Betrayal and Redemption in the Kite Runner

In The Kite Runner, the narrator and main character is Amir. Amir has many regrets from his past that continue to impact his present life. The question being explored in this essay is, has Amir successfully redeemed himself by the end of the novel? In my opinion, Amir is a person who has made many mistakes and betrayed those closest to him during his childhood. Especially his best friend Hassan. I say this for the following reasons. First, Amir betrayed Hassan by not helping him from getting assaulted, even though Hassan was getting assaulted because of Amir.

Secondly, he lied to Baba about Hassan taking the money and the watch, and finally, he destroyed a 40-year friendship between Baba and Ali. Now that Amir is older, he still carries this guilt around. Amir is a selfish person who would do anything, including destroying his friendship with Hassan, in order to get more affection from his Father (Baba). He was willing to sacrifice anything to get this attention because, as he said in the novel, ‘I had fought for my father’s love. (253)’ I thought Amir did not successfully redeem himself or convince me by the end of the novel that what he did was forgivable.

When Amir was younger, Amir felt a lot of contrite about the things he did to Hassan. Why couldn’t he express to Hassan what he did was wrong and apologize to him? I guess Amir couldn’t apologize to Hassan because he was ashamed of all the things he did to him. How come Amir was trying to convince Hassan to throw pomegranates at him? What was the purpose of him making things physical in order to redeem himself, why didn’t he just apologize to Hassan? I question what his motive was to make himself feel better, rather than him making Hassan feel better?

If he was really, truly, sorry why couldn’t he asked for forgiveness or explain why he did what he did? Amir had chance after chance to ask for forgiveness, but all he did was lie and push Hassan farther away. Why didn’t the morning, Hassan and Ali were leaving, Amir was watching from inside. Why didn’t he run out there and apologize? Did he even care that they were leaving? Did he really want to redeem himself to Hassan? I don’t think he had the courage or the guts to directly apologize to Hassan and state or admit what he did was wrong because deep down he believed he was doing the right thing. “Assef was right; nothing come for free in the world. Maybe Hassan was the price I had to pay, the lamb I had to slay to win Baba.”

Later on, when Amir is a young adult, he pushed his problem away when he moved to America. Once Amir moved to America he kept Hassan in thoughts and never spoke his name until he visited Rahim Khan. When Amir says, ‘What had I ever done to right things? (317)’ He didn’t have the courage to redeem himself independently. Rahim Khan was the one who called and gives Amir the idea. Rahim Khan told Amir there was an opportunity for him to redeem himself. Rahim Khan also stated to Amir “I brought you here because I am going to ask you something.I’m going to ask you to do something for me. (213)” In my head, once I read this I thought that there is a chance that Amir could have been doing it for Rahim Khan because he was dying and in need for his help in order to save Hassan’s boy, Sohrab. What I’m trying to explain is that Amir would have continued his life in America and never redeem himself to Hassan. Amir would have never got the closure he needs in order for him not to carry this guilt around in his present life anymore. Rahim Khan gives him that push he needed to seek for the redemption.

Thirdly, once Amir got to Pakistan to see Rahim Khan he was being selfish and a coward about him going for Hassan boy, Sohrab. ‘Why me? Why can’t you pay someone here to go? I’ll pay for it if it’s a matter of money. (233)’ At first Amir did not want to go save Hassan’s son, Sohrab. Maybe he didn’t want to leave his wife for so long? Maybe he was just a being the same old coward he is? ‘I wish Rahim hadn’t called me.

I wish he had let me live in my oblivion, but he called me. And what Rahim Khan revealed to me changed things. (238)” Why did he not want to be aware of what was happening? Was he even having any empathy on how Hassan would be feeling if he was still alive? After a while Amir came to his senses, he decided to go and find Sohrab. Once Amir finds Sohrab he was being very selfish. Amir was selfish because he was letting Assef beat him almost to death and not fighting back.

Even if he said ‘this is the first time I’d fought anyone. I had never so much punch in my entire life. (301)’ He could have still tried. Amir wasn’t considering about Sohrab feelings because he was to busy worrying about himself. “I’d even been looking forward to this. (303)’ Amir said. If Amir died this day Sohrab would have still been in the orphanage getting assaulted and alone without any family. Thankfully Sohrab saved Amir from Assef with his slingshot. Sohrab saves himself for not having to live this horror life.

In conclusion, I believe Amir is not forgivable because he has not owned up to his mistakes. Although he kind of redeemed himself from when Rahim Khan called him, he still never took the step into taking action for what he did to Hassan. I believe he should have told Hassan how he felt and thanked Hassan for all the bullshit he put up with for him. I think Amir should learn to express himself and talk about how he feels, instead of hiding it within him. It was nice to see him try after 28 years. Amir has to do a lot more and try a lot harder to actually redeem himself.