The Kite Runner-Shame

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Derek Wheater
English 11
McKay

Prompt: In The Kite Runner, shame is a destructive force

Killer of the Psyche

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“Shame is a soul eating emotion.” This quote by Carl Gustav Jung perfectly sums up many of the struggles the main character Amir, as well as Sohrab, go through in the novel, The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. From the start to the end Amir struggles with the destruction that shame causes in his life. This begins with his relationship between him and his father, it then continues to escalate in the event that takes place later in his life through the raping of his best friend Hassan. Shame also has torn apart Sohrab emotionally because of all that he has been encountered. This novel does a wonderful job of making a point that the feeling shame can be a terrible and taunting emotion that can destroy your life from the inside with very little you can do about it.

From the very start of Amir’s life his relationship with his father Baba is not a very healthy one. The two of them have personalities that make them very different from one another. Baba on the one hand is more of a stereotypical “man”. On the other hand Amir has a personality that seems to be lacking something in his life and he drowns himself in his poetry and writing. This worries his father. Baba expresses these thoughts in a conversation he has with his friend, “A boy who won’t stand up for himself becomes a man who can’t stand up to anything.” (Hosseini pg. 24) By saying this Baba strongly outlines one of his great concerns with Amir. Amir recognizes that his father is ashamed of him and this causes him to be very ashamed of himself and he becomes obsessed with trying to please his father. Just like anyone else in this world Amir’s shamefulness turns him into a very reserved person and in turn, somewhat of a coward. This cowardliness ends up only causing Amir to experience more shame with events that transpire later on into the book.

When the raping of Hassan takes...
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