In what ways does Amir transition into manhood in America in The Kite Runner?Make reference to how Baba impacts this transition.

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

For Amir, it is essential that he begin life anew in America, away from his homeland where he will not constantly be reminded of the sins he committed there against Hassan.

     For me, America was a place to bury my memories. (Chapter 11)

Amir learns to speak English and, though he is "by far the oldest senior tossing his mortarboard" at graduation, he continues his education at a local junior college. He decides to fulfill his dream of becoming a writer, and after graduating from college, he writes a successful novel. Baba supports his son every step of the way, something he never would have done in Kabul. In California, Baba turns his attentions to raising his son without the distractions of business (or Hassan) to interfere with their new intimate connection. Amir has never been happier, and he revels in their now successful father-son relationship. They share in their new-found love of flea markets, and when Amir meets Soraya, Baba is quick to formally introduce Amir to her father. Amir's marriage is another step toward manhood, and Baba spends most of his savings on a lavish wedding to honor the match. Baba's death is another step in Amir's maturation process, and he understands that he will no longer be "defined" as "Baba's son."

Baba wouldn't show me the way anymore; I'd have to find it on my own.  (Chapter 13)

Later, Amir takes steps he would never have imagined. He ventures back to Pakistan and the dangers in Afghanistan, where he learns the truth about Hassan's connection with Baba. He undertakes a personal mission to find Sohrab and finds the courage to stand up to the Taliban, nearly dying in the process. He successfully battles the red tape involved in returning with Sohrab to America, and back in California he defends his Hazara nephew when General Taheri insults the boy. In the end, Amir finds himself running a kite for Sohrab: He is now a "grown man" able to finally smile at the memories of his not-so-perfect past.

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The Kite Runner

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