The novel Kite Runner is a novel provides a storyline set against a backdrop of tumultuous events right from the fall of Afghanistan's monarchy through the Soviet military invention, the migration of refugees to Pakistan and the U.S and the Taliban regime. The narrator story of Amir, Hassan and Baba who are the main characters in the novel. Amir, is a Sunni Muslim and is the main protagonist and the narrator of the story. He undergoes a traumatic childhood upbringing experience in Afghanistan and is seen to strive hard in bid to establishing his true identity and besides the traumatic childhood experiences, he strives to cultivate his relationship with his father Baba. He plays the role of a unlikable coward who failed to help his best friend in a needy situation that happened quite for a long time and the better part of the plot of the story. Hassan is a Shi'a Muslim is the closest pal to Amir especially during childhood. Amidst all that faces Amir, he struggles to handle the complex socioeconomic culture he faces by being raised in Afghanistan among the privileged class yet not feeling a sense of belonging. Baba however, is not open to the young Amir about their culture. With the instability in the political system in Afghanistan in the 1970s, Amir is inactive and he choose to confront bullies and aggressors even when that chance is offered to him. His choice of inaction consequently leads to a chain of guilt, lies and betrayal. With the dynamic changes in the political system and the instabilities of the political climate, Amir and Baba are evicted out of Afghanistan. Amir is quite relieved because his moving out of Afghanistan provides an opportunity to shed off the past.
With their new home in America, Amir and Baba strive to find a life there. However, their past still lingers and knocks at their door quite often. When time comes, Amir is forced to return back to his cradleland in bid to solve his childhood mistakes as a way of find hope. Ultimately, the Kite Runner is a novel encircling about relationships especially the relationships between Baba, Amir and Hassan. These relationships are seen to be complicated and complex in the lives of human and are essentially the potential determiners of how people interact and relate with one another.
Outstanding Themes in the novel
Guilt and Atonement
In an act of cowardice, Amir fails to rescue Hassan, and he afterward feels guilty of his behavior later. He goes to America, marries and becomes a successful writer. However, after all these years since the happening of the incident, he is unable to forget about the occurrence. The storyline in the Kite Runner dominated by scenes bringing out the theme of atonement. The actions of Hassan clearly demonstrate that he forgives Amir's betrayal. However, Amir does not exactly get to understand this kind of forgiveness till the end of the story where Hassan's nature of forgiveness gets revealed. The treatment given to Hassan by Baba is an expression of public forgiveness for actions which he has not even himself not publicly admitted having done. Funny enough, the person who speaks of the nature of this forgiveness is Rahim Khan. In the letter written by him, he asks Amir to pardon him for keeping Baba's secret but also writes explicitly "God will forgive". Needless to say, Rahim is confident enough that God will forgive him his sins, and he, therefore, encourages Amir to forgive him.
Rahim Khan acknowledges the fact that God readily forgives sins and it is people who find it difficult to forgive when wronged. Consequently, the only way in which atonement entirely gained is through forgiveness of oneself and the only way to do is publicly confessing one's sins to the parties wronged. Ali's death resulted out of an accident at the land mine. Hassan on the other hand ultimately refused to give directions to the Taliban to confiscate Baba and Amir's house in Kabul, and this earned him death. Further, it becomes crystal clear to Amir that Ali was sterile, and he was not the biological father of Hassan. Hassan was Baba's son and a half-brother to Amir. He finally reveals to Amir that the reason he called him to Pakistan was to rescue Sohrab who was Hassan's son from an orphanage in Kabul. In the accompaniment of an Afghan taxi driver, Amir searches for Sohrab. He comes to the realization that Taliban officials comes to the orphanage and apart from bringing cash with him, he takes a girl away with him and occasionally chooses a boy. Surprisingly, his recent selection was Sohrab. Through the help of the director, he tells Amir of how to find the official and Farid the Afghan taxi driver, seeks for an appointment at his home by claiming to have personal business with him.
Amir finally meets the man who reveals himself as Assef, and it is clear that Sohrab is in Assef's house. Asset sexually abuses him and occasionally makes him dance dressed in women's clothes. Assef, however, agrees to relinquish him if Amir can beat him in a fight. They agree to that, and when the battle begins, Assef severely beats Amir breaking his several bones. It is in this instance when Sohrab uses a slingshot to fire a brass ball into Asssef's left eye. Sohrab helps Amir out of the house where Amir loses consciousness and regains it at the hospital bed. Upon regaining consciousness, Amir tells Sohrab of his plans to take him to America and possibly adopt him. However, American authorities pose a restriction barring Sohrab on claims that he should justify his orphan status. Amir then tells Sohrab of his intention to temporarily break the promise until the necessary documentation is completed. At this instance, Sohrab attempt suicide. Eventually, Amir manages to take him back to the United States. After his adoption, Sohrab refuses to interact with Amir and Soraya until the former reminisces about Hassan and Kites and shows him some of secrets of Hassan. Sohrab however, only gives a mere smile which Amir adores with all his heart. The story benedicts by Amir running the kit for Sohrab saying, "For you, a thousand times over."
Betrayal and Redemption
The pivotal scene is the point is the act of violence against Hassan that Amir fails to prevent. The other part of the book focuses on Amir's attempts to atone for this transgression by rescuing Hassan's son over two decades later. Betrayal is considered abominable and in the Kite runners, it ends up being cyclical in the Kite Runner. IN most of the sceneries in the novel, Amir makes frantic effort to deal with the guilt of betraying and failing to rescue his half-brother, Hassan. He tries every inch to avoid and evade the guilt, but it follows him all along. Avoiding the blame, however, does nothing towards redeeming himself and hence the guilt creeps in him perpetually which explains the reason as to why he still cringes every time Hassan's name mentioned. At the instance when Amir realizes that Baba's betrayal of Ali (and subsequent betrayal of Hassan), Amir realizes that all he thought and perceived about his father is false. At this instance, Amir feels betrayed. For fifteen years since the death of the Baba, there is nothing that Amir can do about this situation. Feelings of betrayal and punishment are not enough to redeem Amir. Even rescuing Sohrab from Assef is not an enough by itself. Amir's action in saving Sohrab and taking him to America so that he can enjoy freedom and find happiness marks the steps towards atonement and redemption.
Hassan, on the other hand, is an all-sacrificing Christ-figure and holds no hard feelings against Amir. Even at the point of death, she calls him to redemption. In the hands of Taliban, Hassan gives the final bow and dies at the hands of the Taliban. Soon after, Amir commences to redeem himself through the rescue of Hassan's son, Sohrab. Hosseini searches for Sohrab and incurs injuries in a bid to find justice. At the once instance, Amir is beaten severely and sustains injuries to his lip which splits up. The split lip is similar to Hassan's harelip.
The power of 'failed' friendship and subsequent sacrifice and atonement of Amir is what leads to redemption. The power of love and sacrifice leads to personal recovery and real discovery of self.
Love and Relationships
Kite Runner portrays the world of love, as strained since every relationship in the novel, is ruined which brings about the complexity of the various types of love. An excellent epitome is Hassan's love for Amir, which is selfless. However, Amir's love for Hassan is mostly selfish. From the two relationships, it is clear that the nature of brotherly love mixed up with jealousy and insecurity. Ali, Baba, the General, Rahim Khan and Amir each express different degrees of paternal love and it is clear that each has expectations of his child and providing physical and emotional support. The love between Amir and Soraya is romantic, and their relationship has a bearing on the character build-up of Amir. The love of Hassan is selfless. His character becomes evident when he holds no hard feelings for those who wrong him especially Amir. He exercises this character to all others. The general scenery in the novel portrays most character as searching for the personal quest for love. The conclusion is that forgiveness and love go together, and one requires to practice them on oneself before extending the virtues to the others. The most probable reason as to why Amir might have betrayed his friend is because of the sour relationship with his father during his childhood due to Amir's insecurities in his childhood. This scenario brings out a prominent theme in the novel that is the relationship between parents and their children. This theme is multigenerational and the relationship between the parents and their children as complicated and contradictory it may view, is clearly brought out in the novel as a striking and a major theme. Notably enough, most parents are not able to demonstrate the 'love' that they claim to have to their children. The most probable primary motivation as to why the writer chose to address the theme in the current age. The relationship between the parents and their children has a bearing on the level of respect that children are going to accord their parents. As a matter of fact, the manner in which parents and children love is pathetic.
From the Kite Runner, Amir craves his father's affection. Though his father loves him, he favors Hassan, which makes his father pay for Hassan's plastic surgery to repair his lip. The story begins with characters who are Amir, who is a Pashtun boy as well as Hassan who is said to be the son of Ali, Amir's father's servant. Amir and Hassan spend their childhood days playing kite fight in the hitherto peaceful city of Kabul. Hassan is a successful 'kite runner' for Amir, and he has the knowledge of where the kite will land even without watching it. Amir's father is a wealthy businessman, and he loves both boys. However, he is often critical of Amir and considers him weak and lacking courage. However, Amir finds a kinder figure in Rahim Khan who is Baba's closest friend. He loves Amir and supports his nature his talent as a writer. On other scenes, Assef who is an older boy with a sadistic taste of violence mocks Amir for making friendship with Hazara who according to Assef is an inferior race whose members belong only in Hazarajat. At one instance, he attempts to attack Amir with brass knuckles. However, Hassan defends Amir by threatening to shoot Assef with his slingshot. However, Assef shows a white flag but swears to revenge. As days pass by, there comes a kite tournament and surprisingly enough, Amir wins the tournament and is congratulated by Baba. Hassan, runs for the great trophy the last cut knife and says to Amir, "For you, a thousand times overs." However, after finding the kite, Hassan encounters Assef in an alleyway. Howeve...
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