A Quest for Redemption by The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

1131 Words5 Pages
It is difficult to face anything in the world when you cannot even face your own reality. In his book The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini uses kites to bring out the major themes of the novel in order to create a truly captivating story of a young boy’s quest to redeem his past mistakes. Amir is the narrator and protagonist of the story and throughout the entire novel, he faces enormous guilt following the horrible incident that happened to his closest friend, Hassan. This incident grows on Amir and fuels his quest for redemption, struggling to do whatever it takes to make up for his mistakes. In Hosseini’s novel, kites highlight aspects of Afghanistan’s ethnic caste system and emphasizes the story’s major themes of guilt, redemption and freedom. Amir and Hassan’s relationship is a recurring theme throughout the novel. In the ethnic caste system, Amir is a Pashtun and Hassan is a Hazara. Pashtuns are placed in a much higher caste than Hazaras, therefore Hazaras are treated as servants to the Pashtuns. Every morning, Hassan prepares Amir’s breakfast, makes his clothes and cleans his room for him. In the annual kite tournament, at least two people must work together in order to properly maneuver the kite, one to lead the kite, and another to feed the kite’s glass string. Hassan’s role is the latter. His role is to feed the kite’s string for Amir and run after any fallen kites. The glass string attached to the kite is dangerous as it is coated with shards of glass and leaves bloody marks and cuts on the hands. Although Hassan catches the fallen kites, he must always bring it back to Amir. One winter, when Hassan and Amir were waiting under a tree for the kite to come to them, Hassan asks Amir “Would I ever lie to you, Amir agha?” (Ho... ... middle of paper ... ... Kites are symbolic in the novel as it helps to support the themes of guilt, redemption and freedom in the novel. In the beginning of the story, Amir overhears Baba telling Rahim Khan that if Amir could not stand up for himself, he would never be able to stand up to anything when he becomes a man. It takes Amir over twenty years to finally muster up enough courage to stand up for himself in front of Assef. Amir takes the beatings from Assef as his punishment for what happened to Hassan. He rescues Sohrab and bonds with him through kite fighting, similar to when he flew kites with Hassan. Kites represent the freedom from the worries and burdens that Amir, Hassan and Sohrab has. It brings together the two participants in kite fighting. It gets rid of the discrimination of the ethnic caste system, any cultural differences, and also emphasizes unity amongst difference.
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