The Kite Runner Redemption

What is the worst thing you have done to a friend or family member? Have you lied to them? Stolen from them? After the dreadful deed, did they forgive you? More importantly, did you forgive yourself? Regret and redemption are very important themes in the book The Kite Runner. Having regret for something can affect your whole life, as seen with the character, Amir. Through the development of Amir and his childhood friend, Hassan, Amir has to live with his regret and hope for redemption for the rest of his life. From the beginning of the story The Kite Runner, it is apparent that Amir did something wrong from the very first page.
Amir says, “Standing in the kitchen with the receiver to my ear, I knew it wasn’t just Rahim Khan on the line. It was my past of unatoned sins. ” (1). The reader understands that Amir had done something wrong in the winter of 1975. Later, we figure out what this “something” was; he watched Hassan get raped. It was after Amir had just won his kite race and Hassan had gone to fetch the winning kite. He then came across the bullies of the neighborhood: Assef, Kamal, and Wali. Assef tried to take the kite, but like a loyal friend, Hassan would not let him.
Assef then let Hassan keep the kite, but only to pay the price of being raped. Amir stood behind a wall and watched it all happen without saying one word. This is probably one of the most important scenes in the whole book; Amir’s actions from this shaped how he grew up and lived the rest of his life with regret. After Amir watched Hassan get raped, nothing was the same. He was filled with guilt and regret. He felt like a coward. “I ran because I was a coward. I was afraid of Assef and what he would do to me. I was afraid of getting hurt. ” (77).

He could not turn and help his friend because he was scared, and he wanted the approval of his father for once; he thought bringing home the kite would win Baba over. Little did he know that he ruined the rest of his life by doing this. Amir was filled with such regret that he had to get rid of Hassan one way or another. He could not stand the secret that he had from that night and wanted the pain to go away. Amir changed his and Hassan’s relationship that night. Even after Amir framed Hassan and got him to leave, Amir’s guilt did not go away and he was forever regretting all the decisions he had been making up to this point.
Amir and Baba ended up going to America to try to get away from their past and get the redemption they both were longing for. After living life in America, Amir received a phone call from his old friend, Rahim Khan. Rahim Khan had been looking for some redemption of his own because he had been keeping a secret from Amir his whole life; Hassan was actually Baba’s son and Amir’s half brother. Hassan had died and Rahim wanted Amir to retrieve Hassan’s son, Sohrab. Amir still carried around the guilt from the winter of 1975 and decided this was his chance to redeem himself.
As Rahim Khan said, “There was a way to be good again. ” (2). This was Amir’s way to be good again. Amir had been looking for redemption his whole life. Retrieving Sohrab would rid himself of this. Amir also outstepped his coward personality when he was faced to a battle with Assef. This part of the book was one of the other most important scenes. Amir came out with Sohrab and he finally got the redemption that he was seeking for since the day he watched Hassan get raped. Throughout the book there were many examples of redemption.
It mostly occurred in Amir as we saw his relationship with Hassan grow throughout the book. Amir had such guilt that he had to drive Hassan away; this proved how much of a coward he really was. After that day, he always carried around the guilt of betraying his friend and finally absolved himself by finding his redemption when retrieving Sohrab. Even though his decision of being a coward affected his life miserably, it still shaped him into the man that he was at the end of the book. Hosseini, Khaled. The Kite Runner. New York: Riverhead Books, 2003.

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