Redemption of Guilt
Guilt is a result of sin, and sin is a result of misaction. In the novel, The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini, the protagonist, Amir, goes on a journey to redeem himself for his sins. When Amir was 12, he witnessed his best friend, Hassan, get raped in an alley. Instead of standing up for his friend, Amir ran away in selfishness and cowardice. The guilt of his choice plagues Amir for the rest of his life, until one day, he gets a call from an old uncle, who tells him that “there is a way to be good again.” (2) The Kite Runner follows Amir on his odyssey to redeem himself for his hurtful actions. Through this journey, Khaled Hosseini delivers the message that sins and guilt can always be atoned for.
At the beginning of The Kite Runner, young Amir wins a kite fighting tournament. He feels like he has finally redeemed himself for his father. However, Amir’s happy day turns dark, when an hour later, he witnesses Hassan, his ...view middle of the document...
Hassan’s rape has immobilized Amir emotionally in life. While he has moved farther in life, he is unable to move on due to his constant state of guilt from the incident in the alley. When Amir proposes to his wife, she and her parents accept. She relates a personal guilty story of hers, but Amir’s happiness overcomes his pride. His optimism is short-lived, however, since he began to “envy her, her secret was out; and [he] almost told her how [he’d] betrayed Hassan…” (165) Like the day of the kite fighting tournament, Amir’s moments of happiness end in darkness and guilt. When Amir’s father mentions Hassan to Amir at his high school graduation, Amir feels “a pair of steel hands closing around [his] windpipe.” (134) Even here, at a landmark and accomplishment of Amir’s life, his shame and sin over Hassan’s despoliation years ago turns up. Amir definitely has grown up physically and developed mentally, but psychologically, his state of mind is still guilty and upset over the incident years ago. Amir is psychologically and emotionally stuck.
Amir’s journey for redemption is how he overcomes his distressed state of mind. Amir decides that while he couldn’t give Hassan, now dead, a chance, he would redeem himself by adopting and giving Sohrab, Hassan’s son, a chance at a good life. Through a dangerous, discordant journey, Amir finally saves Sohrab from the Taliban and redeems himself. He has finally atoned for his, the guilt is lifted off him, and he feels “healed at last.” (289) His sins were the shackle of his mind and saving Sohrab was the key. Amir is finally free. While Hassan’s rape burdened him for years, he atoned for it and it freed him. He changed from a cowardly boy to a courageous, good-hearted man.
Through Amir’s odyssey, Khaled Hosseini portrays the overall message that sins and guilt can always be atoned for. Hassan’s rape has the biggest impact on this meaning. Amir’s sin was cowardice and his guilt plagued him for years. Before his atonement, many of Amir’s happy moments ended with shame over Hassan’s despoliation. After redeeming himself by saving Hassan’s son, he feels free. Amir’s reaction to Hassan’s rape was selfish and cowardly. However, it created a barrier that Amir drove to break and transformed him into a good man.