Discuss Amir's motives for his decision to go to Pakistan to see Rahim in The Kite Runner.

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In chapter 14, Amir receives a phone call from his father's longtime friend, Rahim Khan, who tells him "There is a way to be good again" before their conversation ends (Hosseini, 210). Rahim Khan's final comment is significant and reveals Amir's motives for traveling to Pakistan. Amir understands that Rahim...

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In chapter 14, Amir receives a phone call from his father's longtime friend, Rahim Khan, who tells him "There is a way to be good again" before their conversation ends (Hosseini, 210). Rahim Khan's final comment is significant and reveals Amir's motives for traveling to Pakistan. Amir understands that Rahim Khan is aware of his past transgressions as an adolescent after speaking with him on the phone. Rahim Khan knows that Amir did not help Hassan in a time of need and that Amir framed Hassan by making it look like he stole his birthday gifts in order to remove Hassan from Baba’s home. More importantly than knowing Amir's dark secret, Rahim Khan is aware of Amir's overwhelming guilt and shame. By telling Amir that there is a way to be good again, Rahim Khan is offering Amir an opportunity to atone for his past sins. After speaking with Rhan Khan, Amir is motivated to find redemption and atone for his past sins by traveling to Pakistan.

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Interestingly, the telephone conversation that Rahim Khan has with Amir is never fully quoted. Instead, in Chapter Fourteen, the action begins as Amir puts down the phone after this conversation that has made him so sure that he must go back to Pakistan. However, the one line of the conversation that is shared with us reveals the mixed motives that Amir has for going to Pakistan:

Come. There is a way to be good again, Rahim Khan had said on the phone just before hanging up. Said it in passing, almost as an afterthought.

Clearly, Rahim Khan, as an old family friend, is an important figure to Amir, but what this throwaway line signifies for Amir is that Rahim Khan new about his betrayal of Hassan all those years ago and also recognises the unbearable burden of guilt that Amir even now bears. Thus, Amir is tantalised and tempted by this "way to be good again," which is the real reason why he returns to Pakistan. He is desperate to make right what he did wrong so long ago.

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