Is Redemption Always Possible in the End? Amir made a crucial life altering decision at the age of twelve. Being so young he made choice and became a bystander. Throughout Amir’s life he was riddled with guilt; he spent most of his time hiding from the truth or trying to relieve his guilty conscience. Some of his methods were helpful and destructive to himself and others. Some ways Amir sought redemption were to: trying to get Hassan to punish him, asking Baba for new servants, framing Hassan, going back to Afghanistan, allowing Assef to beat him up and finally adopting Sohrab and bringing him home to America.
Most of these methods don’t turn out exactly how Amir plans. After having a guilty conscience weigh Amir down he felt he need to seek redemption. One of his initial reactions was to try to get Hassan to punish him. His logic was Hassan could physically hurt him so they would both experience pain.
Unfortunately what Amir didn’t consider was that Hassan would never do that to Amir; he is too loyal. Amir takes him to the pomegranate tree they frequent and provokes Hassan. He throws pomegranates at him and calls him names. Ultimately what happens: Then Hassan did pick up a pomegranate. He walked toward me.
He opened it and crushed it against his own forehead. “There,” he croaked, red dripping down his face like blood. “Are you satisfied? Do you feel better? ” (Hosseini 93). In the end Hassan was too good to betray his lifelong friend and brother.
This made Amir feel even worse about what had happened. Another strategy Amir had to relieve his guilt was to ask Baba for new servants. If he didn’t have to see Hassan everyday possibly he wouldn’t feel so broken inside. When Baba refuses to get new servants and scolds him for ever thinking such a thing; Amir realizes he needs to take matters into his own hands.
After his lavish birthday party he planted his new golden watch and money under Hassan’s mattress. His logic being, Baba says the greatest sin is stealing, if Hassan was caught stealing Baba would become enraged and kick them out. When Hassan confesses to stealing the watch Amir says, “I flinched, liked being slapped. My heart sank and I almost blurted out the truth. Then I understood: This was Hassan’s final sacrifice to me” (Hosseini 105). If he were to say no Baba would have believed him. Hassan is yet again too good; he was always loyal to Amir.
Now Ali and Hassan are leaving, Baba is in a lot of pain and Amir’s conscience couldn’t feel worse. He has now caused total destruction to all four of them. Years later, Baba and Amir have fled to America for refugee. Amir is now married and feels weaker than ever. Years have gone by with no word from Hassan. He can’t help but think of him. When Soraya tells Amir her darkest secret Amir continues to feel worse. One day he receives a call from Rahim Khan, he asks Amir to come back to Afghanistan and that, “There is a way to be good again” (Hosseini 2). Amir wonders if Rahim knows about what he did as a child.
He can’t help but return to seek redemption from Rahim and possibly Hassan. While in Afghanistan Amir finds out Sohrab is his nephew and that he must rescue him from the Taliban. The official Amir talks to about getting custody of Sohrab is Assef. They only way to get him back is if Amir kills Assef in a fight, then and there. This took much courage, something Amir had never shown before in Afghanistan. It takes a lot of bravery to agree knowing that Assef is a fighter and he is not. Amir decides to not fight back, he takes hit after hit. Eventually Amir says: I don’t know at what point I started laughing, but I did.
It hurt to laugh, hurt my jaw, my ribs, my throat. But I was laughing and laughing. And the harder I laughed, the harder he kicked me, punched me, scratched me (Hosseini 289). He was laughing because he felt he finally was getting what he deserved; a beating from his bully. Knowing that he finally stood up to Assef and saved Hassan’s son was helpful in clearing his conscience, but he didn’t feel totally relieved. After rescuing Sohrab he didn’t have much to relax before he was thrown into adopting him. Sohrab tries to commit suicide and Amir prays for the first time in years.
This was a wakeup call to Amir, he realized he already has Hassan’s blood on his hands he doesn’t want Sohrabs too. In adopting Sohrab this is his second chance, he can now do right to Hassan by taking care of his son. After the treacherous journey getting Sohrab the fight didn’t become much easier. Sohrab had complete shutdown he refused to talk. This caused even more of a problem for the General. One night at dinner the General makes a rude comment about Sohrab being a Hazara. Amir becomes irritated and stands up for Sohrab, something he never did for Hassan. After months of this behaviour most have given up on Sohrab, but not Amir.
He takes him out kite flying; after chopping down a kite he chases after it. Sohrab finally showed emotion, “I looked down at Sohrab. Once corner of his mouth had curled up just so. A smile. Lopsided. Hardly there. But there” (Hosseini 370, 371) This was the best and most effective form of redemption. Amir didn’t mean to cause destruction by his action as a child. He was a scared boy trying to preserve himself. His actions as a child were cowardice, but he grew into a brave young man. He worked hard and was willing to give up everything to seek redemption. Work Cited Hosseini, Khaled. The Kite Runner. New York: Riverhead Books, 2003. `