Forgiveness: the Kite Runner

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Forgiveness is a necessary part of human existence, although it is rarely easy to give, and sometimes hardest to give to ourselves. The Kite Runner illustrates humanity's tendency, and even willingness, to dwell on past mistakes. The opening sentence sets this theme with "I became what I am today at the age of twelve," as Amir unapologetically relates how he believes one action at that young age defined his entire life. However, as the novel progresses, the reader comes to the conclusion that it was not one action, but a series of choices and events that created Amir's persona as an adult. By holding onto his guilt and fear of discovery, Amir could only bury his past for short periods of time before his own conscience uncovered it and the emotional baggage attached. Throughout the course of Amir's life, he made choices based on jealousy, fear, and guilt, and thus allowed his life to be immersed in regret and shame until he finally allowed himself redemption.

At the age of twelve, Amir committed the act which would dominate his thoughts for the rest of his life. His childhood friend and servant, Hassan, was raped by the neighborhood bully, and Amir watched in horror. Afraid of the same fate, Amir made no attempt to help his friend or to make his presence known. Instead, he hoped that Hassan had not noticed him watching. This is not uncommon for children. Not all children can be expected to face their fears or to try to be heroes. Children often try to pretend things away, as well. Guilt-ridden, Amir avoided Hassan, but the more he did so, the more guilt he felt for abandoning his friend in his time of need. Deciding that he could no longer stand Hassan's presence, Amir framed Hassan for stealing objects from the house. He had second thoughts and planned on confessing until his father forgave Hassan. Amir had always been jealous of his father's love for Hassan, so when his father readily forgave Hassan for, according to his father, one of the ultimate crimes,...
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