As one of the most violent scenes in the book, Hassan, Amir’s friend, and later discovered brother, is brutally raped by Assef after winning the kite flying competition. This dehumanizing event is witnessed by Amir who “in the end,[he] ran” and consequently chooses not to acknowledge ever witnessing nor stopping Hassan’s suffering despite the many opportunities to reveal what he had witnessed (Hosseini 137). As a result, Amir faces overwhelming guilt for neglecting to help his friend, in what should have been a happy day, which is now plagued with regret. In an attempt to rid himself of the shame, Amir distances himself from Hassan and turns mean and resentful against his relationship with his father and the world (Studies of Religion and Spirituality 1). Amir exemplifies this by becoming vindictive and accusing Hassan of stealing the valuables that Amir had deliberately placed under his pillow. Consequently, Hassan leaves the home of Baba and Amir and witnesses his father cry for the first time (Hosseini 107). As the “sacrificial lamb,” Hassan’s rape introduces Amir to the darkness...
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...vent, these two very different nations impacted Amir and Baba, allowing for their growth as characters and aided in the progression of themes in the novel.
For Amir, America was a place for him “to bury [his] memories” while for Baba, it was a place for “him to mourn his memories” (Hosseini 129). For Amir, coming to America allowed him to try and forget the guilt he harbored and as a result, America is what ushered his seeking of redemption, tying the novel together. In Afghanistan, while there were plenty of good memories for Amir, those memories and experiences conflicted with his internal struggles about the guilt stemming from his betrayal to Hassan and his inability to forgive himself for his actions when he was a child. Afghanistan stands as the struggle between the characters in this novel while America represents the ability to overcome such struggles.
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