Is the dominant form of justice in The Kite Runner retributive?
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I had never considered this combination of retribution and justice before, but it does seem to be the dominant pattern of the novel. Amir seeks personal justice by planting evidence to create the appearance of a guilty Hassan. Ali in turn moves out of the household against Baba's wishes. Amir feels cleansed of some of the guilt concerning Baba only after he learns Baba has lied to him about Hassan's true father. Sanaubar cheats on her husband because she is disgusted by Ali's deformities. Amir later returns with Sohrab only after payback is delivered to Assef. Assef's whole life seems built around retribution. He justifies the rape of Hassan as retribution for the boy's threat of using his slingshot and for being a lowly Hazara. Assef pays back the Russian officer who had tortured him by shooting him in the groin. As a Taliban, he tortures and murders others because they are trash that need to be taken out. General Taheri justifies his ill-treatment of his daughter because he believes she has shamed the family name. Soraya jumps at the first boy who shows interest in her in order to flee the family home, although Amir does prove to be the man of her dreams.
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