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Everywhere Nowhere Somewhere
January 5, 2013

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini is a captivating book which narrates the life of an Afghani boy from his childhood to manhood and ultimately, his road to redemption. Amir and his father, whom he calls Baba, live in a large home located in Kabul, Afghanistan along with their two beloved servants Hassan and his father Ali. On many occasions Hassan stands up for Amir and the two form a very close relationship. But when Amir witnesses Hassan getting raped and does nothing to stop it, their close relationship deteriorates and Amir frames Hassan for stealing his money in order to get him fired. Ali, knowing what Amir had done, decides to quit despite Baba’s pleas for them to stay. Later on, Amir and Baba are forced to move to America due to the Russian invasion of Afghanistan and there they start a new life. One day, after the death of Amir’s Father, Baba’s closest friend calls Amir and tells him to go back to Afghanistan to find Hassan’s son Sohrab who had become orphaned. Amir finds out that Hassan was actually his half-brother and upon retrieval of Sohrab, he decides to adopt him. The author’s description of Amir’s origins, a call to action from Rahim Khan to go back to Afghanistan, and the ultimate rewards Amir received at the end of his quest prove that a physical journey from America back to Afghanistan was required so that Amir would finally be able to come at peace with himself and his past. The events that took place during Amir’s childhood in Afghanistan caused him to become uneasy and shamed in the eyes of his father and continuously troubled him up until the completion his journey. After Amir saw Hassan getting raped, he decided to not talk about it to anyone. Slowly but surely the secret started to eat away at him until it reached the point where Amir felt like he needed to receive some sort of punishment for it. When Amir and Hassan went out together for the first time since the Kite Flying tournament (the day of Hassan’s rape), Amir started to throw pomegranates at Hassan and then yelled: “Hit me back! Get up! Hit me!” (92). In this passage, Amir’s guilt really starts to show through. He knows that he had wronged Hassan for not being there when he was needed the most despite the fact that Hassan had always stood up for him when they was in trouble. Amir wanted Hassan to hit him so he could lift some of the weight of the guilt off of his shoulders. But once again, Hassan’s loyalty proved to be unbreakable as he refused to inflict pain upon his master. Amir was too much of a coward to reciprocate the loyalty Hassan had showed him throughout all his life. Even more, Hassan tries to reestablish their friendship when he says: “I don’t know what I’ve done, Amir Agha. I wish you’d tell me. I don’t know why we don’t play anymore” (88). But instead of confessing his secret and owning up to the fact that he betrayed Hassan, Amir only gets aggravated and tells him to leave him alone. Hassan knew Amir was there when he got raped all along and in a way he forgave him and made the notion that is was okay to move on but Amir refused to do so. Hassan’s ability to forgive quickly and his tendency to always stand up for himself are only just a few of Baba’s many qualities he had embodied. The fact that Hassan was more like Baba than Amir was made Amir extremely jealous and caused him to think that Baba was ashamed of him. Although it does not seem like Amir and Baba’s disparate qualities necessarily made Baba ashamed of him, he mortified Amir when he was asked, “Baba, have you ever thought about getting new servants?” (92). Amir had done the immature thing of asking his father, who grew up with Ali, to simply replace their faithful servants just to alleviate himself from the guilt of betraying Hassan. Clearly, Amir does not know how to deal with his guilt and this shows how severe his problem is and how hard it is going to be to fix it. Amir even...
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