Amir feels he is "home again," but how well does he understand his country?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that this is a complex question.  On one hand, Amir's feeling of being "home" is a reflection of his experience as a hyphenated American.  Amir had left Afghanistan and come to live in America.  While America had been good to he and his father, the reality is that the new world was not their world.  His experiences in America were always seen with one perception in America and another through the lens of coming from another country.  His understanding of what it means to be in America is a divided one.  In some respects, this forced Amir to view reality through a split consciousness, making things extremely challenging for him.  Being "back home" alleviates this duality because the frame of reference of being back in Afghanistan is singular.  Yet, at the same time, the challenges might not exist in understanding his own country as much as understanding himself.  His need to go back is an attempt to "be good again."  The challenge here is for him to better understand both his country and the choices he made as a child living in it.  The difficulty in understanding both country and self are complex and Amir recognizes this as he returns to Afghanistan and recognizes the implications of his return.  Amir struggles to understand Afghanistan under the Taliban rule as much as he struggles to comprehend why he did what he did as a child.  In seeking to better understand both, a greater awareness results.  He understands this fully, which is why returning "home" carries with it profound implications for Amir as a citizen and person.

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The Kite Runner

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