Who redeemed himself more—Amir in The Kite Runner or Ralph in The Thorn Birds?

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That's a very good question. Father Ralph de Bricassart in The Thorn Birds attempts to redeem himself for his many sins by donating large sums of money to the Cleary family. This is largely out of guilt at his chiseling Meggie out of her inheritance. There's also the little matter of Ralph's breaking his vows as a Catholic priest by having a sexual relationship with Meggie.

Whether Ralph can be truly said to have redeemed himself is a moot point. If, as we've suggested, he's only giving money to the Clearys as a way of salving his guilty conscience, then it would seem that he isn't fully redeemed. Before he achieves anything like a state of authentic redemption, he has to acknowledge his sins, both to himself and to others. And there's no sign of his doing that any time soon.

Amir in The Kite Runner is also a character much in need of redemption. And as with Father Ralph in The Thorn Birds, one could argue that he falls some way short. Although Amir shows remarkable bravery in heading off to war-torn Afghanistan in order to save Hassan's son, Sohrab, from the evil clutches of the Taliban, it is Sohrab who saves him.

Thanks to Sohrab's skill with a slingshot, he and Amir are able to get themselves out of a serious spot of bother. Despite Amir's sincere desire to make amends for his betrayal of Hassan, it still seems that he's too easily intimated by bullies, just as he was when Hassan was violated on that terrible day years before.

Overall, it's a matter of opinion as to which of the two characters redeems himself more. If it's sincerity of heart that's the main component of redemption, then one would have to say Amir. If, however, we measure redemption by action, one could perhaps choose Father Ralph instead, as he does considerably more than Amir.

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