compelling characters that have struggled much throughout story and transform into their better halves by redeeming themselves into a better person. Amir is the narrator and the protagonist that is driven by his guilt caused by his desire to win over his father’s affection. Throughout the book, Amir is searching for countless ways to to deal with his guilt by redeeming himself. In the book, The Kite Runner written by Khaled Hosseini, Amir is introduced as a character that struggles with his guilt but, throughout the book is constantly searching for redemption using his guilt, pain, and his loss to guide him in his journey to redemption.
Amir’s guilt is first established when he witnesses the rape of his best friend Hassan and simply stands by allowing such a horrific act to transpire. Amir is introduced to his guilt when he says, “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” (pg. 4). Amir is referencing the scene that he witnessed in the alley while Hassan was being rape, and emphasizes that as much as he attempts to bury his past, it will always come back to haunt him. Amir’s journey to redemption begins when he realizes how he had betrayed such a robust relationship that he shared with Hassan. However, Amir attempts to redeem himself shortly after being informed about Hassan’s death when he states, ‘Hassan is dead now. That boy sleeping on the couch is Hassan’s son. He’s my nephew. That’s what you tell people when they ask… And one more thing, General Sahib, you will never again refer to him as ‘Hazara boy’ in my presence. He has a name and it’s Sohrab’ (pg. 361). Another way, Amir aims to redeem himself is by respecting Hassan and not permitting anyone to disrespect his son and his name. Amir’s guilt caused by what occured in the alley, motivated him to care for Sohrab while also searching redemption. It is evident how Amir’s guilt plays a crucial role in Amir’s journey to redemption.
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Although, Amir’s journey to redemption is heavily influenced by his guilt, Amir’s pain motivates him to not permit his loved ones to ever feel the pain he had to endure to become the man he is now. Amir’s father is a constant reminder of the pain he has to carry alongside, because Amir has always felt that his own father hated him. Amir suspicions of hatred are hinted when he says, ‘I was going to win, and I was going to run that last kite. Then I’d bring it home and show it to Baba. Show him once and for all that his son is worthy. Then maybe my life as a ghost in this house would finally be over.’ (60). Amir struggles to gain appreciation from his father but, attempts to achieve it by winning a Kite Flying tournament and finally making his father proud. Amir’s pain influences him to redeem himself by not becoming the coward he believes his father oughts him up to be. Amir aspires to be like his father because he makes him to be a respected, honorable, and a caring person. Amir has always felt inferior to his father because he can never be the boy his father wished him to be. Amir struggles to stand up for himself and is often placed in a situation where Hassan stands up for him. “A boy who won’t stand up for himself becomes a man who can’t stand up to anything” (pg. 35) is something that his father once told him. However, Amir finds it difficult to stand up for himself. The pain of feeling inferior to his father motivates him to become a better person while progressing his journey to redemption.
Amir’s losses many things important to him throughout the book, including his own father, brother, and mother. Amir successfully transforms the pain he received from those losses to an excellent motivating factor to his journey to redemption. Before, Amir witnessed the death of his father, Amir strived to become the man his father was. Therefore, took into consideration everything he says including, ‘There is only one sin, only one. And that is theft. Every other sin is a variation of theft….When you kill a man, you steal a life. You steal his Wife’s right to a husband, rob his children of a father. When you tell a lie, You steal someone’s right to the truth”(17). Although, the death of his father greatly impacted Amir, this quote pressures Amir to redeem himself. The loss of his father enables him to continue the legacy that his father left behind. Another, example that reveals the impact of the death of his father is when Amir says, ‘Sometimes, I think everything he did, feeding the poor on the streets, building the orphanage, giving money to friends in need, it was all his way of redeeming himself. And that, I believe, is what true redemption is, when guilt leads to good’ (316). Amir believes that his father struggled with the same feelings of guilt, which leads him to believe that he can also redeem himself. This realization is a prime example how the death of his father influenced his decision to redeem himself and eradicate his feelings of guilt. Although, Amir at a young age was unable to stand up to himself, the death of his father taught him that he can only redeem himself by fighting for what is right .