Kite Runner Pomegranate Tree

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The Symbol of the Pomegranate Tree in The Kite Runner

In Khaled Hosseini’s novel, The Kite Runner, the changing depiction of the pomegranate tree symbolizes the changes in Amir and Hassan’s relationship, and is woven into the novel’s central theme of sin and redemption. Throughout the novel Hosseini depicts Amir’s struggle to redeem himself ever since he witnessed the rape of Hassan and stood by as a silent bystander. Amir and Hassan shared a very close friendship doing everything together yet the loyalty between each other was lopsided. Amir could never match Hassan’s unconditional love and loyalty towards him and this sets up the internal struggle in Amir’s mind, because he was sensitive enough to realize the unfairness of the situation. Hosseini uses the pomegranate tree throughout the book as the backdrop for describing key events that influence Amir and Hassan’s relationship.

The first depiction of the tree portrays a safe haven but subtle details in the passage point to the events that unfold later. As children, Amir and Hassan spent many hours under the shade of a pomegranate tree up on a hilltop where Amir would read stories to Hassan. Here the pomegranate tree is a symbol of comfort, a place where he and Hassan could be alone sharing the simple pleasure of storytelling. Amir’s description of the “shadows of pomegranate leaves dancing” on Hassan’s face depicts the protective aspect of the tree, a sanctuary for the two friends (28). The tree and hill are symbolic of Amir and Hassan’s friendship; the tree is rooted in the hill but as the seasons change both the hill and the tree change and so does their friendship. The mention of seasons foreshadows how over time Amir and Hassan’s friendship will be destroyed, in the same way that the rain had turned the “iron gate rusty” and caused the “white stone walls to decay” (27). When Amir and Hassan return to the pomegranate tree after the rape, Amir says to Hassan he will read him a new story as they



Cited: Hosseini, Khaled. The Kite Runner. New York: Riverhead, 2003. Print.

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