Morality In Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner

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Morality can be defined as the ability to distinguish good from bad. Morality is explored through the author’s use of technique so that the reader can perceive a particular position intended by the author. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini examines the guilt and the growth of the protagonist, Amir. Amir descends from the upper echelons of Afghan society to the depths of morality as he experiences the damnation of guilt. The Kite Runner is set in Kabul, Afghanistan during the 1970’s as well as California, America. Hosseini’s use of language, sin and redemption reveal to us the foundations of moral growth. As Amir ages, he experiences and grows to understands guilt and remorse. His actions and growth allow the reader to observe a journey of…show more content…
Amir is taught by Baba that “there is only one sin…theft” as he is indoctrinated by an exceedingly simplistic of sin. Hosseini portrays Hassan as “the all-sacrificing”, a model of morality and righteousness and a child who “never denied me (Amir) anything”. The authors emphasis on Hassan’s moral righteousness further emphasises Amir’s betrayal. Amir remarks at the event as “something I could stand up for” or “I could run.”, the brevity of the sentence reflecting the fragmentation of the protagonist’s mind. Amir is flawed, sinful greed dominates his conscience as he considers “Hassan was the price I had to pay” merely justifying “He was just a Hazara”, a thought the older narrator later laments “I was a coward”. Amir’s simple view of sin leads him to believe in revenge as repentance, he begs for “the punishment I (he) craved” from Hassan only to be greeted by cold rhetoric. The internal conflict he feels leads him to further commit acts of sin, he plants his “new watch and handful of Afghan bills” beneath Hassan’s mattress, a form of escapism from his guilt and shame. Hosseini anthropomorphises Amir as “the snake in the grass” and “monster in the lake”, creatures associated with deception and betrayal, conveying to the reader the depth of Amir’s morality. Sin in Amir’s life is not limited to his personal actions, his father for his words “when you lie, you steal…show more content…
To Amir, the United States reflects a place of redemption, an escape from his sins in Kabul. Whilst in Afghanistan, Baba embodies the ideals of masculinity, in contrast, in America, he is forced to adopt an identity of dependence. His personal decline is reflected through his physical deterioration, his “hair greying, hair thinning”, no longer the man that “thundered into the room” and simultaneously his influence on Amir diminishes, he no longer feels inadequate, he is able to discern good without the influence of his father. The immovable imprint of his father remains, and we are reminded of this as he is savagely beaten by Assef, feeling “healed” admitting he “got what he deserved”. His adoption of Sohrab reflects his own atonement for the rigid class structure he has lived by his whole life, his actions underscoring his moral growth to the reader. He learns to relinquish his selfish ways as he begs God to not leave “blood on Sohrab’s hands” no longer bound by his guilt and shame revealing to us, the reader Amir’s redemption. The older narrator reflects “It’s wrong, what they say about the past” as he acknowledges “the past always claws its way out” that he understands the depths of morality and has grown from it. Ultimately, Amir concludes “For you, a thousand times over”, the words of Hassan as he abandons his selfish ways, to serve and to
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