The Issues of Sin and Redemption in the Kite Runner

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05 October 2009
*The Issues* of Sin and Redemption in The Kite Runner
Redemption is defined as the act, process, or instance of redeeming--:to free from what distresses or harms: as 1) to help overcome something detrimental; 2)to release from blame or debt; 3) to free from the consequences of sin, or 4) to change for the better. It cannot be accomplished in a single day. Redemption is a process that can take days, weeks, and months—sometimes even years to achieve. As the definition states, in order for a person to be redeemed, he/she must have committed some type of sin. In The Kite Runner, redemption is so important because sin is so prevalent. From Amir watching Hassan being raped, to Baba not coming out with the truth about his past, sin is “what keeps the story going.” But, it is how the characters in The Kite Runner write these wrongs that give us a new outlook on their lives. Amir opens the story by telling us not about how exactly he sinned, but about sin's prevalence: "... It's wrong what they say about the past, I've learned, about how you can bury it. Because the past claws its way out." (1) Hosseini uses structure to emphasize the themes of sin and redemption. Because Amir tells the story in retrospect, every memory, even the delightful ones of his childhood before the rape, are tainted with it. Hosseini uses the first chapter almost like a thesis for the novel. 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 needs redemption. Until Rahim Khan reveals Baba's secret, Amir thinks he is the only sinner among his family and friends. Even before Amir betrays him, Hassan makes him feel guilty simply by being such a righteous person. Amir is constantly trying to measure up to Baba, because he does not realize that Baba is so hard on him because of his guilt over his own sin—Baba dishonors Ali by sleeping with Sonaubar...
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