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Amir has several inner conflicts which affect him well into adulthood. One comes from his own guilt concerning the death of his mother during childbirth: Amir believes that Baba blames him for his mother's death--a burden Amir accepts and one which he believes can never be altered. Amir's greater guilt comes from the jealousy he bears for the attentions Baba gives Hassan and the two betrayals he commits against his companion: First, Amir watches but fails to assist Hassan as he is raped by Assef. This cowardly act is followed by a more devious one that results with Amir planting his birthday money and gifts under Hassan's mattress; Hassan takes the fall for the theft and Baba forgives him, much to Amir's surprise, but this personal disgrace culminates in Ali and Hassan's exit from Baba's household. Amir's departure to California is a blessing for him, putting thousands of miles between him and his old home in Kabul where all of his youthful mistakes occurred. Amir only learns as an adult that not only has his late father been keeping terrible secrets from him, but that perhaps he has been a bit too hard on himself--and that "there is a way to be good again."
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