The Kite Runner- Redemption Essay

Think this essay got a B'ish grade..

“Hosseini leaves the reader believing that Amir will always be searching for redemption. Discuss. “

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  • Created on: 17-02-12 21:21
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Courtney Sillett- English Lit
"Hosseini leaves the reader believing that Amir will always be searching for redemption. Discuss.
One of the prominent recurring themes of Hosseini's `The Kite Runner' is redemption. Redemption is
in my opinion the most important theme of the book as not only is it strived for by Amir, but many
other characters in subtle ways. It can also be linked to the historical elements of the book and is
closely related to religion. Hosseini deliberately leaves it unclear whether Amir ever reaches
redemption, making the opinion on whether he does or doesn't reach redemption personal and
From the opening pages of the novel, it is obvious that religion plays a key role. This is importantly
linked to religion, as redemption (especially in this book) seems to be some sort of relief from sin ­
exactly what Amir is looking for- "in the end, God will forgive you". Even before the horrific rape of
Hassan, Amir was very interested in religion. In chapter two, Amir is met by conflicting information
about the prejudices aimed towards Shi'a Muslims; despite Baba's alleged despise for religion he still
"wrinkled his nose when he said the word Shi'a". At the age of this event, Amir started to recognise
the differences between not only himself and Hassan, but between their races. It is impossible to
ignore the hierarchy, and the fact that Hazaras were seemingly being punished for something brings
a warped sense of redemption into the novel immediately.
It is because of this warped sense of redemption that it is hard to decipher whether the reader will
believe that Amir will always be searching for redemption. Some may suggest that after the rape of
Hassan, religion plays a lesser role in Amir's life. When he moves to America the Afghan culture is
important in Amir's life, but not necessarily the strong religious aspect (perhaps because of the
knowledge that religion had been partially responsible for wars in his home country). However, I
would argue that even if religion did become less prominent in Amir's American life, this was more
than adequately rekindled with the `saving' of Sohrab. Sohrab's view on religion as somewhat of a
salvation, and his importance in Amir gaining redemption would have made religion impossible for
Amir to ignore. Amir's interest in religion, the way it was paralleled in Sohrab and the part it plays in
redemption means that the conflicting opinions he faced about religion would be mirrored in
conflicting ideas of redemption.
The knowledgeable Rahim Khan plays an under-rated role in redemption. I would argue that to an
extent he felt responsible in aiding Baba to find redemption for his mistakes. Particularly in his
attitude towards Amir. He addresses Baba's harshness "Children aren't colouring books. You don't
get to fill them with your favourite colours.". The role that he plays in Amir's life is not massive, but it
is significant. When he tells Amir about his father's hidden secrets, Amir feels his father has been
redeemed- perhaps associating death with redemption. This may be why he saw the serious extent
of his injuries as nearly insignificant.
After the beating he had taken by Assef, there are numerous significant mentions of Hassan. "The
impact had cut your upper lip in two" later likens this to the harelip seen in Hassan. This mention is
seemingly blasé, which to the reader may suggest he has met some form of uncompleted
redemption- that Amir doesn't get overly emotional by his ever growing likeness to his childhood
friend. However, this confusion is forgotten later in the paragraph when Farid unknowingly reminds
him by saying "for you, a thousand times over" which seemed to open a flood gate for Amir's

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At this point, it is expected that Amir (by rescuing Sohrab) should have reached some form
of redemption. But his uncontrollable reaction suggests that he still hasn't come to terms with his
actions, asking the question: will he ever?
After the strife that Amir faced to get Sohrab home, this is when the suggestion of redemption is
meant to come. However, it is never explicitly mentioned.…read more


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