In The Kite Runner, what is the significance of Amir's dream about Baba and the bear?

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Susan Hurn | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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When Amir returns to Afghanistan to recue Hassan's son, Amir endures a terrible, life-threatening beating in order to save the little boy. While he recuperates in the hospital, he has a dream in which his father Baba wrestles a great and fearsome bear. Baba overcomes the bear through strength, courage, and determination. In Amir's dream, he sees Baba's face as the bear is defeated, then he realizes he is looking not at Baba's face, but his own.

This is a moment of redemption for Amir. Since childhood, he has lived with guilt and shame and fear. He has loathed himself for his lack of courage and integrity, most of it resulting from his shameful betrayal of Hassan in their childhood. By returning to Afghanistan and saving Hassan's son Sohrab, Amir has overcome his fear, finally, and acted with courage and honor. For Amir, finally, he has become his father's son, deserving of self-respect.