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I think that the relationship between Rahim Khan and Amir helps to illuminate the theme of loyalty that is such a part of the work. Rahim Khan's loyalty to Amir's family is representative of the loyalty that is such a part of the novel's thematic development. The idea of "becoming good again" is something that Rahim's relationship with Amir represents. Rahim's knowledge of the family secret that will fundamentally change Amir's relationship with Afghanistan, as well as his own understanding of the past. It is through knowledge of this that Rahim demonstrates the idea of self sacrifice to Hassan and his family, something that Amir will end up emulating as the novel develops. Rahim's reaching out to Amir in the opening of the book is representative of how Amir must learn how to reach out to Afghanistan itself in order for him to "become good again." In this, the relationship between Rahim and Amir demonstrates qualities and traits in the exposition of the novel that will help to play a formative role throughout it.
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