Discuss the significance and symbolism of the following
(a) “the pomegranate tree”
In the novel The Kite Runner the pomegranate tree is used to show the differences in the relationship between Amir and Hassan. In the beginning the pomegranate tree was a place for Hassan and Amir to bond, tell stories and carve their names into the tree. After the rape of Hassan, the guilt that Amir has ruins the ability to bond. Amir overwhelmed with guilt, bitterness and anger causes him to ruin the relationship between them. The third time he visits the tree is when he comes to rescue Sohrab, and he see that the tree has nearly died, this shows that their relationship has almost died, but the only thing keeping it alive, is Sohrab.
(b) “the kites”
The blue kite is a symbol for Baba’s attention, in an attempt to make Baba proud Amir writes a novel, however this was not something Baba admired, so when Amir won the kite running competition the kite showed him wining the love of his father, however as the novel goes on “the kite” turns into a symbol of betrayal. Hassan sacrificed himself to Assef just to get the kite back to Amir, as a loyal as Hassan was, Amire still betrays him. As the novel comes to an end Amir and Sohrab fly the kites together showing that there is happiness and peace at last.
(c) “story of ‘Sohrab and Rustam’”
"Rostam and Sohrab" describes a father's (Rostam) search for his long-lost son. He unknowingly meets his son in battle and mortally wounds him just as he discovers that his enemy was his son. Hassan loves the story's reference to the marriage of love between Rostam and his beautiful princess who wanted her son as much as her husband (this is in direct contrast to how Sanuabar viewed her husband Ali and her son Hassan). Hassan names his son Sohrab because Sohrab is the innocent one in the legend and because the name brings back so many of his fond memories of time spent in childhood innocence with Amir. Perhaps Hassan believed that one day Amir ("Rostam") would have an opportunity to save Sohrab rather than destroy him.
(d) “the ritual slaughter of the sheep”
Sheep are slaughtered as a sacrifice to Allah, to show devotion, but also as a form of atonement. Amir and Hassan are both human examples of the sacrificial sheep; they both undergo life-threatening circumstances where their blood is shed for the sake of another person. Hassan's loyalty to Amir led him to take blame for a crime he did not commit. Amir abandons his wife, home, career, and family to go back into Afghanistan and adopt Sohrab, Hassan's son, risking his life in the process. In The Kite Runner, Hosseini incorporates the theme of sheep sacrifice because of its historical and symbolic significance; sheep symbolize sacrifice and atonement.
(e) “one-eyed Assef”
Where is your slingshot, Hazara?" Assef said, turning the brass knuckles in his hand. "What was it you said? 'They'll have to call you One-Eyed Assef.' That's right. One-Eyed Assef. That was clever. Really clever. Then again, it's easy to be clever when you're holding a loaded weapon." Hassan saying one eyed Assef, symbolises, that Assef only sees one side to the hatred between the hazaras and the Pashtuns?