Discuss the "American Dream" in The Kite Runner?

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

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I would say that the one of the strongest examples of the American Dream is the idea that Amir and his father are able to relocate to America and start a new life away from the difficulties of Afghanistan.  Essentially, this is the immigrant narrative.  Someone is pushed out of their home and pulled into the allure of America in starting a new life for themselves.  In this light, the American Dream is one of escape and reinvention.  Indeed, Amir was able to forgo his own sins of the past and his treatment of Hassan.  Amir's father was able to escape his own sins of Hassan being his son and never being able to disclose such a truth to Amir.  America is an area where one's own ethnicity can merge into something larger, an escape away from the tribal and communal rivalries that are such an integral part of the homeland:

Amir says,"For me, America was a place to bury my memories. For Baba, a place to mourn his."

In this vacuum, Amir and his father enter.  Yet, in the end, Amir recognizes the need to return to Afghanistan, indicating that the American Dream is one where one can find redemption even after a period of supposed renunciation.

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