Discuss the implications of Amir's self-loathing.we have been asked to write a literary essay on this topic and i was wondering if anyone had any ideas

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lmetcalf | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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In terms of implications, Amir lives under the shadow of his past failings through his whole life.  Even when he seems to have moved on, we find out that he really hasn't.  He chose not to reveal his secret to his wife when she revealed her deep held shameful past.  Even after everything he endured in Kabul when he returned later, he never says out loud to anyone what happened and WHY.  He has saved Sohrab and can atone for his past through his raising Hassan's son (his nephew), but even the end of the novel has a bittersweet feel to it.  Sohrab is still all but non-communicative and the kite running is both a pleasurable and painful reminder of his past.  I think it is important that the novel doesn't have a "perfect" happy ending -- it is a significant point about the long-lasting implications of Amir's earlier behavior.

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litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I agree with number 2. Amir feels as if he has failed. He also feels as if by leaving his country he betrayed it as well. He ran away, and turned his back on his past in an attempt to reinvent himself and forgot what had happened. This is one of the reasons he feels the need to return.  He also wants to see if he has moved on from his past.

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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Amir's guilty conscience concerning his betrayal of Hassan (not defending him while he was being sodomized by Assef and his planting of the birthday gifts under Hassan's mattress) haunted him for decades. It did amount to a case of self-loathing, though Amir seemed to have diminished these feelings somewhat after the move to California. Even after his success as a writer, however, Amir always felt these past actions were a terrible stain on his character. He finally realized, as Rahim suggested, that there was a way to be good again--thus, the dangerous return to Kabul in search of Sohrab. As he took the beating from Assef, he suddenly realized that his atonement was nearly complete.

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trusler | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

Amir's guilty conscience concerning his betrayal of Hassan (not defending him while he was being sodomized by Assef and his planting of the birthday gifts under Hassan's mattress) haunted him for decades. It did amount to a case of self-loathing, though Amir seemed to have diminished these feelings somewhat after the move to California. Even after his success as a writer, however, Amir always felt these past actions were a terrible stain on his character. He finally realized, as Rahim suggested, that there was a way to be good again--thus, the dangerous return to Kabul in search of Sohrab. As he took the beating from Assef, he suddenly realized that his atonement was nearly complete.

Thanks a ton! :)

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