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The Kite Runner

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The Kite Runner

The Story of a Past that Remains In The Present

The Kite Runner

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini is a powerful novel written about a man named Amir and a tragedy in his past that torments him even twenty-six years later. As he goes on in life, Amir experiences a myriad of emotional events, and each one conveys a message about life in general. But the most important lesson is that the tragedy in his youth will remain in his mind forever because he knows he will never be able to change the past.

The novel is about a man named Amir, who witnesses a terrible sexual assault on his friend, Hussan. Amir views the attack from a distance behind a mud wall, but doesn't help his friend. Afterward, he is filled with guilt and embarrassment about the entire affair, and he closes off his relationship with Hussan as a result. This memory haunts him later in life, and he spends a lot of time thinking about it. Even at the time, Amir keeping silent about the incident causes him to lose sleep. This episode in Amir's past has obviously affected him traumatically, resulting in the loss of his innocence at such a young age. Even his friends letter that ends with "There is a way to be good again" doesn't help Amir with his grief.

Amir's mother died giving birth which also took its toll on his innocence. He had to grow up faster and take on more responsibilities. His family is one of the richest families in Kabul with his father's businesses, and therefore, he has a much better life than most. His father doesn't respect him though, and one day Amir overhears him telling his best friend about how Amir doesn't have a backbone. Amir has always been somewhat of a comformist, and when others urge him to do something or even insult him, Amir does not speak up for himself. He merely goes along with the crowd. When Baba, Amir's father, acknowledges this weakness, Amir is very hurt.

Later, after the boy Assef raped Amir's friend, Hussan, Amir has a birthday party, and invites Assef anyway. When Assef presents a gift to him, Amir does not say anything, and further, he accepts the present gratefully. This is exactly the kind of weak conformity his father resents in him. Amir's conscience nags at him, but he ignores it during this time, continuing to befriend Assef and completely cutting off his friendship with Hussan. All along, even at the height of their friendship, Amir never would call Hussan a friend, simply for the fact that he was of a lower class. Instead, he conform to the ideas of elitists and when Hussan is even further ashamed and abused by Assef, that just gives Amir a good reason to never speak to him again. But despite this, decision, Amir still feels raging guilt inside him: "I have been peeking into that deserted alley for the last twenty-six years."

When Baba and Amir leave Saudi Arabia and travel to Pakistan, the travel is daunting and dangerous. Once they arrive, they meet a boy named Kamal, who has been raped just like Hussan, and now does not speak as a result of it. When they travel on, Kamal dies on the trip just after Amir has made friends with him and his father. The sight of the dead boy is traumatic and thus, affects Amir's waning innocence. As a result of the boy's death, his father commits suicide, adding to the corruption of Amir's thoughts.

Amir and Baba make their way to America, which was all done solely for the purpose of giving Amir more opportunities. Baba hates America and his job at a gas station. When Amir decides to major in English, this displeases his father substantially, but Amir rebels and majors in what he loves anyway. Soon after, he begins dating a girl named Soraya, who has a secret she is afraid will make Amir not want to marry her. She once ran away with a man for a month and lived with him. Instead of being angry, Amir merely envies her because her secret is out, while his still festers inside him.

Even as an adult, Amir does not learn how to stand


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