Violence In Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner

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Violence is not beautiful or wonderful. It is vile and horrible. It is feared for its destruction and brutality, but sometimes, it is only necessary. This mentality doesn’t quite apply to life, but more so to great literature, in which violent scenes do not exist for their own sake. Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner clearly demonstrates the importance of violent scenes in contributing to the overall meaning of the book. In the book, the main protagonist Amir, a young Afghan boy, experiences a violent event in his early childhood that affects the rest of his life and the choices he makes. Throughout the book, other acts of violence influence Amir to make the right decision. In the end, Amir (and the reader) experience that one act may change …show more content…
In the winter of 1975, Amir witnesses a violent scene in which he makes a decision that he regrets for the rest of his life. Amir’s servant boy and friend, Hassan, runs off to get the last kite for Amir. After some time, Amir goes looking for him and witnesses Hassan getting raped in an alley. At the time of this violent scene Amir must make a decision, whether it is to help his beloved friend or run. Feeling unable to do anything, Amir runs away, which impacts the rest of his life. This violent scene and Amir’s decision are the foundation for the book’s overall meaning, that a single act can change your life. Amir countlessly reflects on this memory. “I thought of the life I lived until the winter of 1975 came along and changed everything. And made me what I am today” (2). Amir’s decision also is the base of the book’s other meaning, that you can’t run away from the past. As a result of his decision, Amir pushes Hassan away to the point where he never sees him again. Amir’s guilt haunts him for the rest of his life. “That was a long time ago, but it’s wrong what they say about the past, I’ve learned, about how you can bury it. Because the past claws its way out. Looking back now I realize I have been peeking into that deserted alley for the last twenty-six years” (1). The guilt that Amir holds on to has him unconsciously searching for a way to redeem himself for what he did. Hassan’s rape and Amir’s decision set the basis of …show more content…
Amir now faces the challenge of getting back the boy Sohrab. He finds out that Assef, the one who raped Hassan, is the one holding Sohrab captive. Assef decides to hand over the boy, only if Amir defeats him in a fight. With no other option, Amir fights Assef and gets brutally injured. This final violent act is the final piece in Amir’s development towards the overall meaning of book. Amir has always been a coward, even until now. ‘This isn’t you. You’re gutless….But when a coward stops remembering who he is...God help him” (275). By deciding that he’s going to fight Assef to get Sohrab, it means that Amir is finally willing to pay for his mistakes, that he’s not going to make another decision that he would regret for being a coward. Getting badly beaten by Assef, almost to the point of death, causes Amir to forgive himself in a way. “What was so funny was that, for the first time since the winter of 1975, I felt at peace….My body was broken-just how badly I wouldn’t find out until later-but I felt healed. Healed at last. I laughed” (289). Amir felt that getting beaten by Assef was what he deserved for abandoning Hassan like he did. In this final act, Amir fixes his mistake by standing up for Sohrab when he didn’t for Hassan, even though he gets terribly beaten and was almost willing to die. As a result, Amir forgives himself in that moment for what he did, because he finally got what he deserved and he actually did what

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