What is the main theme of The Kite Runner?I've recently finished the book as my free read, but I'm wondering what is the theme? I know that the book talks a lot about betrayal, redemption, and...

What is the main theme of The Kite Runner?

I've recently finished the book as my free read, but I'm wondering what is the theme? I know that the book talks a lot about betrayal, redemption, and forgiveness, but what is the author's actual message to the readers? Like, what is he trying to get across to us from writing the book?

Or is redemption the actual theme of the book? I'm confused...
Please explain!

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

To me, the most important theme of the novel is that of redemption and atonement--particularly as it applies to Amir. Nearly every chapter refers to the guilt that Amir feels for his past sins against Hassan, and the latter one-third of the novel concentrates on his "way to be good again" by returning to Afghanistan to find his nephew, Sohrab. In the end, the beating that Amir takes from Assef helps to "heal" him, but Amir finds that even when he returns to California, "It didn't make everything all right." But Sohrab's slight smile and Amir's willingness to run the kite for him as Hassan once did is a major step toward cleansing Amir's conscience.

There are other themes found in the story (see the link to eNotes' themes):

  • "Identity and Self-Discovery"--such as Amir's change when he relocates in America, and finding that he still has a love for his homeland.
  • "Abuse of Power"--found in the terror brought by the Taliban and the prejudice against the Hazara people.
  • "Assimilation and Acculturation"--primarily in Amir's and Baba's new life in California.
  • "Journey and Quest"--which applies to many of the characters, including Hassan and Soraya.
  • "Heritage and Ancestry"--from the pride that Baba and General Taheri display to the lowly Hazara roots that Hassan lives with.
  • Role of Family and Fatherhood--explored in the differences between the many fathers--Baba, Amir, Ali, Hassan and General Taheri among them.
Sources:

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