Inside identity, betrayal, and atonement. The storyline portrays the

            Inside
of each individual, there is both good and evil and it is a constant struggle
as to which one will dominate; nevertheless one cannot exist without the other.
The Kite Runner is known for the
devastating but honest interpretation of identity, betrayal, and atonement. The storyline
portrays the journey of a boy named Amir, escaping from his troubled childhood
and trying to find peace within him. He uses his insecurities and selfish
reasons to not save Hassan from being raped and for using him as the scapegoat
to win Baba’s compassion. He uses his anger and guilt for tormenting Hassan and
framing him for theft to get rid of him as he was a reminder of his guilt. For
all of that, an act of loyalty and love to Hassan ends him rescuing Sohrab and
being healed and atoned for his betrayal to Hassan revealing the ultimate good
heart. Amir portrays the archetype, the evil figure with the ultimate good
heart as he uses his insecurities and resentment to harm others creating a
devil figure by using selfish reasons in the kite-fighting tournament and
framing of theft to avoid his betrayal, however,
is able to redeem himself by making peace with his past by rescuing Sohrab and
ultimately have a pure heart.

            Firstly,
the kite-fighting tournament is the first glimpse of Amir’s hatred and
resentment to Hassan by Hassan being the price he had to pay to prove himself
to society and to Baba. Amir uses his hesitancy about his and Baba’s
relationship to convince himself to not save Hassan from Assef’s torture. He is
not able to build his courage and loyalty and is too self-absorb to realize that not only is he sacrificing his best
friend, he is sacrificing all the innocence of
his life. In the end, Amir’s selfishness overcomes him and decides to run away
from proving that he believes his own security is essential than his friend’s. Specifically shown in his thoughts as
he watched all the innocence
bleed out on the snow:

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I
had one last chance to make a decision. One final opportunity to decide who I
was going to be. I could step into that alley, stand up for Hassan- the way he’d
stood up for me all those times in the past- and accept whatever would happen
to me. Or I could run. In the end, I ran. 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.
That’s what I told myself as I turned my back to the alley, to Hassan. That’s
what I made myself believe. (Hosseini 77)

Likewise, the next day was Eid-e- Qorban and Amir become acceptant of Hassan being used and
tortured as the scapegoat. He accepts that Hassan was the lamb, he had to slay.
Amir compares Assef forcing
himself on Hassan to the slaughter as he watched both even though both
will haunt his dreams. He watched because of the look of acceptance in the lamb
and Hassan eyes and imagines both, the animal and Hassan to understand and ends
by, his conscience telling him that he was just a Hazara and it was nothing
worth saving For instance:

I
actually aspired to cowardice, because of
the 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, the
lamb I had to slay, to win Baba. Was it a fair price? The answer floated to my
conscious mind before I could thwart it: He was just a Hazara, wasn’t he? (Hosseini
77)

Consequently, Amir goes through moments of pain and
betrayal and both, his relationship with Baba and his anger is leashed on
Hassan. This is shown how the Afghani Pashtun community reflects on Amir. As
his excuse of slaughtering his innocence, memories, childhood, friend, brother was only
because 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 away
from his life. For instance, Amir uses the pomegranate tree to take his anger, disturbance,
and remorse on Hassan. Amir is not able
to deal with his sense of guilt at first he tries to keep away from Hassan, who
becomes a constant reminder of Amir of his own cowardice and selfishness however
Amir wishes Hassan would punish him and pelts him however his accusations only
mirror himself and not to Hassan as he
ultimately wants to get rid of him:

Hit
me back, goddamn you! I wished he would. I wished he’d give me the punished I
crave, so maybe I’d finally sleep at night. Maybe then things could return to
how they used to be between us. But Hassan did nothing as I pelted him again
and again. You’re a coward! I said. Nothing but a goddamn coward! I don’t know
how many times I hit him. All I know is that, when I finally stopped, exhausted
and panting. Hassan was smeared in red like he’d been shot by a firing squad. I
fell to my knees, tired, spent, frustrated. (Hosseini 92-93)

Furthermore, the last unforgivable torment he did to
Hassan was framing him for the one ultimate sin, theft. Finally, he framed
Hassan by planting a watch and some money. Amir tries to get rid of Hassan by
using 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 him
even though he should be more concerned about Hassan’s health and his betrayal.
Accordingly, Amir is glad that it is
would be finally over and there would be
no pain and he would be able to breathe again:

My
heart sank and I almost blurted out the truth. Then I understood: This was
Hassan’s final sacrifice for me. If he’d said no, Baba would have believed him
because we all knew Hassan never lied. And id Baba believed him, then I’d be
the accused; I would give to explain and
I would be revealed for what I really was. Baba would never, ever forgive me… I
wasn’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, there
would be some pain, but life would move
on. I wanted that, to move on, to forget, to start with a clean slate. I wanted
to be able to breathe again. (Hosseini 105)

As a result, Amir is shown to be on the dark side and
tries to run away from his past. He uses
the pomegranate tree as a symbol of friendship to build and tarnish his
relationship with Hassan. Amir uses an honorable lesson taught by Baba and the
only sign of their relationship and manipulates both, Hassan and Baba to have
no 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 still
lives with this guilt for a long time; more than two decades later, a family
friend, Rahim Khan, offers Amir a chance of redemption as he reveals a truth
that 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 of
Hassan. That is:

I
looked at the round face in the Polaroid again, the way the sun fell on it. My brother’s
face. Hassan had loved me once, loved me in a way that no one ever had or ever
would again. He was gone now, but a little part of him lived on. It was in
Kabul. Waiting. I found Rahim Khan praying namaz in the corner of the room. He
was just a dark silhouette bowing eastward against a bloodred sky. I waited for
him to finish. Then I told him I was going to Kabul. Told him to call the
Caldwells in the morning. I’ll pray for you, Amir jan, he said. (Hosseini 227)

Incidentally, Amir is put in a situation which he only
cares for Sohrab and fights Assef trying o save Sohrab. He is approached by
Assef and rather than running, he fights
him. This act of rescue serves as an act
of redemption for both for his own sins and his father’s against the true and loyal Hassan. Due to this, he has healed again:  

What
was so funny was that, for the first time since the winter of 1975, I felt at
peace. I laughed because I saw that, in some hidden nook in the corner of my
mind, I’d even been looking forward to this. I remembered the day on the hill I
had pelted Hassan with pomegranates and tried to provoke him. He’d just stood
there, doing nothing, red juice soaking through is
a shirt like blood. Then he’d
taken the pomegranate from my hand, crushed it against his forehead. Are you satisfied
now? He’d hissed. Do you feel better? I hadn’t been happy and I hadn’t felt
better, not at all. But I did now. My body was broken- just how badly I
wouldn’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 when
Amir stood up for Sohrab it should he had come terms with what he had done as a
child and was finally felt relieved. Although he was getting beat up, it did not matter anymore, he just wished he had
stood up to Assef years ago, and maybe he
would have earned his redemption is that alley.

 

 

On the whole, Amir goes through a journey
where he uses resentment to harm others, has exterior motives and reasons to
not fight for others, however, is able to find good again and makes peace with himself making him an evil figure with the
ultimate good heart. Hassan is used as a scapegoat to cover up his insecurities
towards his relationship with Baba. Anger consumes him to get rid of Hassan as
well as the guilt of betrayal. For all of that, rescuing Sohrab is an act of
loyalty towards his love for Hassan. Although
Amir destroyed the lives of many people, and he has had more than one
opportunity to redeem himself of guilt, he is not the selfish little boy he
once was. Everyone may not be good but there’s always something good in
everyone. Never judge anyone shortly because every saint has a past and every
sinner has a future.