How do past events that occured in The Kite Runner affect present actions?This refers to the overall main charactors of the Kite Runner and how their past effects who they became in the present and...

How do past events that occured in The Kite Runner affect present actions?

This refers to the overall main charactors of the Kite Runner and how their past effects who they became in the present and how it effected their actions and ideals.

Expert Answers
scarletpimpernel eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The universal theme of The Kite Runner is, of course, redemption.  Because redemption requires that someone has done something that he believes needs correcting, the past is deeply connected to the theme and the present.  All of the novel's main characters, like real humans, live their present lives in specific ways because of their past.

Amir--The novel is based upon Amir's view of his past action--betraying Hassan--and we wouldn't have the main plot without Amir's past.  Because of what he did to his closest "friend," Amir gladly leaves his homeland, cannot be as close to his father as he would like, and eventually believes that he is not allowed to be a father.  Once Amir is able to face Afghanistan, Assef, and his cowardice, he is able to move forward in the present.

Baba--Baba cannot live with the memory that he betrayed his friend Ali and his dead wife's memory by sleeping with Sanuabar and fathering Hassan.  Because of this, his relationship with Amir is stilted and leads to Amir's choice of trying to please Baba over saving his Hassan.  Baba never confesses the truth to Amir, and even though he and Amir grow closer toward the end of Baba's life, they still never have the relationship that they could have had without Baba's past actions.

Soraya--Soraya went against her culture's strict social rules and ran away with a man.  Because of this, she feels that it is impossible to please her father and that she is not worthy to marry anyone else.  She seems to forgive herself when Amir gladly takes her as his bride.  Her past affects her in a rather positive way.  Because she knows her own flaws, she is more willing to accept flaws or a "past" in others.

Hassan--Hassan truly tries not to let his past affect him, but much of his circumstance is out of his control.  If Assef had not raped Hassan, then Amir most likely would not have framed Hassan and forced him and Ali to feel like they had to leave Baba's household.  With that being the case, Hassan and Ali most likely would have gotten to go to America with Baba, and who knows what their present would have been like?

Other characters such as Assef, Rahim Khan, and Sanuabar have pasts that cause them to act differently in present time.

gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Amir, Baba, and Soraya made significant mistakes in the past, which affects their future and impacts their decisions to atone for their past transgressions. Baba has an illegitimate Hazara son named Hassan in Afghanistan and neglects Amir as an adolescent because he is not masculine. Baba lives the majority of his life coping with the guilt of not publicly acknowledging Hassan as a son and dismissing Amir as a child. In order to atone for his past sins, Baba selflessly moves to America, where Amir gets a fresh start in life. Baba's difficult life in America is a result of his past decisions and is his attempt to redeem himself for his past transgressions.

Amir had witnessed Hassan being raped by Assef as a boy and did not intervene. He lives the majority of his life dealing with the extreme guilt of not helping his friend and ruins his relationship with Hassan. As an adult, Amir gets a call from Rahim Khan telling him that there is a way to be good again and redeem himself from his past experiences. Amir then travels to Afghanistan, saves Hassan's son, and adopts Sohrab to atone for his past sins. Amir risks his life and saves Sohrab in order to redeem himself for his past transgressions.

Soraya also made mistakes in her past, which affects her future and results in her marrying Amir. Soraya ran away from home with an Afghan man when she was eighteen and living in Virginia. Soraya's father found her and moved the family to California. While working in the Afghan section of the flea market, Soraya met Amir, and the two ended up marrying each other. Before they got married, Soraya tells the truth about her past transgressions to Amir while he refuses to tell her about Hassan. By the end of the novel, Soraya ends up supporting Amir's decision to adopt Sohrab.

tariqqqq | Student

Amir had made irralevent choices due to his jealousy of Hassan when he was young, that effected him for the rest of his life and stopped him from meeting Hassan again in his life

Read the study guide:
The Kite Runner

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question