Suffering And Guilt In The Kite Runner By Khaled Hosseini

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In The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini chronicles the story of how Amir, a boy in Afghanistan, grows up to become a writer in America. Throughout his life, he endures hardships, attempts to gain his father’s respect, and struggles with a colossal degree of remorse over his past. In order to clear his guilty conscience, Amir must travel back to Afghanistan and rescue his nephew, Sohrab, from the Taliban. During the story, Hosseini is able to construct his plot effectively using the novel’s two major themes of suffering and guilt.
Throughout the novel, immense hardships befall Amir 's closest friend Hassan. Hassan is brutally raped by Assef, yet he "[doesn 't] struggle… [doesn 't] even whimper"(81). Hassan accepts the situation, and resigns himself
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The Afghanis were known to "give in to loss, to suffering, accept it as a fact of life," while some of them would even "see it as necessary"(Hosseini, 212). This thinking is endemic among the Afghan people, having been crippled by extreme poverty during the Russian occupation and Taliban dictatorship. It is the polar opposite of America 's ideal of optimism and opportunity. While traveling through Afghanistan, Amir notes all of the "children dressed in rags", with their entire families living in "broken mud houses and huts"(243). Amir 's driver, Farid, had a friend whom "the Taliban [had] killed"(256) and whose village was burnt to the ground. This impoverishment shocks Amir, as it is nothing like the country he left behind. Instead of the city of his youth, Amir found "rubble and beggars… everywhere [he] looked"(257). Amir feels responsible for the misfortune that transpired in Afghanistan. He now "feels like a tourist in his own country"(244), having been alienated by failing to save his fellow citizens. America had sheltered him from the hardships of the Afghanis, and Amir struggles to reconcile this estrangement. When at Wahid’s, Farid 's brother 's, house in Jalalabad, he "[plants] a fistful of crumpled money under the mattress"(254), hoping to alleviate these feelings. Once Amir witnesses the destitute condition of Kabul, it is "like running into an old, forgotten friend and seeing that life hadn’t been good to him"(258). The connection that he has to his home country is vanishing, and he regrets not being present during its time of

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