The kite runner (exam)

Skoluppsats baserat på boken The kite runner (Flyga drake) av Khaled Hosseini.

Skrivet av: Emma Wikström

The kite runner (exam)

Amir’s journey toward forgiveness and acceptance

Amir, the protagonist of the Kite Runner, is a complex character who changes throughout the novel. In the beginning of the story he is insecure and makes mistakes he does not know how to handle. He feels an enormous guilt for what he has done and when he later on goes back to Afghanistan to ‘atone his sins’ he changes in many ways.

The reader first gets to know the young boy Amir who lives in the wealthier parts of Kabul in Afghanistan. Amir is a sensitive, not very confident boy and the latter could be explained by the fact the he did not feel like his father really loved him. Amir and Baba, his father, are quite different in many ways. One thing, that both of them notice, is that Amir doesn’t fight back when he or his friend Hassan gets pushed around by other kids. Different people in the book describe this side of Amir in separate ways. Baba describes it as, ‘A boy who won’t stand up for himself becomes a man who can’t stand up to anything’, p. 22. Rahim Khan, a close friend to Baba describes it in another way. He says that Amir is not violent, that he does not have a ‘mean streak’ and that it is therefore he does not fight back. However, when reading about the young Amir it is clear that he is not entirely good which makes Amir a more interesting character. This side of Amir, the one that rather runs than fights, becomes very important in the story because it affects how he acts when another boy rapes Hassan. Amir chooses to stay put instead of helping his friend and this is something he cannot forgive himself for as he grows up.

When Amir is 18 he and Baba flee to the United States and Amir tries to forget about his past. ‘America was a river, roaring along, unmindful of the past. I could wade into this river, let my sins drown to the bottom, let the waters carry me someplace far. Someplace with no ghost, no memories, and no sins’, p. 126. However, Amir does not succeed in burying his past and he is always reminded of Hassan and what he has done. He grows up, gets married, and becomes an author but still he has not really stood up for himself and his values. Although, the reader can notice some changes in Amir as he gets older. Amir becomes somewhat more confident eg. he succeeds in becoming an author even though Baba wants him to become a doctor. One important event that affects him is the death of Baba.

The episode that maybe changes Amir the most is when he goes to Pakistan and later on back to Afghanistan to ‘atone his sins’ against Hassan. In Pakistan he meets Rahim Kahn who tells him about Hassan and how the Taleban killed him. Amir learns by listening to Rahim Kahn and reading a letter from Hassan that Hassan always remained loyal and his friend. This is a painful passage for both Amir and the reader because it becomes evident how much better of a friend Hassan was compared to Amir. Although when Amir comes to Kabul to try to find Hassan’s son he quits trying to forget about his past and starts to embrace it instead. This is a very important step toward both acceptance and forgiveness. When Amir gets beaten up by a Taliban who also was Hassan’s rapist he finally feels punished in a sense. Afterwards when he chooses to take care of Sohrab and goes back to the States he has changed profoundly. When he comes home he stands up for Sohrab and himself and he has learned that you cannot bury your past.

Amir starts of as a troubled and insecure boy who slowly through life’s hardships learns how to accept his past and forgive himself. Amir suffers while doing so but as Rahim Kahn puts it, ‘A man who has no conscience, no goodness, does not suffer’, p. 276. In the end Amir becomes stronger, happier and kinder.