The Kite Runner – Theme Analysis
1. Friendship, guilt, redemption
“He knew about Assef, the kite, the money, the watch with the lightning bolt hands. He had always known. ‘Come. There is a way to be good again,’ Rahim Khan had said on the phone just before hanging up. Said it in passing, almost as an afterthought.” (Chapter 14, pg 202). This quote symbolizes how Amir strived to do everything to forget, all he needed to do was to fly to Pakistan and see what Rahim Khan wanted him to do. So that's exactly what Amir did. Rahim Khan tells Amir that "there is a way to be good again". Amir knew straightaway what he was talking about. He realizes, that all of those years, Rahim Khan had known about Assef, the kite, the money, the watch with the lightning bolt hands. He had always known. Rahim Khan had knew about Hassan getting raped. He needs to go to Afghanistan and talk about the ‘unspoken secret’ they both knew about. After the phone conversation, Amir keeps remembering Hassan saying ‘for you, a thousand times over!’ Thinking of this, he knows he has to go to Afghanistan, see Rahim Khan, uncover the secrets and do whatever he asks to ‘be good again’. By this he means that Amir has the opportunity to make up for his betrayal of Hassan by saving his son, Sohrab. Rahim Khan knows what really happened to Hassan and also knows that this has been bothering Amir for years so he is basically implying that Amir can still redeem himself if he goes back to Afghanistan. When Amir ran, he ran from jealousy and fear; fear of Assef and fear of his own reputation as a Pashtun standing up for a Hazara. The negativity of the social setting influenced Amir’s rash decision on betraying Hassan. The prevailing theme of guilt and redemption is weaved through the journey of Amir’s life, influenced by the society, where Hazaras are betrayed. 2. Parental relationships
“Here is another cliché my creative writing teacher would have scoffed at; like father like son. But, it was true, wasn’t it? As it turned out, Baba and I were more alike than I’d ever known. We had both betrayed the people who would have given their lives for us. And with that came this realization: that Rahim Khan had summoned me there to atone not just for my sins but for Baba’s too.” (Chapter 18, pg 238) I chose this quote because not only is it ironic in and of itself, but it also ironically characterizes all the characters in the novel. Amir felt his “sin”—betraying Hassan—made him so different from his father. He has spent much of his life trying to please Baba and mimic his father’s life. It is ironic that now, all these years later, when he discovers he and had father were so similar, it sickens him rather than bringing him joy. In the novel, he continually states that he would’ve never would have dreamed that Baba’s greatest sin would be theft on so many different levels (stealing wife, purity, truth) and gone against the nang and namoos, he so adamantly preached to his son. Amir and Baba's relationship changes throughout the novel. The novel starts out with Amir doing whatever he could to win his father's attention, which includes betraying his best friend, Hassan. He betrayed Hassan for his father's full attention. He then earns it when Hassan and Ali move out and Baba and Amir move to America. This quote shows that Amir and Baba are very alike. They both betrayed their best friends. Baba betrayed Ali by sleeping with his wife, and Amir betrayed Hassan by not standing up for him while getting assaulted. Then they both try to redeem themselves with doing other good deeds. Baba, running an orphanage, and Amir going back to Kabul to save Sohrab, Hassan's son. 3. Maturing
“Earlier in the morning, when I was certain no one was looking, I did something I had done twenty-six years earlier: I planted a fistful of crumpled money under a mattress” (Chapter 19, pg 254) This quote shows how Amir had changed and grew more...
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