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The Kite Runner

Amir and Hassan, the sultans of Kabul This literary analysis will evaluate “The Kite Runner”, directed by Marc Foster and based on the novel “The Kite Runner” written by Khaled Hosseini. The movie contains many universal themes however the symbolism and significance of the pomegranate tree often represents and supports the nature of Hassan and Amir’s friendship as the story progresses. The first element that needs to be analyzed is the symbolism behind the pomegranate tree.

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The pomegranate is mentioned in the Qur’an as being a fruit from paradise.

In the Qur’an it is described as being ripe and rich in color, but mirroring the pomegranate tree in The Kite Runner, it too becomes lifeless, suggesting a fall from paradise. The pomegranate trees resemble the friendship between Amir and Hassan. As it falters and weakens, so too does the pomegranate tree. Hassan has an unrequited love for Amir. He admired Amir for his knowledge; Amir would have and know things that Hassan could not. The pomegranate trees at the beginning of the movie are representative of the strong friendship that the boys share.

Its bright red fruit representing new life and opportunities as they grew, and its large braches like outstretched arms sheltering them from the outside world. Hassan found refuge in Amir’s friendship just as he found refuge in the pomegranate tree. It was a positive and happy place where the boys like to play. Amir reads to Hassan underneath the trees which transport him away from his illiteracy, but just like the trees, Amir towers over him with his knowledge. Amir uses Ali’s knives to carve “Amir and Hassan, the sultans of Kabul” into the trunk of the tree. This act represented the boys bound to one another and to the tree.

After Amir bore witness to Hassan being rapped, he feels as though it is impossible to be in the same room as him. They walk up to the pomegranate tree where the boys sit and talk. Amir picks up a pomegranate asking Hassan what he would do if he hit him with the fruit. This seems as though Amir wants to test Hassan’s loyalty. Amir hurls a pomegranate at Hassan’s chest, demanding Hassan to fight back. . “Hit me back! ” Amir demands. He wants Hassan to hurt him so he can feel pain. Amir wants Hassan to get revenge on him because of the guilt he had after the rape. Amir pelts Hassan with pomegranates, leaving him drenched in red fruit.

The boys share the pomegranate tree; they carved their names on the trunk, fed from the same breast and they also share the same blood. Hassan being covered in red symbolizes the blood spilled after the rape. Although Hassan was the victim, the rape literally cut both of the boys, they were both hurt and their blood was shed. Hassan bled after the rape and Amir will continue to bleed because he failed to help. The rape cut their friendship apart. After being hit repeatedly with the fruit, Hassan cracks a pomegranate over his own head without saying a word. Hassan displays his unwavering loyalty towards Amir.

He would never do anything to hurt Amir and the simple act of Hassan breaking the pomegranate on his own head symbolizes this loyalty and humility. The cracked pomegranates represent the cracked relationships that form between Amir and Hassan and Baba and Ali. A literal crevasse forms and divides all of the characters after they move away from one another. The tree isn’t seen again until Amir returns to Afghanistan. He travels back to his home and back to the pomegranate tree. Amir and Hassan lifted each other up just by being in one another’s company. Life for them seemed to flourish along with their friendship.

The tree represents this. In times of happiness it produced rich red fruit and sunlight flickered though its leaves. The tree is a part of the boys. It seemed to feed off of them and their relationship, when it was strong the tree prospered and grew. When Amir betrayed Hassan and broke the friendship, the tree died. Their names are carved in it; they have laughed, played and fought around it. It was the centre of their lives for years. Amir, unaware of how far the ripples of his decisions could travel, killed the relationship in an instant. With the death of this beautiful friendship comes the death of the pomegranate tree.

All that remains is a faded carving and fading memories of happiness. It mirrors the relationship between Amir and Hassan perfectly as well as the country of Afghanistan. Amir has lost everybody that he loved when he was a child. His soul is empty and barren, a mirror image of the landscape that surrounds him when he travels back to Kabul. Throughout this film, we see the relationship between Amir and Hassan transform. It begins with Hassan’s unwavering loyalty and great love for Amir and ends with the separation and death of the friendship. The use of the pomegranate tree is a great visual representative of this changing relationship.