How is Amir developed throughout The Kite Runner?

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

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Amir's primary tool for characterization is revealed early on in the narrative. The call to "become good again" is something that plays an instrumental role in the characterization of Amir. This helps to establish the basic paradigm of how Amir transgressed in Afghanistan and then in coming to America failed to fully acknowledge the extent of his actions. In his return to Afghanistan, Amir recognizes that the Taliban followed years of war in an attempt to wipe out the past, remove the extent of memory. Through this, Amir's characterization develops as being a voice of dissent in this process. His collision with Assef over Sohrab is significant because it is the pinnacle of the point where Amir both battles his own erasure of the past and the political version of it in the Taliban, embodied by Assef. The fact that Amir ends up appropriating the physical injury that makes him look like Hassan and that Assef goes down thanks to the same weapon that Hassan used earlier on in life represents how Amir's characterization is one that seeks to make right that which is wrong. This is a personal quest, but one that becomes political in the chaos of Afghanistan and the unsettled nature of one's mind when struggling with issues of right and wrong. It is in this light, one of ideas and concepts concerning transgression and redemption that Amir is developed throughout the work.


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