Inside of each individual, there is bothgood 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 interpretationof identity, betrayal, andatonement. The storyline portrays the journey of a boy named Amir,escaping from his troubled childhood and trying to find peace within him. He isportrayed as the evil figure that torments him and Hassan, however, the onewith the ultimate good heart is when he atones for his sins by rescuing Sohrab.
He uses his insecurities and selfish reasons to not save Hassan from beingraped and for using him as the scapegoat to win Baba’s compassion. He uses hisanger and guilt for tormenting Hassan and framing him for theft to get rid ofhim as he was a reminder of his guilt. For all of that, an act of loyalty andlove to Hassan ends him rescuing Sohrab and being healed and atoned for hisbetrayal to Hassan revealing the ultimate good heart. Amir portrays thearchetype, the evil figure with the ultimate good heart as he uses hisinsecurities and resentment to harm others creating a devil figure by usingselfish reasons in the kite-fighting tournament and framing of theft to avoidhis betrayal, however, is able to redeemhimself by making peace with his past by rescuing Sohrab and ultimately have apure 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 in his life and in Kabul. In theend, Amir’s selfishness overcomes him and decides to run away from proving thathe believes his own security is essentialthan his friend’s. Specifically shown in his thoughts as he watched all the innocence bleed out on the snow:I had one last chance to make a decision. One final opportunityto 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 whateverwould happen to me.
Or I could run. In the end, I ran. I ran because I was acoward. I was afraid of Assef and what he would do to me. I was afraid ofgetting hurt.
That’s what I told myself as I turned my back to the alley, toHassan. That’s what I made myself believe. (Hosseini 77)Likewise, the next day was Eid-e- Qorbanand Amir become acceptant of Hassan beingused and tortured as the scapegoat.
He accepts that Hassan was the lamb, he hadto slay. Amir compares Assef forcinghimself on Hassan to the slaughter as he watched both even though itwill 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 endshis conscience telling him that he was just a Hazara and it was nothing worthsaving. For instance, shown in histhoughts as he sacrifices Hassan: I actually aspired to cowardice, because of the alternative, the real reason Iwas running, was that Assef was right: Nothing was Free in this world. MaybeHassan was the price I had to pay, the lamb I had to slay, to win Baba.
Was ita 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 momentsof pain, of betrayal as he uses his anger and relationship on Baba is put onHassan. This is shown how the Afghani Pashtun community reflects on Amir. Ashis excuse of slaughtering his innocence, memories, childhood, friend, brotherwas 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 devastatethe last bit of innocence away from his life.
For instance, Amir uses the pomegranatetree to take his anger, disturbance, andremorse on Hassan. Amir is not able to deal with his sense of guilt at first hetries to keep away from Hassan, who becomes a constant reminder of Amir of hisown cowardice and selfishness however Amir wishes Hassan would punish him and peltshim 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. Iwished 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 Hassandid nothing as I pelted him again and again. You’re a coward! I said. Nothingbut a goddamn coward! I don’t know how many times I hit him. All I know isthat, when I finally stopped, exhausted and panting.
Hassan was smeared in redlike he’d been shot by a firing squad. I fell to my knees, tired, spent,frustrated. (Hosseini 92-93)Furthermore, the last unforgivable tormenthe did to Hassan was framing him for the one ultimate sin, theft. Finally, heframed Hassan by planting a watch and some money.
Amir tries to get rid ofHassan 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 himeven though he should be concerned about Hassan health and his betrayal.Accordingly, Hassan sacrifices for Amir the last time by leaving Kabul and Amiris shown that he is glad that is would be finally over, there would be no pain and he would be able to breatheagain. To demonstrate: 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 Bababelieved him, then I’d be the accused; I would giveto 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 havetold, except that a part of me was glad. Glad that this would all be over withsoon. Baba would dismiss them, there would be some pain, but life would move on. I wanted that, to moveon, to forget, to start with a clean slate.
I wanted to be able to breatheagain. (Hosseini 105) As a result, Amir is shown to be on the darkside and tries to run away from his past.He uses the pomegranate tree to build and tarnish his relationship with Hassan.
The tree is used as a symbol of friendship and when the pomegranate crushesover Hassan’s face making it look like blood is when it is identified as their friendship isover. Along with, he frames Hassan for the only sin possible what is just to getrid of Hassan. Amir uses an honorable lesson taught by Baba and the only signof 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 beable to turn around and be good again.
Thirdly, years after, Amir still liveswith 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 thatguides him to ultimate redemption. Eventually,it is revealed Hassan to be Amir’s brother and as always he ran away from hisproblems, however, this time he wants to move forward. In act of loyalty toHassan and his family, he believes in god and hopes to fins Sohrab as he is theonly 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, lovedme in a way that no one ever had or ever would again. He was gone now, but alittle part of him lived on. It was in Kabul.
Waiting. I found Rahim Khanpraying namaz in the corner of the room. He was just a dark silhouette bowingeastward against a bloodred sky. I waited for him to finish. Then I told him Iwas going to Kabul.
Told him to call the Caldwells in the morning. I’ll prayfor you, Amir jan, he said. (Hosseini227)Incidentally, Amir is put in a situationwhich he only cares for Sohrab and fights Assek trying o save Sohrab. He isapproached by Assef and rather than running,he fights him. This act of rescue servesas an act of redemption for both for his owns sins and his father’sagainst the true and loyal Hassan. Due tothis, he hashealed again: What was so funny was that, for the first time sincethe winter of 1975, I felt at peace. I laughed because I saw that, in somehidden nook in the corner of my mind, I’d even been looking forward to this. Iremembered the day on the hill I had pelted Hassan with pomegranates and triedto provoke him.
He’d just stood there, doing nothing, red juice soaking throughis a shirtlike blood. Then he’d taken the pomegranate from my hand, crushed it againsthis forehead. Are you satisfied now? He’d hissed. Do you feel better? I hadn’tbeen happy and I hadn’t felt better, not at all. But I did now. My body wasbroken- 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 peacewith his guilt, with Hassan as is able to move on from a past he never reallymoved on. To him, his laughter was music to the soul.In Afghanistan when Amir stood up for Sohrab it should he had come terms withwhat he had done as a child and was finally felt relieved. Although he was getting beat up, it did not matter anymore, hejust wished he had stood up to Assef years ago,and maybe he would have earned his redemption is that alley.
On the whole, Amir goesthrough a journey where he uses resentment to harm others, has exterior motivesand reasons to not fight for others, however, is able to find good again andmakes peace with himself making him an evilfigure with the ultimate good heart. Hassan is used as a scapegoat to cover uphis insecurities towards his relationship with Baba. Anger consumes him to getrid of Hassan as well as the guilt of betrayal. For all of that, rescuing Sohrabis an act of loyalty towards his love for Hassan.Although Amir destroyed the lives of many people, and he has had morethan one opportunity to redeem himself of guilt, he is not the selfish littleboy he once 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.