I believe it symbolized the coming of age from childhood to young adulthood. The flight of the kite was the freedom of childhood to be free, fettered only by the parent of the child. When the kites fought, the symbolism of success and failure became evident. Without skills and strategy, a kite flyer was doomed to be eliminated. Success came with practice and determination. The pain of the glass string cutting the flyer's hands was the experience of set backs that had to be overlooked to achieve a goal. Amir's success did not achieve exactly what he wanted, however. It did form a closer bond between him and his father. But, somehow that bond seemed artificial. His fateful lack of action to save his friend would ruin his feeling of success and mar his emotional state for years. Even the trophy of capturing the kite that was downed would pall in its cost to both boys and their families.