How can we justify the topic of Identity and Self discovery using an existentialist theory in Kite Runner?I hope this one gets answered. I need to elaborate the idea of Amir's quest of Indentity...

How can we justify the topic of Identity and Self discovery using an existentialist theory in Kite Runner?

I hope this one gets answered. I need to elaborate the idea of Amir's quest of Indentity and Self Discovery using the tool Existentialism. Hope I will get an appropriate answer. Please help.

Asked on by adars123

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The fact that Amir has a chance, a choice, offered to him in the opening of the novel is where one can see the presence of Existentialism in the novel.  Granted, that this choice is to "become good again."  Yet, this is the choice that is in front of him.  It is choice and the consequences from this that ends up playing a formative role in Amir's sense of self. Nothing is absolute.  Nothing is transcendent.  In true Existentialist fashion, Amir must provide the justification for his being in the world.  His desire to return to Afghanistan, to right that which is wrong, to care for Sohrab, and to be "the kite runner" are all examples of the Existentialist idea that individual freedom and action ends up defining one's identity.  Identity is not something that is transcendent.  In the best example of "existence precedes essence," Amir ends up defining his identity through his choice. There is only this choice that defines who he is and what he sees his identity to be.  Amir is not shown as one who depends on the transcendent power of the divine to define his identity.  It is Amir's own power of choice that defines his identity.  This becomes an essential element of Existentialism for it places priority on the individual for defining their own identity.  In this case, Amir becomes a protagonist that can be seen in Existentialist in defining his own identity.

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