The Kite Runner: A Journey Towards Atonement

1939 Words4 Pages

“It's wrong what they say about the past, I've learned, about how you can bury it. Because the past claws its way out” (Hosseini). In The Kite Runner, Hosseini shares Amir’s journey to atonement. As Amir states, he was unable to bury his past, similar to his father, Baba, who spent the majority of his life haunted by his sins. While both father and son are consumed by guilt, the way in which they atone for their iniquities is dissimilar. While Baba attempts to live his life according to the Afghan saying, “ Life goes on, unmindful of beginning, end...crisis or catharsis, moving forward like a slow, dusty caravan of kochis [nomads]” (Hosseini 356), Amir strays from this traditional perspective. Baba chose to continue his life unmindful of his past, while Amir, eventually decides to confront his. Although both Baba and Amir have acted immorally, the choices they make find redemption affect the success of their individual attempts. In the novel, Amir’s quest for atonement is more effective than Baba’s because he acts virtuously, while his father, acts selfishly. Ultimately, Amir is the more successful of the two because, in opposition to Baba, he seeks holistic atonement and is willing to make sacrifices to achieve redemption.
In The Kite Runner, readers learn holistic atonement can only be achieved when peace is made with God, the people you have hurt, and yourself. Although Afghanistan is a largely religious country, Baba is portrayed as decidedly secular. At the beginning of the novel, Amir questions Baba about sin, and through this conversation, Baba reveals his lack of faith. He says, “if there is a God out there, then I would hope he has more important things to attend to than my drinking scotch or eating pork” (Hosseini 18)....

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...rough his actions to save Sohrab, Amir became the man his father had always wanted him to be. Although Baba never lived up to the persona he created for himself, Amir did, and that is why his attempts to achieve atonement were more successful than his father’s. While Baba was unable to seek more than personal redemption, Amir found atonement with himself, Hassan, and God. Amir also found the courage his father lacked to make the necessary sacrifices to achieve redemption. Amir’s ability to transform into a strong character was a result of what he learned from his father’s strengths and weaknesses. While Baba was unable to achieve true redemption, he was a true role model that provided his son, Amir, with the necessary skills to achieve atonement for both of them.

Works Cited

Hosseini, Khaled. The Kite Runner. New York: Riverhead, 2003. Print.

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