Amir displays his character throughout the novel, and it defines his life. With such traits as selfishness and sensitivity, Amir’s complex personality is shown to make up his entire life. When unpredictable events unfold in the novel, his personality and view on things drastically develop to make up a better person. Towards the end of the novel, some of his original traits/actions reappear, but are refined by others. Amir’s sensitivity eventually leads to his apparent need for redemption. Hosseini’s use of characterization allows the reader to “view” the changes this boy goes through to atone for his earlier traits/actions. Throughout The Kite Runner, Amir’s earlier traits, such as his selfishness, are displayed, and eventually become refined.
Since childhood, Amir has felt a great amount of sensitivity. It’s because of this sensitive side that he is allowed to feel extreme guilt over the rape of Hassan. His guilt fuels his apparent need for redemption, which is a common theme throughout the novel. After listening to Baba repeatedly talk about him with Rahim Khan, as well as how Baba acts around him, Amir deduces it’s all because he “had killed [Baba’s] beloved wife” (19). He also “always felt like Baba hated [him] a little” (19). Amir always believed it was his fault his mother died, and that his father somewhat hated him for that. Amir is also not quite the son as Baba had envisioned. As Amir once overheard Baba saying to Rahim Khan, “if [Baba] hadn’t seen the doctor pull [Amir] out ..., he’d never believe [Amir was] his son” (23). Amir has always felt insufficient and guilty of not being as good a son as Baba wanted him to be. He is hurt by these things, and thus feels like he must redeem himself in the eyes of his Baba. He is entranced into trying to make up for all the things he believed he did wrong. Baba was his role model, and Amir felt anger/frustration for not living up to him. So, when an opportunity presented itself for Amir...
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