Theme Of Sacrifice In The Kite Runner

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Human nature is often paradoxical. People tend to believe that in order to obtain true happiness, there needs to be a price–a sacrifice. The price of happiness is inescapable, as it seems anything in life that involves happiness comes with a catch. The paradox is that once one makes a sacrifice to obtain the happiness they so desired, the guilt that comes from the sacrifice can destroy their happiness. Khaled Hosseini, famous novelist and founder of The Khaled Hosseini Foundation, captures the theme of sacrifice in his novel, The Kite Runner. Similarly, Ursula Guin, a distinguished American novelist and writer of short stories, conveys the need for sacrifice in order to have a utopian society in her short story, “The Ones Who Walk Away from…show more content…
Amir describes this guilt accompanied with sacrifice when he reflects, “I finally had what I wanted I’d wanted all those years. Except now that I had it, I felt as empty as this unkempt pool I was dangling my legs into (85).” Amir loses his happiness and begins to despise himself after thinking about what he had done to Hassan by saying “I was that monster. That was the night I became an insomniac (86).” Ultimately, Amir is haunted throughout his adulthood believing that he deserves punishment for his inaction of saving Hassan. Both the people of Omelas and Amir leave their homes because of guilt. When Amir leaves home to go to America he says, “For me, America was a place to bury memories.” Amir goes to America where he is able to bury his childhood guilt of Hassan, and the people of Omelas go to find a new place where they can forget the horrors of the child in the room. However, what makes The Kite Runner have more weight than “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” is that the people who leave Omelas never return, but Amir does. Amir returns to Afghanistan searching for redemption and “a way to be good again (192).” In order to have happiness again, Amir repeats this cycle by sacrificing himself to fight Assef to the death so that he can save Sohrab. When Amir does sacrifice himself he experiences redemption and joy. After nearly being killed by Assef, Amir says, “But I was laughing and laughing. And the harder I laughed, the harder he kicked me. Punched me, scratched me…I felt at peace (289).” Amir suffered from guilt for decades, but after he made a sacrifice he was able to have happiness again. The people in Omelas may have found happiness elsewhere, but this is not evident from
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