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Sin/Redemption in The Kite Runner
Transcript of Sin/Redemption in The Kite Runner
In The Kite Runner, the theme of sin and redemption is very similar to the theme in the Parable of the Prodigal son. Both stories indicate that we do have the opportunity to make a change. We do not have to stay in our hopeless state, rather we can choose to redeem our past, and shape our future.
The consequence of sin is that it stays with you your whole life. Guilt interferes with all aspects of your life and makes you unable to move forward.
Redemption involves facing one's fears, putting in time and effort, and being able to accept your wrongdoing.
- Two main causes of Amir's unhappiness:
The guilt that sprouted from watching Hassan get assaulted by Assef, and doing nothing to stop it.
The guilt he felt from his inability to have a child with his wife Soraya.
"And I could almost feel the emptiness in Soraya's womb, it was like a living, breathing thing. It had seeped into our marriage, that emptiness, into our laughs, and our lovemaking" (199).
- Baba's sin was blaming Amir for his wife's death, after she died in childbirth. He did not accept Amir's talents, but instead tried to push his own beliefs on him.
- Baba's sin of getting Sonaubar pregnant with Hassan forced him to live with that guilt his whole life, and never admit it to Amir.
- Amir redeemed himself by taking in Hassan's son Sohrab after Hassan was killed. This fixed both causes of his unhappiness.
- It took Amir getting beat up by Assef, to fully feel like he got what he deserved for what he did to Hassan. Just as Hassan was like a sacrificial lamb, in return Amir needed to sacrifice himself for Sohrab to feel redeemed.
Sin & Redemption
Despite the past, there is always a way to change your life and shape your character
- Baba's internal struggle came from his sin with Sonaubar which he tried to redeem with his generosity to their son Hassan
- Baba kept his secret from Amir his whole life and never accepted the person he was, but redeemed himself by moving to America for him.
- "Baba had wrestled bears his whole life" (183).
- Baba's "bears" were losing his young wife, raising a son by himself, leaving his beloved homeland, and the poverty and indignity he faced.
- Symbol of redemption in the novel
- His recurring line is "There is a way to be good again" (2). This sticks with Amir and helps lead him to redemption.
- Voice of reason for Amir and Baba
- In the beginning, we see Amir only thinking about himself by using Hassan only when it would benefit him.
- It was only after he witnessed Hassan getting assaulted by Assef, that he was broken down and then had to rebuild himself completely.
- The biggest turning point in Amir's character, was when he read the letter from Hassan and realized all of the selfless deeds Hassan had done for him.
- Rahim Khan was the driving force that led him to his realization of what he needed to do to be redeemed. That is when he decided to take in Sohrab to return Hassan's loyalty.
- Baba started out always getting what he wanted, and trying to mold Amir to meet his standards.
-"With me as the glaring exception, my father molded the world around him to his liking. The problem, of course, was that Baba saw the world in black and white. And he got to decide what was black and what was white. You can't love a person who lives that way without fearing him too. Maybe even hating him a little" (16).
- After they were forced to move to America, Baba became more accepting and put in an effort to connect with Amir.
- Though he mended his relationship with Amir, he never told him his biggest secret that Hassan was his son, therefore, never fully redeeming himself.
- Baba said "...When you tell a lie, you steal someone's right to the truth...There is no act more wretched than stealing, Amir" (19).
- Amir watched as the symbol of a sacrificial lamb, Hassan, got raped by Assef.
- Like a lamb, Hassan was a symbol of innocence and never deserved to be tortured.
The Kite Runner
The message Khaled Hosseini portrayed through the theme of sin and redemption is that "there is a way to be good again." He uses the characters as examples to show us that we cannot undo the past, but we can always move forward and change our future.
"It was a look I had seen before, it was the look of the lamb" (81).
"There is a way to be good again" - Rahim Khan
"For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found." - the father
Amir realizes his hopless state, and chooses to redeem himself by taking in Sohrab.
The lost son realized that in his father’s house there was sustenance for him; he humbled himself, willing, if necessary, to be his father’s servant, and started back home.
The Kite Runner
Rahim Khan, though he probably knew Amir's sin, never judged him or doubted that he could redeem himself.
The father did not judge his younger son who came back after he spent all his inheritance. He only rejoiced that he was back. "