Kite Runner: Redemption
When you do wrong, you are plagued with guilt. Guilt can be sinful; it stains your conscience and ruins your morals. Although these actions are wrongful, they can be atoned to through sacrifice or purification. People find piece of mind in doing something that makes up for the cause of guilt and this is especially eminent in Khaled Hosseini’s novel The Kite Runner. Although there are many ways to advocate to wrongful doing, through the main character Amir’s actions sacrifice was proven to be the most liberating act.
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One final opportunity to decide who I was going to be. I could step into that alley, stand up for Hassan- the way he’d stood up for me all those times in the past- and accept whatever would happen to me. Or I could run.” (p. 82). Instead he sacrifices his relationship with Hassan to redeem himself and prove his worthiness to Baba: “In the end, I ran. I ran because I was a coward. I was afraid of getting hurt. …Maybe Hassan was the price I had to pay, the lamb I had to slay to win Baba.” (p.82). He runs away to show his father his winning kite, to gain his praise and gratitude rather then standing up for the one person who put Amir before his own self.
The extents of Amir’s sacrifices go beyond childhood reprieves. They are etched into his past and his guilt from them grows and embeds itself into his adulthood: “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.” (p.1). Now, healthy and married, Amir’s life has changed so much from when he and his father escaped war-ragging Pakistan to adapt to the new city life in San Francisco. However, Amir never forgets that childhood incident; he lives everyday with the guilt he has built up over the years. His big redemption journey starts when he receives a call from an old family friend, Rahim Khan, to “…be good again.” (p.2). With this phone call, Amir realizes all his sins have built up past the point of return; he can no longer neglect and run away from them, he has got to face them.
Although Amir has a guilty conscience, he bemoans this fact and shares his misery with no one. His guilt stems from his remorse towards the way he regarded Hassan, allowing him to be raped, and his guilt is what drives the novel to its peak events; Amir’s journey to rescue Hassan’s son, Sohrab, from the Taliban in Kabul, and his confrontation with childhood bully and Hassan’s rapist, Assef: “And with that came realization: that Rahim Khan had summoned me here to atone not just for my sins but…” (p.238). Rahim Khan tells him that there exists a way for Amir to rid himself of guilt and atone for his sinful past and he realizes that the only way to do so is to sacrifice his “…wife in America, a home, a career, a family.” (p.238) and do what he should have done years ago in that alley; be a man who stands up for something in his life rather than run...