One of the main themes of the novel The Kite Runner Is redemption. Throughout the novel, the main character, Amir, seeks redemption for his sins. Amir states in the first chapter of the novel that he has a past of “unatoned sins. ” Throughout the novel, The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini uses the following symbols to express the theme of redemption: The scar above Amirs lip, the lamb and the blue kite. The scar above Amirs lip represents the redemption Amir attained by rescuing Sohrab.Amir travels to Afghanistan to rescue Sohrab, who is being exploited by a Taliban leader. The Taliban leader turns out to be an old enemy from Amirs childhood, Assef. Amir must fight Assef in order to leave with Sohrab. During the fight Amir is beaten brutally until Sohrab shoots Assef with his slingshot. Amir is left with a scar above his right lip, strikingly similar to the one Hassan had after having surgery for his cleft lip. At the beginning of the novel, Amir watches Hassan get raped, but he did not intervene.
The guilt from that day haunts him throughout the novel. At one point, Amir even tries to force Hassan to beat him up, as though the only thing that could redeem Amir was being beaten, but Hassan does not and Amir is even more ridden with guilt. When Rakim Khan calls amir, he says, "Come, This is a chance for you to be good again. " It is clear Rakim Khan understood the guilt that Amir was feeling, and realized that Amir had been searching for redemption all his life. Khan new that rescuing Sohrab was the only way Amir could truly find redemption.
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The rescue of Sohrab, was the rescue of an innocent, the rescue of a lamb. Throughout the novel, a reoccurring image of a sacrificial lamb represents a path to redemption. Amir tells the reader how during the Muslim holiday of Eid-Al-Ahda, the Mullah sacrifices a lamb. The look on the lamb’s face during the sacrifice stays with Amir for the rest of his life. When Amir witnesses Asseff rape Hassan, he remarks, "I caught a glimpse of his face. Saw the resignation in it. It was a look I had seen before. It was the look of the lamb."
Once more in the novel, Amir is reminded of the lamb, when he witnesses Asseff exploit Sohrab. The link between Hassan, Sohrab and the Lamb is their innocence; Because Amir betrayed an innocent Hassan, he must save an innocent to be redeemed, Sohrab is this innocent lamb. By ending the exploitation of this figurative lamb, Amir attains redemption for his sin. Finally, returning with the blue kite was an avenue of redemption for Amir. Every winter, in Kabul, there was a large kite-fighting tournament.
The tournament was a big deal to the people of Kabul. Amir and Hassan won the tournament, but in order to truly be victorious, Hassan had to retrieve the blue kite so Amir could bring it home as a trophy. During the kite tournament Amir states, “All i saw was the blue kite. All i smelled was victory. Salvation. Redemption. ” Specifically, redemption in the eyes of Baba. Amir had stated earlier in the novel how he thought Baba thought of him as weak, but this was Amirs chance to be strong in the eyes of Baba, and end Amirs longing for Baba’s love.
In conclusion, the rescue of Sohrab, the sacrificial lamb and the blue kite represent redemption for Amir’s sins. Redemption is a main theme of the novel, and Khaled Hosseini uses the aforementioned symbols to tell the story of Amir’s quest for redemption. Amir’s quest makes one question whether sometimes the sinner, is also the victim. As a mere child, Amir betrayed his friend, out of fear, out of cowardice, and out of selfishness, but he did not know that decision would haunt him for the rest of his life. Did he really deserve the punishment befallen on him?
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