Drowning In Guilt: Review Of The Kite Runner

1133 words - 5 pages

“Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do,” Voltaire once said. Every choice in life comes with a consequence that follows. A common consequence is guilt, a bad feeling caused by knowing or thinking that you have done something wrong. Amir, the main character in The Kite Runner, discovers the consequence of guilt after making decisions throughout his childhood that were destructive. Khaled Hosseini describes the destructive ability of guilt to consume one’s life through the the relationships of Amir and Hassan, Baba and Ali, and Amir and Sohrab.
The guilt that Amir feels due to his destroyed relationship with Hassan haunts him throughout his entire life. First, Hosseini uses the scene of Hassan’s rape as a haunting source of guilt that Amir puts upon himself. The rape is also one of the primary events that ruins Amir and Hassan’s friendship. Amir offers a thought that describes the ongoing guilt he has been feeling early in the book: “Looking back now, I realize I have been peeking into that deserted alley for the last twenty-six years” (Hosseini 1). This quote explains how Amir has been troubled by the guilt that has been forced upon him by watching the rape of Hassan that eventually destroyed their relationship. Second, the blue kite is a symbol of guilt that Amir feels about running from the rape. Walking away from the alley, Hassan “had the blue kite in his hands; that was the first thing [Amir] saw. And [Amir] can’t lie now and say [his] eyes didn’t scan it for any rips” (78). Amir’s selfishness shows through by placing his success above the well-being of Hassan. Third, the scar that Amir gets on his lip is used as a reminder of guilt that he feels from the destroyed relationship he once had with Hassan. As Amir is thinking about all of the injuries he had receives in the fight, the one thing that sticks out to him is his lip being “cut clean down the middle. Like a harelip” (297). This scar that will forever be a part of Amir reminds him of Hassan who has a scar from his surgery Baba gives him shortly before their friendship is ruined. As Amir’s life goes on, he is troubled by the guilt that consumes his life from destroying his and Hassan’s relationship.
Guilt is established through the relationship of Baba and Ali by showing the betrayal of a close friend. One way to reveal the guilt in Baba and Ali’s relationship is through the power that guilt has to make one feel the need to redeem oneself. This is shown through Baba after betraying Ali. Early in the novel, Amir iss describing how good of a person Baba is and includes building an orphanage in Kabul (13). This selfless action is one of the ways Baba tries to redeem himself from his sins he commits in the past and covers up his guilt. Another way to reveal the guilt in Baba and Ali’s relationship is through the symbolism of Baba getting a plastic surgeon to fix Hassan’s cleft lip for his birthday (45). The importance of the plastic surgery is shown through Baba’s effort to...

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