The Kite Runner Essay

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A World of Guilt: Amir’s Struggle to Become a Better Man In The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, Amir struggles to become a man. His idealization of manhood is largely derived from the influence of his father his primary role model, Baba. Baba is a strong, assertive and confidant man in Amir’s eyes and despite their differences, Amir strives to embody this type of masculinity. However, Amir only becomes a better man when he is broken down and beaten into a humble man. Amir’s relationship to his mother, father and half brother, Hassan, are guilt ridden and strained. Finally, Amir addresses this guilt and proves his remorse through selfless acts. It is through selfless acts that his sins of the past are settled and he is able to become a man and form a complete sense of self. Amir’s sense of guilt stems from the very moment he was born. Amir’s mother died in childbirth and at times, Amir feels like Baba resents him for taking the life of his beautiful wife. Throughout the novel, Amir continues to resent himself for not living up to his father’s reputation as a great man. Amir often backs down from confrontations, something Baba would never do. When Hassan is being raped for Amir’s kite, Amir watches only for a moment before running away. Baba on the other hand, stands up for an anonymous woman who a soldier is threatening to rape. Amir reflects on that winter six years ago when Hassan was being raped and failed to act like a man; “I too wondered if I was really Baba’s son” (122, Hosseini). Amir’s friendship with Hassan is fraught with the guilt of this incident. When Hassan and Ali give Amir a sentimental book he tosses it in the corner of his room, but his "eyes kept going back to it" (110, Hosseini). This show's that Amir cannot suppress the guilt over the betrayal he has committed. His guilt and pain is so profound that he avoids Hassan all together. When Hassan

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