Redemption In 'The Kite Runner'

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Is Redemption Achievable for Everyone? In the novel, The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini takes us on Amir’s journey of redemption that follow the heinous act of abandoning his friend, Hassan, while he was being raped. Despite the fact that Hassan saved him just a short while earlier, Amir contemplates the repercussions of aiding Hassan and concludes that it is not worth sacrificing the approval of his father, Baba, for Hassan, a family servant. After this horrific scene, Amir attempts to relieve himself of the shame by going to great lengths to dispose of Hassan and Ali. Ironically, such attempt only brings Amir additional guilt as it further reveals the extent of Hassan’s loyalty when he continues to protect Amir. Twenty-five years later, Rahim…show more content…
The first time this is shown is when Amir and Baba are planting tulips together and Amir asks if Baba had “ever thought about getting new servants” (89). Hosseini is emphasizing Amir’s desperation to get away from Hassan, a constant reminder of his past mistake, especially when Hassan attempts to rekindle their friendship. This highlights how Amir always opts to take the coward’s way out because instead of talking through the problem with Hassan, Amir chooses to get rid of the problem. After Baba adamantly refuses to fire their servants, Amir decides to take another approach to dispose of the problem himself, once again cowardly. When Ali and Hassan go grocery shopping, Amir sneaks into their “living quarters” and “lift[s] Hassan 's mattress and plant[s] [Amir’s] new watch and a handful of Afghani bills under it” (104). After his original plan fails, Amir tries harder to dispose of Hassan by framing him for stealing from Amir. This contemptible action proves how far Amir is willing to go in order to push off his problems. When Hassan confesses to stealing from Amir, Baba responds calmly by saying, “I forgive you” (105). Baba forgives Hassan for committing the “one unforgivable sin” (106) because he loves Hassan and could not bear to send him and his “father” away. Amir is appalled by Baba’s…show more content…
A couple of decades after arriving in America, Amir receives a call from Rahim Khan saying that “[t]here is a way to be good again” (192). Rahim is offering Amir a chance to redeem himself. For the past twenty years, Amir has experienced extreme guilt for leaving Hassan in the alley, and now, he finally has an opportunity to make it up to Hassan. But when Rahim explains that Amir must go to Kabul to find his nephew, Sohrab, Amir responds that he cannot go since he has a “wife in America, a home, a career, and a family” (221). Initially, he does not take Rahim’s offer because he fears that he may lose his life. Hassan sacrificed so much for Amir, but Amir is hesitant to risk anything for Hassan. He pushes away his chance at redeeming himself, even though his guilt has been tearing him apart. Then, Rahim mentions that there is “an American pair here in Peshawar, a husband and wife named Thomas and Betty Caldwell” (220) who are willing to accept Sohrab into their home, Amir re-considers his decision. When Amir and Sohrab return from Kabul, the Caldwells would be willing to take the burden off of Amir, according to Rahim. This leads us to believe that Amir is only willing to go to Kabul to rescue Sohrab if he would be able to leave Sohrab in Peshawar and return to his home in America. If Rahim had not told Amir about the Caldwells, would Amir even consider retrieving Hassan’s son? Judging from
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