To what degree did Amir atone for his sins and gain redemption? “There is a way to be good again,” is a quote from Rahim Khan that comes up repeatedly throughout The Kite Runner. This story revolves around Amir, the protagonist, who tries to seek forgiveness and redemption after living twenty six years with unatoned sins. When Amir was twelve, he witnessed his loyal servant and friend, Hassan, get raped in an alley. Amir was too coward to intervene and stand up for his dear friend. Later, Amir betrayed Hassan by framing him and forced him to leave their house.
These events shaped the rest of the novel as Amir tried to be good again by returning back to Afghanistan and saving Hassan’s son, Sohrab from danger. One of the major questions to ask after reading this novel is: To what degree did Amir atone for his sins and gain redemption? Although, Amir committed sins that were unforgivable, by the end of the novel, Amir atoned for his sins and was able to earn forgiveness by risking his life and going back to Kabul, saving Sohrab and adopting him.
Amir’s first act of atonement in this novel is when he risked his life by going back to Kabul. In 2000, Rahim Khan asked Amir to go visit him in Pakistan. When Amir went back to visit him, he found out that Hassan was dead and Hassan’s son was somewhere in Kabul. Rahim Khan wanted Amir to rescue Sohrab and bring him back to Pakistan. However, after learning that Hassan was his half-brother and Sohrab his nephew, Amir realized that saving Sohrab will be the only way he could atone or redeem himself after the sins he committed.
Therefore, he risked his life and went back to Kabul which was a very dangerous place at that time. “There is a way to be good again, he’d said. A way to end the cycle. With a little boy. An orphan. Hassan’s son. Somewhere in Kabul. ” Amir says this after he stormed out of Rahim Khan’s apartment. In this quote, Amir thinks to himself that his whole life had been a cycle of lies, betrayals and secrets and the only way to end that cycle is by gaining redemption. Therefore, he decided to go back to Kabul and bring Sohrab back to Rahim Khan.
At the same time, others might say that Amir didn’t atone for his sins because he didn’t go to Afghanistan until he heard that Hassan was his half-brother and Sohrab was his nephew. Not only did Amir risk his life by going back to Kabul, but he also saved Sohrab from Taliban officials and brought him back to Pakistan. After Amir went back to Kabul, he found out that Sohrab was being held at one Taliban official’s house. When he went there to get Sohrab, he found out that the Taliban official was Assef; the guy who raped Hassan.
Assef agreed to let Sohrab go in exchange for a fight with Amir. While Amir gets beaten, he thinks about the day when he asked Hassan to punish him by throwing pomegranate at him. But Hassan did not and Amir felt like he wasn’t punished. After Assef beat him up, he felt that he was redeemed because he needed to be punished for his sins. On page 289, Amir narrates his fight with Assef, “What was so funny was that, for the first time since the winter of 1975, I felt at peace. I laughed because I saw that, in some hidden nook in a corner of my mind, I’d even been looking forward to this. My body was broken – just how badly I wouldn’t find out until later – but I felt healed. Healed at last. ” Amir felt that he was healed because he finally was punished physically for what he did to Hassan. He was physically damaged but at the end he was able to recover and take Sohrab back to Pakistan. Amir completed his final act of atonement by adopting Sohrab and taking him back to the United States. After Amir and Sohrab escaped Kabul and went back to Pakistan, Amir found out that John and Betty Caldwell, the American couple who ran the orphanage, never existed.
Amir realized that Rahim Khan not only wanted Amir to save Sohrab and bring him back; he also wanted Amir to adopt Sohrab and take him back to the United States where Sohrab could have a good life. Therefore, Amir asked Sohrab to come with him and he was willing to adopt him even though Sohrab was a hazara boy. On page 320, when Sohrab was crying, Amir asked him,“Would you like to come live in america with me and my wife? ” Amir’s persistent effort to adopt Sohrab continued throughout the rest of the story as he did almost everything he could to take him back to the U.
S. This shows Amir’s will to adopt him and redeem himself. While this is true, some people might argue that Amir wasn’t able to gain redemption because he was willing to leave Sohrab in an orphanage for a year in Pakistan, which led to Sohrab attempting suicide. However, Sohrab was able to recover and they went back to the United States by the end of the book. By the end of the novel, Amir, driven by his guilt, was able to earn forgiveness and atone for his sins, which have been haunting him for many years.
He was finally able to move on and start living by gaining redemption. However, the common themes such as: forgiveness, atonement and redemption go beyond this novel. We all will have to deal with atonement and redemption at some point in our lives. Obviously, no one is perfect and everybody makes mistakes in their lives. We all make decisions that we regret later and we feel the need of redemption. Of Course, not every one makes huge mistakes or commits sins that are as great as Amir’s, but we all can relate to this story to a certain degree.