Insideof each individual, there is both good and evil and it is a constant struggleas to which one will dominate; nevertheless one cannot exist without the other.
The Kite Runner is known for thedevastating but honest interpretation of identity, betrayal, and atonement. The storylineportrays the journey of a boy named Amir, escaping from his troubled childhoodand trying to find peace within him. He uses his insecurities and selfishreasons to not save Hassan from being raped and for using him as the scapegoatto win Baba’s compassion. He uses his anger and guilt for tormenting Hassan andframing him for theft to get rid of him as he was a reminder of his guilt. Forall of that, an act of loyalty and love to Hassan ends him rescuing Sohrab andbeing healed and atoned for his betrayal to Hassan revealing the ultimate goodheart. Amir portrays the archetype, the evil figure with the ultimate goodheart as he uses his insecurities and resentment to harm others creating adevil figure by using selfish reasons in the kite-fighting tournament andframing of theft to avoid his betrayal, however,is able to redeem himself by making peace with his past by rescuing Sohrab andultimately have a pure heart. Firstly,the kite-fighting tournament is the first glimpse of Amir’s hatred andresentment to Hassan by Hassan being the price he had to pay to prove himselfto society and to Baba. Amir uses his hesitancy about his and Baba’srelationship to convince himself to not save Hassan from Assef’s torture.
He isnot able to build his courage and loyalty and is too self-absorb to realize that not only is he sacrificing his bestfriend, he is sacrificing all the innocence ofhis life. In the end, Amir’s selfishness overcomes him and decides to run awayfrom proving that he believes his own security is essential than his friend’s. Specifically shown in his thoughts ashe watched all the innocencebleed out on the snow:Ihad one last chance to make a decision. One final opportunity to decide who Iwas going to be. I could step into that alley, stand up for Hassan- the way he’dstood up for me all those times in the past- and accept whatever would happento me.
Or I could run. In the end, I ran. I ran because I was a coward. I wasafraid of Assef and what he would do to me. I was afraid of getting hurt.
That’s what I told myself as I turned my back to the alley, to Hassan. That’swhat I made myself believe. (Hosseini 77)Likewise, the next day was Eid-e- Qorban and Amir become acceptant of Hassan being used andtortured as the scapegoat. He accepts that Hassan was the lamb, he had to slay.
Amir compares Assef forcinghimself on Hassan to the slaughter as he watched both even though bothwill haunt his dreams. He watched because of the look of acceptance in the lamband Hassan eyes and imagines both, the animal and Hassan to understand and endsby, his conscience telling him that he was just a Hazara and it was nothingworth saving For instance: Iactually aspired to cowardice, because ofthe alternative, the real reason I was running, was that Assef was right:Nothing was Free in this world. Maybe Hassan was the price I had to pay, thelamb I had to slay, to win Baba. Was it a fair price? The answer floated to myconscious mind before I could thwart it: He was just a Hazara, wasn’t he? (Hosseini77)Consequently, Amir goes through moments of pain andbetrayal and both, his relationship with Baba and his anger is leashed onHassan.
This is shown how the Afghani Pashtun community reflects on Amir. Ashis excuse of slaughtering his innocence, memories, childhood, friend, brother was onlybecause Hassan was a Hazara. However,this is not the worst actions yet. Secondly,Amir pushes himself more into salutatory as he does the worst thing possible,which is framing Hassan for theft and devastates the last bit of innocence awayfrom his life. For instance, Amir uses the pomegranate tree to take his anger, disturbance,and remorse on Hassan. Amir is not ableto deal with his sense of guilt at first he tries to keep away from Hassan, whobecomes a constant reminder of Amir of his own cowardice and selfishness howeverAmir wishes Hassan would punish him and pelts him however his accusations onlymirror himself and not to Hassan as heultimately wants to get rid of him: Hitme back, goddamn you! I wished he would. I wished he’d give me the punished Icrave, so maybe I’d finally sleep at night. Maybe then things could return tohow they used to be between us.
But Hassan did nothing as I pelted him againand again. You’re a coward! I said. Nothing but a goddamn coward! I don’t knowhow many times I hit him. All I know is that, when I finally stopped, exhaustedand panting. Hassan was smeared in red like he’d been shot by a firing squad.
Ifell to my knees, tired, spent, frustrated. (Hosseini 92-93)Furthermore, the last unforgivable torment he did toHassan was framing him for the one ultimate sin, theft. Finally, he framedHassan by planting a watch and some money. Amir tries to get rid of Hassan byusing Baba to do so and to make it less painful as he trying to run away from his guilt.
He uses the excuse of saying that Baba will not forgive himeven though he should be more concerned about Hassan’s health and his betrayal.Accordingly, Amir is glad that it iswould be finally over and there would beno pain and he would be able to breathe again:Myheart sank and I almost blurted out the truth. Then I understood: This wasHassan’s final sacrifice for me. If he’d said no, Baba would have believed himbecause we all knew Hassan never lied.
And id Baba believed him, then I’d bethe accused; I would give to explain andI would be revealed for what I really was. Baba would never, ever forgive me… Iwasn’t worthy of this sacrifice; I was a liar,a cheat, and a thief. And I would have told, except that a part of me was glad.
Glad that this would all be over with soon. Baba would dismiss them, therewould be some pain, but life would moveon. I wanted that, to move on, to forget, to start with a clean slate. I wantedto be able to breathe again.
(Hosseini 105) As a result, Amir is shown to be on the dark side andtries to run away from his past. He usesthe pomegranate tree as a symbol of friendship to build and tarnish hisrelationship with Hassan. Amir uses an honorable lesson taught by Baba and theonly sign of their relationship and manipulates both, Hassan and Baba to haveno choice.
Hence, Amir is shown to be ruthless and self-absorbed nonetheless,Amir will be able to turn around and be good again.Thirdly, years after, Amir stilllives with this guilt for a long time; more than two decades later, a familyfriend, Rahim Khan, offers Amir a chance of redemption as he reveals a truththat Hassan is Amir’s brother which guides him to ultimate redemption. However,this time he wants to move forward. In act of loyalty to Hassan and his family,he believes in good and hopes to find Sohrab as he is the only living part ofHassan.
That is:Ilooked at the round face in the Polaroid again, the way the sun fell on it. My brother’sface. Hassan had loved me once, loved me in a way that no one ever had or everwould again.
He was gone now, but a little part of him lived on. It was inKabul. Waiting. I found Rahim Khan praying namaz in the corner of the room.
Hewas just a dark silhouette bowing eastward against a bloodred sky. I waited forhim to finish. Then I told him I was going to Kabul. Told him to call theCaldwells in the morning. I’ll pray for you, Amir jan, he said. (Hosseini 227)Incidentally, Amir is put in a situation which he onlycares for Sohrab and fights Assef trying o save Sohrab. He is approached byAssef and rather than running, he fightshim. This act of rescue serves as an actof redemption for both for his own sins and his father’s against the true and loyal Hassan.
Due to this, he has healed again: Whatwas so funny was that, for the first time since the winter of 1975, I felt atpeace. I laughed because I saw that, in some hidden nook in the corner of mymind, I’d even been looking forward to this. I remembered the day on the hill Ihad pelted Hassan with pomegranates and tried to provoke him. He’d just stoodthere, doing nothing, red juice soaking through isa shirt like blood. Then he’dtaken the pomegranate from my hand, crushed it against his forehead. Are you satisfiednow? He’d hissed. Do you feel better? I hadn’t been happy and I hadn’t feltbetter, not at all. But I did now.
My body was broken- just how badly Iwouldn’t find out until later- but I felt healed. Healed at last. I laughed.As a result, Amir is able to find peace with his guilt,with Hassan as is able to move on from a past he never really moved on. To him, his laughter was music to the soul.
In Afghanistan whenAmir stood up for Sohrab it should he had come terms with what he had done as achild and was finally felt relieved. Although he was getting beat up, it did not matter anymore, he just wished he hadstood up to Assef years ago, and maybe hewould have earned his redemption is that alley. On the whole, Amir goes through a journeywhere he uses resentment to harm others, has exterior motives and reasons tonot fight for others, however, is able to find good again and makes peace with himself making him an evil figure with theultimate good heart. Hassan is used as a scapegoat to cover up his insecuritiestowards his relationship with Baba.
Anger consumes him to get rid of Hassan aswell as the guilt of betrayal. For all of that, rescuing Sohrab is an act ofloyalty towards his love for Hassan. AlthoughAmir destroyed the lives of many people, and he has had more than oneopportunity to redeem himself of guilt, he is not the selfish little boy heonce was. Everyone may not be good but there’s always something good ineveryone.
Never judge anyone shortly because every saint has a past and everysinner has a future.