March 9th 2011
Atonement to Redemption
“Hell is yourself and the only redemption is when a person puts himself aside to feel deeply for another person”-Tennessee Williams. In the novel The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, Amir, a young boy who grows up in Afghanistan lives his whole life with regret because he has betrayed his best friend Hassan. He is always trying to earn his father, Baba’s love. As years pass, Amir gets the chance to atone for his mistakes. When one sins there is a need for redemption; Hosseini shows this by weaving setting, parallels, and conflicts throughout the story to take the reader on a remarkable journey. The setting in Afghanistan reflects challenges not just among the characters but also within the community, making it difficult for one to accept their wrong and redeem themselves. Afghanistan is rich in its cultural heritage, there are various traditions and customs Afghani people must follow to be respected. Those who neglect the rules, or act contrary to Islamic teachings will be shunned by all of society. When Hassan is born, his mother Sanaubar flees because she realizes that people in the community will find out that she had an affair. Publicizing this sin would bring shame to her, Ali, Hassan and especially Baba, in view of the fact that she is Hazara. She wouldn’t be able to bare the constant poignant of her own transgression, thus she absconds her life in Kabul. By the time she withered into an inadequate elderly woman, Sanaubar returned to her previous home, in hopes to reach salvation. She returned to the ideal life she had always sought after. No judgments would be made from this time on; her slate was cleaned through coming back to Hassan, and showing she always did care for him. Unlike Baba who chose to live his whole life stealing the truth from both Hassan and Amir. He let Hassan, his own son, be his servant for 13 years just to avoid outside judgment. In western civilization adultery is common but looked down upon, however not virtually as much as in the Middle East. When Baba and Amir move to America, the tension is released due to the fact Hassan or Ali isn’t in Baba’s every thought. Baba reaches deliverance to the extent where he becomes happy with Hassan, and copes with his past.
Khaled Hosseini incorporates parallelism as a focal path to redemption. The irony of parallels is used in several different ways. Amir betrays his most loyal friend by minimally not asserting for him. This decision follows him all his life, until later he gets a chance to atone for his misconduct by fighting Assef. to save Hassan's son from him. Amir is cut on the lip requiring it to be sewn up. Hassan had been born with a hair lip and had to have it sewn up. In the end of the story Amir and Hassan's son fly the kite. Hassan had always been Amir's kite runner. Amir runs for the kite for Hassan's son. “There is a way to be good again”-226.