The Kite Runner
How does Hosseini suggest that individuals can atone for evil things they have done in their past? Khaled Hosseini’s “The Kite Runner” is an emotionally charged novel that focuses, exposes and interweaves the themes of dreams, individual desire, betrayal, guilt, personal growth and atonement. Set in Afghanistan and America, Hosseini follows the centre protagonist, Amir, through a journey to seek redemption and atonement for a misdemeanour committed in the past. Hosseini explores the central themes of guilt and atonement through Amir, and to a lesser extent through Baba, Amir’s father. The text incorporates fundamental ideals that contribute to a lucid morality that shapes the characters personal sins, actions, emotions and mentality. Hosseini illuminates that in search of redemption one must first admit guilt. ‘The Kite Runner’ tells the story of a boy, Amir, son of Baba; who to his Afghan community is a ‘hero’. Baba possesses such a high standard of pure morals, an attribute in which he preaches extensively, none more so than to Amir. His most imperative quote being; “Now, no matter what the Mullah teaches, there is only one sin, only one. And that is theft. Every other sin is a variation of theft. When you tell a lie you steal someone’s right to the truth.” (page 19). This leaves Amir desperate to be admirable in his father’s eyes, ‘show him once and for all that his son was worthy’ (page 52). Hosseini has constructed the disturbing rape scene of Amir’s childhood companion, Hassan, to demonstrate Amir’s true coward-ness and selfishness to contrast the extent Amir goes to win the love of Baba. Consequently Amir is left with a quarter of a century of guilt, grief and regrets to carry on his conscience. Ironically, the situation is then repeated through Baba himself, to Amir’s digression for atonement, it is revealed Baba has an appalling frailty of his own; he had committed adultery, resulting in the birth of a boy, a Hazara, Hassan. Hosseini...
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