The Kite Runner

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‘The kite runner shows that it is better to confront our mistakes than attempt to leave them behind.’ Do you agree with this interpretation of the text?

In Khaled Hosseini’s novel the Kite Runner, Amir the protagonist and narrator of the novel spends his life guilt ridden over his central mistake of abandoning his childhood friend Hassan when he is beaten and raped by the evil Assef. Amir is a 38yr old living in America with his wife Soroya, he is immediately revealed to be a deeply scared prisoner of his past- his betrayal of the loyal Hassan. This defining moment in Amir’s life continues to haunt him more than two decades later; Amir understands that his “past of unatoned sins’ will ultimately call him back to face up to his actions. Amir with the help of the dying Rahim Khan confronts his mistakes in an attempt to leave them behind. In coming to know the adult Amir, we recognise that he is clearly a damaged individual whose ability to function as a complete human being is indelibly impaired by the guilt he carries. For Amir “America was a place to bury” his memories. Soroya’s courage and goodness rubs off onto Amir. He is envious of the liberation she attains simply by speaking of and acknowledging her past. This shows Amir that redemption is achievable and that it is necessary for healing and necessary if he wants to move on. The consequences of both Amir and Baba’s actions are ongoing and shape the long term actions and behaviour of both men. While Baba’s betrayal of his devoted friend and servant Ali is terrible, he dedicates his life to atoning for his actions. This takes place in many forms- through his wealth, skills and his generosity. Baba shows the reader that betrayal is a terrible sin. But through Baba we see that redemption is possible when one takes responsibility for ones actions. This inevitably requires courage, dedication and commitment. By channelling his suffering and guilt in a constructive manner, Baba is able to build something...
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