In The Kite Runner, what is the significance of the irony in Amir's first story and how is it a metaphor for Amir's life?

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scarletpimpernel eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Amir's first story is about a man who discovers that his tears turn into pearls; so he performs acts that cause him to cry, increasing his collection of valuable pearls.  At the story's end, the man sits on a pile of pearls after having killed his wife so that he could cry and produce for pearls. Amir's moral and the story's irony demonstrate that often a person must make great sacrifices at the expense of family and friends in order to get what he wants.

Of course, Amir does exactly what the man in his story did--he sacrifices his friend (and half brother) in order to get his father's approval. Later, Amir also believes that he sacrificed his right to be a father when he betrayed Hassan.  He thinks that his wife's infertility is a result of his heinous act years earlier.

Ironically, Hassan offers a solution to both "stories." For Amir's fictional story, he suggests that the man cut up onions in order to produce tears, and his forgiveness and son Sohrab present Amir with opportunity to redeem himself.

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The Kite Runner

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