Describe the significance of a "physical journey" in The Kite Runner. 

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

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The need for Amir to "become good again" is rooted in the idea of a physical journey in which he is able to reclaim his redemption as a human being.  The physical journey is one in which psychology is heavily impacted by physicality.  Amir had settled in America and, to an extent, severed the bonds that connected him to Afghanistan.  However, as evident in the very first chapter, the keys to his own spiritual redemption resided in Afghanistan.  In this, the physical journey becomes the means by which individuals are able to embrace their own senses of self and identity.  The physical journey is one filled with challenges and a sense of danger, evidenced in the confrontation with Assef as well as the troubles with adopting Sohrab.  These difficulties are necessary for Amir to "be good again."  In doing so, the physical journey becomes the means by which Amir's spiritual redemption is possible.  Without it, there is little in which Amir can do to address his own transgressions of the past.  This makes the physical journey a portal to the past as well as the present, and thus, the future conception of the individual.

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