In The Kite Runner, how does Rahim Khan achieve redemption?

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Most of the issues and sins in The Kite Runner stem from passiveness. Amir, Baba, and Rahim Khan are not bad people in the sense that their actions are motivated by doing someone harm. They are merely people who choose to stay silent and stay away.

In the case of Rahim Khan, his first loyalty is to Baba, which also happens to be the cause of his mistakes. Given that Baba himself commits more than a few sins against his sons Amir and Hassan, he drags Rahim Khan down with him. Wanting to spare his friend and to do right by him, it takes Rahim Khan a long time to start seeing that Baba is a flawed man. The novel is riddled with misconceptions like that: both Baba and Rahim Khan think that they're somehow doing the right thing by keeping the secret, but they actually only help themselves.

To the credit of Rahim Khan, he realizes this much sooner. He understands that by protecting Baba, he is an accomplice to his sins in addition to his own. There begins his own quest to "be good again," a phrase which he uses to get Amir to come for Sohrab. In that way, Rahim Khan's quest for redemption sets off a chain reaction of the others as well. Not only does he help Hassan and later Sohrab, but he also ends up saving Amir from his own guilt. While Rahim Khan is more of a side character in the novel, he actually ends up being the one who sets the second part in motion—the one that deals with Amir coming to Afghanistan and saving Sohrab. With that, Rahim Khan heals wounds that have hurt a long while and contributes to Baba and Amir's redemption as well. Compared to the other two, Rahim Khan is a lot more far-sighted and knows that hiding uncomfortable truths brings no one happiness. Through him, Sohrab ends up being rescued from a terrible fate—showing that sometimes nothing more is needed than a little step in the right direction. The mere fact that Rahim Khan reveals the truth to Amir brings him back home and gives Sohrab a chance at life.

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At the beginning of the novel, when Rahim Khan calls Amir from Pakistan offering Amir an opportunity to redeem himself, Amir does not realize that his going to Pakistan is also a part of Rahim Khan's redemption.  Rahim Khan had participated in Baba's lie for years, covering up the truth that Hassan was Baba's son. So, when he tells Amir the truth about Hassan and why Baba treated Amir so harshly, he is participating in his own redemption, trying to set things straight before he dies.

Before Rahim Khan tells Amir the truth, however, he had already taken action to try to redeem himself with Hassan.  Although he never tells Hassan the truth about his heritage, he does search for Hassan and bring him and his wife back to Baba's house in Kabul, where they live a better life. After Hassan and his wife are killed by Talibs, Rahim Khan finds out where their son Sohrab is and calls Amir.  He then sends Amir on a quest to rescue Sohrab--this action on Amir's part redeems not only the novel's protagonist but also helps Rahim Khan find forgiveness for his participation in Baba's lie.

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In The Kite Runner, what is Rahim Kahn's idea of redemption?

Khaled Hosseini's novel The Kite Runner is set in and around Afghanistan during the period between late 1970 and 2003, and deals with family tension in times of war.

The character of Rahim Khan is complex; he is a friend of Amir's family and his father's business partner. In Amir's youth, Rahim acted as mediator when he and his father argued, and encouraged Amir to pursue his love of writing. Later in his life, when he is old and dying, he asks Amir to find Sohrab, Amir's nephew by his half-brother Hassan; Amir was unaware of the relation. At the end of the book, Amir reads a letter Rahim left him:

"...your father was a man torn between two halves, Amir jan: you and Hassan. He loved you both, but he could not love Hassan the way he longed to, openly... sometimes, I think everything he did, feeding the poor on the streets, building the orphanage, giving money to friends in need, it was all his way of redeeming himself. And that, I believe, is what true redemption is, Amir jan, when guilt leads to good."
(Hosseini, The Kite Runner, Google Books)

Rahim Khan, although not related to Amir's family, feels a deep connection with them, as well as the shame of keeping Sohrab a secret. He cannot find and rescue the boy himself, but he decides that if he gives Amir the knowledge and motivation to perform the task, it is as if he himself is doing it; through Amir, his final act is one of redemption. Rahim's long-held guilt has led to good.

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In what ways do characters find redemption in The Kite Runner?

History breathes heavily through the novel and constantly looks over the shoulder of the two friends and previous transgressions threaten to paralyse hope for the future. The neglected, weed-infested house symbolises this threat - yet there is hope , a way to redeem and a path to possibly to go forward again.  Amir sometimes feels that this will never happen because of the dark past and the shadow it casts over the future. He feels that the rest of his life has been carved out in a negative trajectory because of past deeds and at the beginning of the book we see him reflecting upon those times, though these are not revealed immediately. The theme of guilt creeps in as these worrying thoughts are revealed and also the theme of shame as he feels too ashamed to even try and move on. However, it is possible that he can be redeemed and towards the end we see Amir given heart by Rahim Khan’s belief in hope - there are always opportunities for personal epiphany and renewal. Amir takes up this target and bravely returns to visit Afghanistan.  He finds his old house neglected and nearly derelict and realises that the world has moved on from those times yet he has been living in them inside his head - it is time for him to leave the land of the past too.

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