Theme Of Shame In The Kite Runner

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Emotions contain a vast amount of power. They can allow an individual to achieve greatness and success, or, they can cause said person to struggle and collapse underneath their weight. Shame, as well as the ashes it leaves in its wake, is a major theme within Khaled Hosseini’s debut novel, The Kite Runner. Via questionable mental stability, schemes, secrets and emotions of uncleanliness, Hosseini demonstrates shame, as well as the negative impact it can easily pose on its victims and as those surrounding them.

First and foremost, health is a major factor of importance within children. Children’s bodies and minds are not yet fully developed, so they are prone to falling ill, especially mentally. The reader can clearly observe the beginning
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I lifted Hassan’s mattress and planted my new watch and a handful of Afghani bills under it. I waited another thirty minutes then knocked on Baba’s door and told him what I hoped would be the last in a long line of shameful lies. (Hosseini 104)
Amir does this because he feels so much guilt he cannot tolerate to be near Hassan, as everytime he sees him the memory resurfaces. The fact that Hassan forgives Amir (asking him to play, to go to the bakery with him) makes Amir feels even more guilt, as it reinforces their characters and status.The shame of not standing up for Hassan turns Amir into a cowardly liar. As a result of everything that took place, Amir frames Hassan to get him to leave, despite their previous friendship. Therefore, the shame caused by Amir’s lack of courage caused him to develop cruel methods of solving his “problem”.

Also, shame has the ability to put unnecessary tension and strain, even when one of the contributors has died. This is evident within the conversation between Rahim Khan and Amir, where it is revealed that:
‘Ali was sterile,’ Rahim Khan said.
‘No he wasn’t, he and Sanaubar had Hassan, didn’t
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