Marquez 1 Alfredo Marquez September 27, 2006 Mon.-Wed.

/2:30-3:50 Themes in The Kite Runner The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini is a novel that focuses on the life of one individual, Amir, who faces a huge struggle over the rest of his life because of one incident in his childhood. This comes about because of his choice of not being able to stand up for himself or his closest friend, Hassan, who falls victim to a major theme in the novel. The major theme in the novel is power and through this theme one is able to discover two other themes that are apparent in most of the novel, that of guilt and redemption. Because of the life that Amir has to live through, the themes of power, guilt, and redemption, are able to surface in this story and they bring about a chilling truth of the struggles that are everyday occurrences in modern-day Afghanistan. The Kite Runner, through its connection of the themes, expresses an idea of the way that power can greatly influence a way of life of one person or a nation and through the study of its themes, will one be able to understand that that idea holds true. The theme of power is the main focus of the novel. It is this theme that drives that story’s plot and is the root from which the other two themes are taken from. The book has many examples of this theme in it. From the power that is portrayed by the different occupants of Afghanistan to the power that Amir himself feels he has because of his social standing over Hassan’s, it is apparent that this theme is a major impact of the story. It is this power that causes Amir’s life to change completely. From the moment of the first account of rape in the story by Assef to Hassan, power is portrayed as a method

feel guilt throughout his life. This psychological torment that Amir deals with is the result of one of his defects. Power either used wrong or right. Amir’s choices in life were not the best that one would make but it was these choices. Even his own father knew this and he himself always felt ashamed because of it. and nationality as well. lies. gender. the guilt felt by him only caused more pain. but also to class. which made him. and betrayals in his life. such as his disregard to help Hassan when being raped. This theme of redemption is also a key part of the meaning of Hosseini’s novel because it completes the purpose of Amir’s story. This theme of guilt is pervasive in the feelings of Amir that the reader is able to understand because of the actions done that lead to those feelings. The theme of power is not limited to just that of bullies and occupants. . The Kite Runner is a journey that Amir takes throughout his life in search for a way to find some sort of redemption for his guilt. Guilt is the essence of Amir’s troubles and this leads him to search for a way to find some sort of redemption for himself. For example. is the reason for the turning point in the novel. which is that of not being able to defend himself or be a man because he was a coward. but in the end. Amir had decided to put some money and some of his gifts in Hassan’s hut in order for him to be dismissed. and this leads to Amir’s life struggle with guilt and his never ending wish of being redeemed for his acts.Marquez 2 of causing harm and devastation as is the case with Assef and his role as a leader in the Taliban. Power is the reason why everything happens the way it does in the story because it is so easy to take advantage of. The guilt that Amir faces has him wanting to do anything that he can to be able to relieve himself. after his birthday party. This would have helped Amir feel like everything was normal again and he could move on with his life.

the power that was dominate by ruling forces and even by Amir was the cause of the huge changes that took place. he is unexpectedly contacted by an old friend. This quote identifies the fact that Amir’s guilt and his past was not forgotten and not just known by him. The central theme of power is the reason for Amir’s stressed life because he expierenced the taste of power by himself firsthand. and in doing that he his able to get on with his life. Only through the saving of Hassan’s son was Amir able to redeem himself for his sins caused in his past. causing him to gain only the guilt that comes with the responsibility of misusing power. It is clear that the use power in any form can bring about change to whatever it is meant to serve over. making power a significant theme within this book. Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner is a story full of guilt and redemption caused by the different people or groups in the book that used their power to cause harm to others. in cases such as that of Amir’s. Rahim Khan had mentioned that “there is a way to be good again” (2). That old friend was Rahim Khan who had called Amir to do him a favor and through their conversation. the key to his redemption. It is also important because it leaves Amir with a chance to find the redemption he has wanted all his life to finally put all the sins of his past to rest. . however. This chance at redemption has Amir ending up having to face the past once again in order to save a little boy.Marquez 3 The chance for redemption is first introduced when after a long time has passed and Amir has long since left Afghanistan. Sohrab.

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