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Some people believe that it is possible to bury the past and never go back to it, however it is not until you seek atonement for your mistakes that your past will be able to be forgotten and left to rest in peace. This is a detailed reference of The Kite Runner, a novel by Khalid Hosseini revolves around the life of Amir and a critical interpretation by Ananya Mishra. When Amir was a child, him and his Hazara companion Hassan, were inseparable. After experiencing something horrible happen to Hassan, Amir had been running away from his problems. He ran away from Afghanistan to start a new life in America and put his past behind him. But the guilt couldn’t leave Amir and always creeped up to him. Amir is a character that is shaped by his past. When the time comes where Amir has a chance to atone for his sins, by rescuing Hassan’s son Shorab, he takes it in hope that this is help him for once and for all bury his past.
A relationship between a father and son can be fragile, especially when there is no mother in the picture. Amir’s father, known as Baba, seems to be quite harsh on Amir. Amir’s mother died giving birth to him and he thinks Baba blames him for her death. Amir is also a product of trauma because of his loss of his mother and feeling responsible for her death. “I had killed his beloved wife…the least I could have done was to have had the decency to have turned out a little more like him,” Baba wanted Amir to grow up to be more like him but Amir turned someone more interested in books and writing. Baba fears that Amir will grow up to be unable to protect himself and stand up for himself after seeing him in getting pushed around by other kids in the playground and not doing anything about it. Amir was always trying to please Baba and make him proud and to seek his approval. The only way he could see this happen was if he won the kite running competition. After the winning the competition, Hassan went to retrieve the kite. After finding Hassan and witnessing his unwavering loyalty to Amir, Amir sees Hassan getting raped in order to keep the kite. “I had one last chance to make the decision. One final opportunity to decide who I was going to be… In the end, I ran,” Amir had the opportunity to step in and save Hassan and instead he chose to run. Run again. The winning kite was the way to win Babas heart, and this was the price to pay. This haunted Amir for the rest of his life and one of the main reasons he went back to Afghanistan to seek atonement. In the critical interpretation Ananya states “His sense of insecurity stems from the fact that he is not the kind of son his father wants…His father is not able to accept his sensitive nature and his inability to fight back”. “It is Amirs cowardice that his father is concerned about when he confides in Rahim Khan that it is strength of will that is missing in Amir.”
There are some friendships that run deeper that stereotypes and social differences but even that sometimes cannot be ignored. As a child Amir maintained his powers by degrading Hassan. Amir’s relationship with Hassan always had the point of superiority and Amir always had the desire to be and always feel like he has to be better than Hassan. Amir was at war with himself; he wanted to accept Hassan as a friend but doing so would result in crossing class lines. “While I ate and complained about homework, Hassan made my bed, polished my shoes, ironed my outfit for the day, packed my books and pencils,” this shows the difference in Amir and Hassan’s social status’. “What does he know, that literate Hazara? He’ll never be anything but a cook. How dare he criticize you?” Amir seems to be in an internal war with himself. While him and Hassan have a connection that cannot be missed, Amir cannot come to terms with Hassan being smarter than him or being right when Amir is wrong.
There are always opportunities that arise giving you a chance to seek forgiveness from mistakes made in the past. Amir’s chance came when Rahim Khan called him. Amir was now married to his wife Soraya, and together they had started their new life. But when Rahim Khan said “there is a way to make things right again,” Amir saw it has an opportunity that he should take if he wanted to live the rest of his life without guilt creeping up to him at times. After finding out Hassan was dead and that they both have the same father, Amir set out on a mission to find Hassan’s’ son, Shorab. He found him with someone from the Taliban, who he later found out was Assef. Assef challenged Amir to a fight, where if Amir wins he will be able to take Shorab. “Mostly, I remember this: His brass knuckles flashing in the afternoon light; how cold they felt with the first few blows and how quickly they warmed my blood…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,” this incident is where Amir feels free of his sins and he feels he has paid for his sins in the past. This is Amir’s way of forgiving himself for all his past sins. A critical analysis by Ananya states that “To fully understand… we must examine their childhood selves, their state of minds at that point in their lives, the factors that consciously or unconsciously contributed to their crimes, and the thoughts for which they feel guilt about.” With each physical pain inflicted on him by Assef, Amir is forgiven more and more. It then becomes possible for Amir to atone himself of his sins and create a new future with his half nephew Shorab, Hassan’s son.
Amir is a character who is ultimately shaped by his past. His past sins had been with him even as he tried running away from everything that reminded him of them. In the ends, Amir was able to seek atonement and forgive himself for his mistakes.
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