The Kite Runner and a Thousand Splendid Suns

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Khaled Hosseini’s novels, The Kite Runner (year), and A Thousand Splendid Suns (2007) both explore the idea that a significant individual can inspire a course of action, which may result in a change of self.

In the novel The Kite Runner, the protagonist, Amir, is a young boy growing up in a well off family in Kabul, Afghanistan. Amir’s closest friend is Hassan, the son of his family’s beloved servant. Amir’s self image at the beginning of the novel is one in which he views himself as a coward, worthless and selfish. “I had one last chance to make a decision. One final opportunity to decide who I was going to be. I could step into that alley, stand up for Hassan – the way he’d stood up for me all those times in the past – and accept whatever would happen to me. Or I could run. In the end, I ran. I ran because I was a coward… I was afraid of getting hurt… I aspired to cowardice… He was just a Hazara, wasn’t he? This quote indicates that Amir defines himself as a coward and is ashamed of his fear and lack of courage. The repetition of the “I” indicates that Amir is constantly thinking of himself in the desperate situation despite it is actually Hassan’s life and safety that is threatened. Eventually, as war rips Afghanistan apart, Amir and his father flee, arriving in America. As an adult he is still haunted by his act of cowardice. Rahim Khan, a significant and influential character in Amir’s life, encourages Amir to return to Afghanistan to redeem himself. It is at this point that Amir changes his sense of self. He faces the demons of his past which allows him to mature and heal as a character and gain the courage that he has lacked. In Afghanistan, Amir confronts a figure from his past, Assef, and in so doing fights to redeem himself. “Baba is wrestling the black bear… He looks up at me and I see he’s me. I am wrestling the bear”. This quote shows us that he has confronted his past and has overcome his fears and changed as a character. The repetition of the...
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