Guilt is a projecting theme throughout Khaled Hosseini’s novel, The Kite Runner.  There are many traces of guilt between the characters in this novel, the main one’s regarding Amir and Hassan.  This novel is narrated by Amir as an older man reflecting back on stories from his past throughout the novel.  “I became what I am today at the age of twelve.”  (Hosseini 1).  This quote is said by Amir when he was an older man in the opening paragraph of the novel.  He was introducing his readers to his past by almost forcing the reader to wonder what event was so significant that it changed his life.  Amir finds the outcome of guilt after making destructive decisions throughout his life as a child.  As a reader, I am constantly reminded about Amir’s guilt throughout the entire novel.  This showed me how effective guilt can be as well as how it can be a lifelong haunt if it is left untreated or ignored.  I believe that Hosseini wanted to bring his readers more aware about the strength and power of guilt and how it is far too often overlooked. Khaled Hosseini described guilt to be so destructive that it can overtake a life within the relationships of Amir and Hassan, Ali and Baba, and Amir and Sohrab.  Hosseini uses a variety of examples to show the strength of guilt which will be described throughout the rest of the essay.Amir grew up seeing Hassan as his families servant, and he wouldn’t even refer to him as a friend. Hassan would do anything Amir asked him to do. “Hassan never wanted to, but if I asked, really asked, he wouldn’t deny me. Hassan never denied me anything.” (Hosseini 4) This quote demonstrates the boys personalities well.  I’m sure that after reading this quote, anyone can guess which of the two boys is the one who has been disloyal to the other. This quote is said leading up to the scene that ruined Amir’s life forever – once Amir had won the kite tournament, his life quickly turned bad after he watched Hassan being raped.  Amir didn’t stop them from raping him, but this choice quickly changed Amir.  Amir was very guilty after this event, he couldn’t even bare to look at Hassan. Hassan still wanted to be Amir’s friend, but Amir didn’t want anything to do with him, he even began to bully Hassan. The guilt that Amir faced after these events followed him far into adulthood.Baba seems to begin to act more ‘human’ as the novel develops. One of the novel’s most significant and surprising fact seems to force Amir to review his memories of Baba. At the beginning of the novel, Baba is presented as a man who is above all others. He usually does things beyond other people and is highly looked up to by everyone in Afghanistan.  He is the man who has been said to have wrestled a bear, built an orphanage and is also described as proud and unsympathetic. He has also been described as a completely different person from Amir. All of this seemed to change when he moved to America. Baba adjusted poorly to his new life in California. He had to work long hours at the gas station, and is no longer well known or looked up to. Amir begins to see his father in a completely different state. He even begins to notice how much he really has in common with his father. He learned that his father also made very similar mistakes in the past that he strongly regrets but hid it away inside of him.  He realized that Baba was not the same person on the inside that he appeared to be on the outside.


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