The Transformation of Amir in The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Robert Bulwer Lytton once said, “What is past is past, there is a future left to all men who have the virtue to repent and the energy to atone’. What Mr. Bulwer meant is that there is no way to change the past ,and since there is nothing one can do to change their past actions, if a person is willing to ask for forgiveness and make up for it, then that person can move on with their life and receive forgiveness, Robert Bulwer—Lytton believes as Amir, Khaled Hosseini’s main character in his novel “The Kite Runner”, that it is possible to atone for one’s wrongdoings.

In “The Kite Runner”, Amir undergoes a transformation from a young, spoiled boy who plays and abuses his servant and best friend Hassan to a man with a successful book and family. When Amir is a child, he witnesses Hassan being raped however, he says nothing about it until Hassan is dead and his son is in the rapist’s hands.

It is possible for Amir to atone for his wrongdoings because he takes the necessary actions of being selfless and making sacrifices in order to redeem himself, Amir redeems himself by taking dangerous measures to save Hassan’s son Sohrab.

Amir shows selflessness when he describes what Kabul looks like, He describes it as, “buildings…barely stood, with caved roofs…walls.,.pierced with rocket shells.” Amir is telling what Kabul looks like through Arnir’s eyes and sheds light on how dangerous it is for him to be there.

Get quality help now
Bella Hamilton

Proficient in: Fiction

5 (234)

“ Very organized ,I enjoyed and Loved every bit of our professional interaction ”

+84 relevant experts are online
Hire writer

Hosseini used the description ”pierced with rocket shells” in order to show that there has been bombing and shooting in Kabul which shows the danger . Afghanistan is not how it used to be according to Amir‘s description. Early in the book, when Amir was a child, he described Kabul as, “The poplar trees lined the red brick driveway, which led to a pair of wrought-iron gates” a far less dangerous scene to imagine. The Taliban could potentially end up killing Amir ,and he is fully clear of what could happen. He is putting himself in danger in order to atone for his wrongdoings.

Amir atones for his actions by suffering right along with Hassanr Amir acts like the rape does not bother him. He says, “He was just a Hazara, wasn’t he?” ,but this is not how Amir really feels. Amir is trying to convince himself not to care about Hassan however, he can’t because of the long past that they have had together. The reader knows that Amir is suffering just like Hassan because Amir says, “I was that monster that was the night I became an insomniac.” If Amir couldn’t sleep because he thinks that he is a monster because of not doing anything to help out his friend, he is suffering. Hassan suffered with being raped while Amir suffered because of his silence Amir’s sufferings is a way of atoning for his wrongdoings because he had to experience the same hurt that Hassan had to go through. Amir is forgiven by suffering because he was put into the same position as Hassan emotionally.

Finally Amir atones for his actions by making sacrifices when he went to retrieve Sohrab from Assef. Amir knew Assef was dangerous ,but he still made the trip to get Sohrab He did this in order to make up for not doing anything when Hassan was being raped. Amir describes his emotions as nervous and scared when he says, “My voice was trembling,,,,my flesh wasn’t shrinking against my bones.” A person’s gut instinct is usually right ,and Amir was reacting like this because he knew that Assef was going to beat him up. He put himself into danger in order to feel what it felt like to be Hassan and put into that scary situation. Amir referenced to Hassan being a lamb and in order for Amir to atone for his wrongdoings he had to be put in the same situation. In the lamb story, Amir tells the reader that the lamb knows that it has to be sacrificed for the greater good of the people. Hassan did that for Amir when he was raped the blood shed for Amir to have a better relationship with his father.

Now, Amir is beaten ,and his blood shed is for Sohrab to be free and also to make up for the blood Hassan shed for him. Amir‘s whole life he was haunted by never doing anything in the past to help Hassan in his most vulnerable time. However, Amir, just like Mr. Bulwer—Lytton, believed that if he had the virtue and effort to atone for his actions than he could move on with his life. Amir made many sacrifices such as sacrificing his safety and he was selfless such as when he went to retrieve Sohrab from Assef which means that Amir is forgiven for his wrongdoings. Amir feels this when he says, I hadn’t felt betterwbut I did now. My body was broken but I felt healed,” All of Amir’s wrongdoings were atoned which is why at the end of the book he felt free and felt like he was healed Amir is not crazy he did not enjoy being beaten by Assef, but the beating was the last straw it took for him to atone his wrongdoingsi. The past was the past in Arnir’s case and since he no longer has the burden of his silence he is forgiven and can move on in his life with his adopted son Sohrabi

Cite this page

The Transformation of Amir in The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. (2023, Feb 17). Retrieved from

Let’s chat?  We're online 24/7