Discussion Topic

Amir's journey towards redemption and atonement in The Kite Runner

Summary:

Amir's journey towards redemption and atonement in The Kite Runner involves confronting his past mistakes, particularly his betrayal of Hassan. He returns to Afghanistan to rescue Hassan's son, Sohrab, as a way to make amends. This act of bravery and selflessness helps Amir find personal redemption and a sense of peace.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

How does Amir seek redemption in The Kite Runner?

Please see the link below for another answer.

Last Updated on
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

How does Amir seek redemption in The Kite Runner?

I think that the act of going back to Afghanistan reflects a step towards redemption.  In being able to confront his life from what it was to what it is represents a homecoming of sorts, and a redemption in the process.  At the same time, I think that the understanding of his true relationship with Hassan the compulsion to adopt Sohrab represents another part of this redemption.  Amir understands that he is responsible for establishing a moral order in a setting where none exists.  In the condition that the Taliban created in Afghanistan, and understanding the fate that Sohrab would probably face, Amir comprehends his responsibility.  In this, there is redemption.  The mistakes he made with Hassan in not taking action and being silent are not what he will make with Sohrab.  In this, there is redemption that demonstrates both an evolution of character as well as the potential hope for the future.

Last Updated on
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

How does Amir seek redemption in The Kite Runner?

Amir begins his long quest for redemption when he returns to Pakistan, and then Afghanistan, in June 2001. Meeting with Baba's old friend, Rahim Khan in Pakistan, Amir learns that Hassan is dead; Hassan has a son somewhere in Afghanistan; and that Hassan is actually his half-brother, fathered by Baba and Sanaubar. Amir's step toward atonement comes when he rescues Sohrab from the Taliban while nearly being beaten to death in the process. It is during the beating that Amir first feels the freedom of his sins.

My body was broken--just how badly I wouldn't find out until later--but I felt healed. Healed at last.

Safely arriving with Sohrab in Pakistan, Amir heals his wounds before beginning the search for the Caldwells, who were to take Sohrab into their home. But Amir discovers that the Caldwells are fictitious, contrived by Rahim Khan in order to guarantee that Amir would locate Sohrab. So, Amir decides to return home to California with Sohrab, and make him a member of his family--something that he had never been able to accept with Hassan. But Sohrab's suicide attempt lengthens Amir's stay.

When they finally arrive in California, Sohrab is unable to adapt to his new surroundings, rarely speaking and withdrawing into a world of his own. But in the final chapter, when Amir takes Sohrab kite-flying, Amir finds himself acting out one final form of redemption: He volunteers to run Sohrab's kite, just as Hassan had done so many times for him.

Last Updated on
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

How does Amir attempt to escape from his sins in "The Kite Runner"?

The first way that Amir tries to really get away from his sins, particularly the most important one of ignoring Hassan's situation when Assef rapes him, is to figure out a way to have Baba get rid of Hassan and Ali.  He tries to convince him to send them away but in the end has to make it look like Hassan stole from him.

When that doesn't really work, he eventually escapes to America, though there are other circumstances involved, it certainly helps him to have that kind of distance from the whole situation.

Of course both of these escapes fail and he has to confront them when Rahim Kahn calls to let him know "there is a way to be good again" and he returns to Afghanistan to confront his sins.

Last Updated on
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Does Amir atone for his past wrongs in The Kite Runner, and how?

Yes. At the beginning of the novel, Amir sits idly by and witnesses Hassan get raped, then plants money and a watch underneath Hassan's bed to make it look like Hassan stole from him. Amir's actions force Ali and Hassan to leave their home which ends Baba's long friendship with Ali. Throughout his life, Amir is plagued with guilt for his actions until he gets a call from Rahim Khan telling him that there is a way to be good again. When Amir travels to Pakistan to speak with Rahim Khan, Rahim tells him about Hassan's son, Sohrab. Amir accepts the challenge to find Sohrab in Afghanistan and give him a new home with two Christian missionaries living in Pakistan. Amir atones for his past wrongs by facing off against Assef one on one in order to leave Afganistan with Sohrab. Amir almost dies during the fight, but is fortunately saved by Sohrab, who uses his slingshot to knock out Assef's eye. After Amir recovers from his severe injuries, he attempts to adopt Sohrab only to find out how difficult the immigration adoption policy is. After Amir tells Sohrab that he will have to put him in an orphanage for a little while, Sohrab attempts to kill himself. Amir saves Sohrab's life and eventually takes him to America where Sohrab is safe. Amir atones for his wrongs by risking his life and saving Sohrab's life several times in the process of bringing him to America. Amir's sacrifice gives Sohrab a chance to experience a happy life in America. 

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Last Updated on