What does this quote from The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini, mean?  “Perhaps something, someone, somewhere, had decided to deny me fatherhood for the things I had done. Maybe this was my...

What does this quote from The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini, mean? 

“Perhaps something, someone, somewhere, had decided to deny me fatherhood for the things I had done. Maybe this was my punishment, and perhaps justly so. It wasn’t meant to be, Khala Jamila had said.”  

Asked on by amir-nit

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Lori Steinbach | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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This quote from chapter thirteen of Khaled Hosseini's novel The Kite Runner is spoken by the main character, Amir, after he and his wife, Soraya, have tried unsuccessfully to have a child. They have undergone a battery of tests, yet there appears to be no medical reason why they cannot conceive. Of course Amir, who has lived with crippling guilt from his past, assumes it is because of what he has done. He says:

...perhaps something, someone, somewhere, had decided to deny me fatherhood for the things I had done. Maybe this was my punishment, and perhaps justly so. It wasn't meant to be, Khala Jamila had said. Or, maybe, it was meant not to be.

Note the line which follows the quote you cite in your question. Obviously Amir is concerned that God, karma, fate, or "something, someone, somewhere" has decided to punish him in this way for his failure to save Hassan from the brutal Assef. His shame and guilt are so great that he does not even articulate his past sins (he merely calls them "the things I had done"), but the readers know and Amir knows.

So does Rahim Khan, and he will soon offer Amir an opportunity to both atone for his past sins and gain a son.

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