What are three significant moments that show the growth of an individual in The Kite Runner, including quotes?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Despite his youthful transgressions against Hassan, Amir grows into a successful writer and loving son and husband who eventually exhibits a heroic streak upon his return to Afghanistan. Unlike Baba, who failed to regain his confidence and wealth after relocating to California, Amir thrives in his new surroundings. He graduates high school and college and becomes a published author, giving him the personal pride that he lacked as a youth in Kabul. As an adult, his relationship with Baba becomes a strong one, developing a mutual love with his father that was not evident before arriving in America. Amir's character further develops when he meets and falls in love with Soraya.

Lying awake in bed that night, I thought of Soraya Taheri's sickle-shaped birthmark, her gently crooked nose, and the way her luminous eyes had fleetingly held mine. My heart stuttered at the thought of her. Soraya Taheri. My Swap Meet Princess.

Their marriage makes him the nearly complete man, yet Amir is unable to forgive himself for his deceitful actions as a boy. His return to Pakistan to meet with Rahim Khan begins Amir's final transition, and when he successfully undertakes the dangerous trip through Taliban-held Afghanistan to find his nephew, Sohrab, Amir finally gains partial atonement for his longstanding guilt. As he takes the brutal beating from Assef, Amir realizes that he has accomplished one part of his personal dream.

My body was broken--just how badly, I wouldn't find out until later--but I felt healed. Healed at last.

When Amir at last makes a personal breakthrough with Sohrab while running the boy's kite in the final chapter, Amir takes the final step at total self-redemption.

     It was only a smile, nothing more. It didn't make everything all right. It didn't make anything all right. Only a smile. A tiny thing...
     But I'll take it.

Read the study guide:
The Kite Runner

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