“For you, a thousand times over.” In The Kite Runner by Kahled Hosseini, there is a recurring theme of redemption that is portrayed by various literary devices. Kahled excellently juxtaposes devices such as irony, symbolism, and foreshadowing to show redemption within his first novel.
As a foreword, the story of The Kite Runner focuses on a man named Amir. In his childhood, he enjoyed a high-class life in Kabul, Afghanistan, living with his father Baba. They have two servants, Ali and his son Hassan. They are Hazaras, a lower class ethnic minority in Afghanistan. In one Winter of their childhood, Amir and Hassan participate in a kite-fighting tournament; the goal is to be the last kite flying. When a kite is cut, boys chase after it as a trophy. Amir wins the tournament, and Hassan flies to catch the losing kite. Later, following Hassan's path, Amir comes upon a neighbourhood bully named Assef about to rape Hassan who has the trophy, the blue kite. Amir does not interject, believing this will secure him the kite. Thus, Amir sets forth a chain of events he must redeem in his adulthood.
To begin, the first instance of redemption is found and portrayed through irony. As Amir's mother died giving birth to him, he has always felt guilty. Leading up to the annual kite-fighting tournament, Amir feels as if winning will redeem her death, and solidify his relationship with Baba. When he comes upon Hassan who is cornered by Assef, Amir feels as if his rape might be justified: “Maybe Hassan was the price I had to pay, the lamb I had to slay to win Baba. Or was it a fair price?” (Hosseini, 82) If Amir gains the kite, he wins Baba's heart. Ironically, the sacrifice of Hassan is the catalyst to Amir's need for redemption. Instead of redeeming his mother's death, this decision leads to the eventual death of Hassan.
Additionally, irony contributes to redemption when Amir learns of his brotherhood with Hassan, as well as his death. Baba had always preached to Amir and Hassan that truthfulness was the most important thing in life, and Amir had idolized him for it. However, years after his death it is revealed that Baba was himself a liar. Baba hid the fact that Hassan was his son to protect his image; to have relations with a Hazara would destroy his reputation. As such, Ali, his servant, pretended that he was Hassan's father throughout his life. Irony contributes to redemption in this case twofold: Amir is further driven to redeem himself as he now knows he betrayed his brother. Furthermore, it is ironic that Baba would lie to his children. As Amir learns of his false past, he also learns he must redeem his father's decisions. “Like father, like son. But it was true, wasn't it? As it turned out, Baba and I were more alike than I'd ever known. We had both betrayed the people that would have given their lives for us. And with that came this realization: That Rahim Khan had summoned me here to atone not just for my sins but Baba's too” (Hosseini, 238)....