Why does Amir feel distant from Soraya in The Kite Runner?

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The Kite Runnerdeals primarily with the themes of guilt and redemption. In many ways, both those things are defined by the harsh Afghan culture and the society that dictates how people's lives should be run. Amir, the novel's protagonist , has a particularly hard time separating his own truths...

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The Kite Runner deals primarily with the themes of guilt and redemption. In many ways, both those things are defined by the harsh Afghan culture and the society that dictates how people's lives should be run. Amir, the novel's protagonist, has a particularly hard time separating his own truths from those of the people around him. This ends up being the cause of the guilt that pains him for years, until he finally decides to try and redeem himself.

His wife, Soraya, on the other hand, never struggles with that particular problem. Being born a woman, she was always in a more difficult situation than Amir, but she ended up a much stronger person. Despite the patriarchal society she lives in, Soraya grew up to be both rebellious and good. She was able to critically determine exactly which parts of her culture she agreed with and which she didn't want to adhere to. Her decision to run away with an Afghan man, to whom she wasn't married, cost her a lot and put her in a difficult position, but Soraya's problems are all external, while Amir's are internal. She is criticized by the refugee community for her actions, but Soraya herself is not a conflicted person. She is aware that the community is being unfair to her. Amir, on the other hand, knows he's in the wrong and does nothing about it, being eaten up inside by his own conscience. Amir envies Soraya; that is the reason why he feels a bit distant from his wife. He loves her a lot, but he also feels inferior to her.

Unlike Amir, who can't bring himself to confess what happened to Hassan, Soraya is able to be honest about her past. This means that Amir is keenly aware of how far ahead of him Soraya is. She owns up to her "mistakes"—which are only mistakes according to their oppressive community—while he hasn't been able to deal with much worse things that are definitely his fault. Like with Hassan many years before, Amir starts to feel distant from a person he loves who makes him feel quite small with their example. This time, however, that feeling leads to Amir finally taking steps to atone for his sins and ends up bringing him closer to Soraya as well.

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In the story, Amir briefly felt distant from Soraya when she told him the truth about her past, while he was unable to share his past. Soraya told Amir about how in the past she ran away with a man. She was rebellious, and the man was into drugs. Members of her community talked about it, and the situation brought shame to her family. Eventually, her father found her, and she went back home.

Amir, on the other hand, thought of telling Soraya about his past, but he couldn’t talk about it and decided to keep it a secret. Amir wanted to tell Soraya of how he betrayed Hassan, how he framed him for theft, which led to the end of a forty-year relationship between his father and Ali. According to Amir, Soraya was better than him because she had the courage to tell him the truth.

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