The Kite Runner is filled with symbols and motifs that tell the story of the relationships between characters and help readers understand the theme of the book.
A symbol is something that stands for or represents something else. The kite runner is a symbol that stands for Amir’s journey of self-discovery and redemption. In chapter one, Amir recalls that he stole Hassan’s kite when he was just a young boy. Now, many years later, he feels like he has stolen Hassan’s life. In this way, the kite represents Amir’s remorse for his actions as a child. The kite also stands for Hassan as a character—it is something he loves and tries to protect, and it is also something that represents his character in that it symbolizes hope and innocence.
The father-son bond is another important symbol in The Kite Runner. Baba is both a father figure to Amir and an actual father to Hassan. Baba gives both boys an equal amount of love but treats them differently because they have different needs. For example, despite their poor financial situation, Baba spends money on Hassan’s education so that he can make something of himself—even if it means giving up his own dreams of attending college.
The book chronicles Amir’s journey through Afghanistan as the Taliban takes over and his own personal demons come out. And the main theme of the novel is redemption – how someone can be redeemed from past mistakes.