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Scars That Shape Us Essay

1437 words - 6 pages

The scars of our pasts are said to have established a place among our present, however visible or invisible, and that these scars, through time, are unpeeled before our future selves. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini is about the story of a man, Amir, who relays his life during the times of peace and conflict in Afghanistan, and his life in the United States. It is about the life of a man who tries to escape his shameful past, but is constantly lost and incomplete as a result. As the story revolves around the life of Amir, from childhood to adulthood, Hosseini utilizes first person point of view of Amir, various use of diction, and the symbolism of kites to reveal the underlying message of how the past is a part of whom we were and who we are today.
The first point of view utilized in the book allows Amir to accurately relay his emotions and thoughts, including his reasons for trying to forget and run away from the past, and finally his reconciliation with himself. From the very beginning, Amir personally describes a past that he wishes to remove from his life: the death of his mother. He believes that his father “hated [him] a little” (p. 17) for “killing” (p. 17) his mom at childbirth. Amir reasons that his distant relationship between himself and Baba is due to the mother’s death and thus, wishes to cover his “sin” (p. 16) by trying to make his father “forget” (p. 93). Amir’s assumption of his father’s distance shows the high subjectivity of the narrative’s perspective. Amir’s inner conflict with his past is further revealed by his own words as the story progresses. During a kite competition, Amir and his very close “friend” (p. 98) and “servant” (p. 98), Hassan, manage to defeat dozens of other kite flyers and win the competition. During these competitions, it’s complementary to “chase” (p. 48) and “grab” (p. 49) the winner’s kite. Hassan, the loyal servant, tries to return the kite to Amir but is intercepted by Assef, a big “bully” (p. 327) who enjoys inflicting physical and sexual abuse. Hiding behind a bush, Amir witnesses the raping of Hassan as he refuses to give up the kite. Another dark past of Amir forms here as he fails at his “last chance to make a decision” (p. 84): to either “stand up for Hassan” (p. 84), the way he had stood up for Amir at all times, or to “run” (p. 84) like a coward. Amir’s desertion of his friend ends up becoming the “thorn” (p. 105) of his childhood. The first person point of view of the story allows Amir to reveal only his thoughts and observations, further highlighting his desire to evade his cowardice past. The limited point of view, allows Amir, the participant, to reveal only his thoughts and ideas of people’s reaction to him. His desire to erase his past mistake leads to a rapid embrace of America – he sees the country as a “river, roaring along, unmindful of the past” (p. 148). Unfortunately for Amir, his past eventually catches up with his present, while having established a fruitful career as a...

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