What precisely, is the "sin" of which Amir is guilty? What are the various consequences of his belief that he has committed an unforgivable sin?

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

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To be more precise, Amir committed several terrible acts against his servant "friend," Hassan, in Khaled Hosseini's novel, The Kite Runner. It is true that Amir never fully embraced Hassan as an equal or as a friend or as a member of the household. These are additional guilts with which Amir has had to live. But the two specific acts for which Amir feels most guilty concern (1) Hassan's rape at the hands of Assef; and (2) Amir's planting of money and a watch in Hassan's room and then claiming that they have been stolen.

When Amir follows Hassan as he chases down a kite, Assef and his mates corner Hassan. Amir watches from a distance as the boys hold Hassan down while Assef rapes him. Amir could have come to Hassan's aid, but his timidity causes him to stay silent. When he confronts Hassan later, he pretends to know nothing of the rape, and Hassan never admits to it.

Later, after Baba has paid for an operation to correct Hassan's hairlip, Amir's jealousy gets the best of him. He takes his watch and money (birthday presents) and plants them in Hassan's room. He then tells Baba that they have been stolen. When they turn up in Hassan's room, Hassan admits to stealing them. Baba forgives him, but Hassan and his father, Ali, leave the home in disgrace. Amir can never forgive himself for these two acts.

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mkcapen1 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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In the very beginning of the book it foreshadows that Amir committed a sin which he himself has deemed as unforgivable.  It had changed his life and led him to become who he now feels he is when he opens the story.

When Amir was young he grew up with a boy named Hassan.  He was unaware all his life that the child was actually his half brother.  However, they were friends and very close.  The boy was a child of the Hazara race and so Amir never could totally embrace him as his friend.  In addition, the child served Amir his breakfast.  However, Amir and him nursed from the same woman and grew-up doing most things together.

Hassan was the essence of good.  He adored Amir and looked up to him.  He defended Amir against Assef, a local sadist and bully.  Once day Assef rapes Hassan.  Amir is hiding behind a wall and sees the whole thing but his nature is not as a fighter and he does not intervene to protect Hassan.  Instead, he turns his own self-shame outward and becomes angry with Hassan and rejects him.  Hasssan does not know he witnessed the incident, but it changed both of their lives.

The eventual outcome leads to Amir's guilt causing him not to be able to sleep well and eventually taking great risks to save Hassan's son following his father's murder.

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user4954702 | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

In the very beginning of the book it foreshadows that Amir committed a sin which he himself has deemed as unforgivable.  It had changed his life and led him to become who he now feels he is when he opens the story.

When Amir was young he grew up with a boy named Hassan.  He was unaware all his life that the child was actually his half brother.  However, they were friends and very close.  The boy was a child of the Hazara race and so Amir never could totally embrace him as his friend.  In addition, the child served Amir his breakfast.  However, Amir and him nursed from the same woman and grew-up doing most things together.

Hassan was the essence of good.  He adored Amir and looked up to him.  He defended Amir against Assef, a local sadist and bully.  Once day Assef rapes Hassan.  Amir is hiding behind a wall and sees the whole thing but his nature is not as a fighter and he does not intervene to protect Hassan.  Instead, he turns his own self-shame outward and becomes angry with Hassan and rejects him.  Hasssan does not know he witnessed the incident, but it changed both of their lives.

The eventual outcome leads to Amir's guilt causing him not to be able to sleep well and eventually taking great risks to save Hassan's son following his father's murder.

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