The Kite Runner has been touted as an epic novel about the power of redemption. However, in order to understand redemption and its power, we must first define what it means to be redeemed. The Merriam-Webster dictionary offers two definitions:
In this context, redemption is referring to saving or rescuing from evil, sin, or something unpleasant. The second definition refers more to payment of a debt that has been incurred; the act of repaying a debt. So essentially, redemption means to no longer be indebted to an evil force and have your sins forgiven and forgotten. In The Kite Runner, Amir’s journey is motivated by the fact that he feels indebted to his father for allowing him to remain in America while his father returns to Afghanistan alone, leaving Amir with the guilt of not being able to protect Hassan when Hassan was killed by the Taliban for his relationship with Amir. This guilt causes Amir great suffering for many years until he decides that he needs to redeem himself by returning to Afghanistan and doing all he can to help those affected and oppressed by the Taliban regime. Ultimately he does not redeem himself within the pages of The Kite Runner but rather pushes himself towards a path of redemption in his own life.