Sin and Redemption in Khaled Hosseini's “the Kite Runner”

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Khaled Hosseini’s “The Kite Runner,” revolves around a central theme of sin and redemption. The main characters in the novel have sinned and everyone in one way or another is seeking for redemption. The novel starts by Amir foretelling us about ultimate sin in that winter of 1975 when Hassan gets raped and he chooses to do nothing. And he tells us he carried that guilt even in America, “... Looking back now, I realized I have been peeking into that deserted alley for the last twenty-six years .” (1) As Amir retells the story of his life, he weighs each event against his sin, his betrayal of Hassan. As we learn towards the novel's end, Amir is not the only character who seeks for redemption. In the quest to find Sohrab and take him back to the US, Amir encounters Assef in a fist fight. But Amir happily takes all the punches and kicks Assef inflicts on him. In fact, he laughs the whole time his Panuncialman 2

ribs are being crushed. This is because after a long wait he finally tasted redemption, “The harder I laughed, the harder he kicked me, punched me, scratched me…What was so funny was that, for the first time since the winter of 1975, I felt at peace.”(371) Unlike the pomegranate scene in which he provoked Hassan to hit him back with pomegranates and failed because Hassan would just take the pomegranates from his hand and crush it against Hassan’s forehead, this time he felt content. The ending of the novel sums up Amir’s quest for redemption. Although it’s vague and keeps us asking for more what happens to his relationship with Sohrab years ahead, we kind of get a sense that Amir will love Sohrab like his real son, because Sohrab is his only way to “to be good again” (290). Amir tells us at the end of the novel that he got what he wanted, “It was only a smile, nothing more…But I’ll take it. With open arms. Because when spring comes, it melts the snow one flake at a time, and maybe I just witnessed the first flake melting.” (476) Amir vaguely shows us that...
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