The author of The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini added many symbols to his book. These symbols are important to the life of Amir, and the rest of the characters. The symbols range from something as inconspicuous as a few words from Hassan’s letter, to something as prominent as kites and kite-running. Of these symbols this essay will give three examples. Every one of them is important to the development of the story. When Amir went back to Afghanistan, Rahim Khan gave him a letter from Hassan.
In this letter Hassan had written “the tree hasn’t borne fruit in years”. The tree that Hassan is referencing to is a pomegranate tree that they had often visited as children. On the tree they had inscribed “Amir and Hassan, sultans of Kabul”. This tree was a symbol of the boy’s friendship. In the story many important developments occurred at this tree. The tree was where they spent their summer days and where finally, after the incident with Assef, their friendship came to an end.
When Hassan said the tree hadn’t borne fruit in years, he is using the tree as a direct meaning of their friendship. The letter and this reference were very important to Amir. When the left Afghanistan and arrived in America, Amir was finally able to express himself, and through that expression was able to earn Baba’s pride. Here Amir has freedom that he never had in Kabul because of Baba’s position and influence. In America Baba had to work for a living, and because of this Baba was able to see Amir’s values.
In the book America was the symbol of freedom, Amir’s freedom to finally be accepted for what he was and not just what Baba wanted him to be. Probably the most prominent symbol in the book is kites. Kites serve as a symbol of both Amir’s happiness and of his guilt. As a child Amir enjoyed flying kites with Hassan, also kite fighting was one of the few things that Amir could do well and Baba approved of. The kite becomes a symbol of guilt when Amir allowed Hassan to be rapped over the blue kite.
Later he comes to think of the kite as a symbol of his betrayal to Hassan. Amir does not fly another kite again until the end when he is with Sohrab. At this point the kite is no longer a negative symbol because he redeemed himself to Hassan by saving Sohrab. Then it becomes a reminder of his childhood memories with Hassan. The Kite Runner is full of symbolism. All of it from the leas to the most prominent is significant. Also the symbols are important to the development of the story. For Amir these symbols are what made the differences in his life.