Positive and Negative Effects of Guilt on Amir in "The Kite Runner"

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“Mistakes are part of life, everyone makes them, everyone regrets them. But, some learn from them and some end up making them again. It’s up to you to decide if you’ll use your mistakes to your advantage” -Meredith Sapp

The Positive and Negative Effects of guilt

Guilt is known as an evil feeling, one may try to cover up the past, but in the end this feeling is what drives humans to compensate for evil deeds and give back to the world. In this book “the Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini, the authour demonstrates the effects of guilt on Amir’s life. Amir commits his sin of ignoring the fact that his loyal friend Hassan was raped by Assef, and flees to America due to the injustice of the Taliban. He sees America as a way to hide his past. The past haunts him constantly and he is forced to face his guilt head-on and give back to the world to find internal peace. Hosseini proves that guilt makes one crave punishment, try to run away, but is inescapable and ultimately drives one to do the right thing, through the use of symbolism, metaphors and Irony.

Hosseini shows that Amir understands the outcome of Hassan’s life was his fault and as a result he wants to be punished, through the use of symbolism. After the incident of Hassan’s rape, Amir doesn’t want to do anything or see anyone. He has a hard time sleeping and performing regular functions because the guilt tortures him within. “I hit him with another pomegranate... ‘Hit me back goddamn you!’ I wished he would. I wished he’d give me the punishment I craved, so that maybe I’d finally sleep at night.” (Hosseini 92). Amir knows that he is to blame for all the indecency in Hassan’s life. Amir yearns for punishment so that maybe that inescapable feeling of guilt will vanish as he wants it to. Amir already understands the concept that the only way to get rid of his guilt is to be punished. Amir is so guilty that even more than a decade later, he still has a dream that symbolises how Hassan’s death is...
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