Reflections on the Characterizations Used in the Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini: a Theme on Redemption, Essay Example

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Essay

Introduction

Humans often make decisions that lead to feelings of guilt. In line with the guilt, the desire to get back in time, which is relatively impossible, becomes an option that presents itself in different manners. In the authored reading by Khalled Hosseini entitled “The Kite Runner”, this theme has become a constant pattern that the characters have had to live with. The indicative manner by which the individuals were concerned about the process by which they identify with their past and the people whom they apparently affected subjects them into a condition of guilt that they are supposed to seriously deal with. However, as noted earlier, time cannot be tracked down and turned back again. Nonetheless, there are instances when humans are able to find ways from which they begin to trail down a past that they think they could still change or at least comparably pay for through making things right at present.

Aside from Amir, the story’s narrator, there are other characters in the movie that presented a sense of desire to be redeemed from a dark past. This further imposes on the fact that in one way or another, every person does have a part of his or her life he or she wants to change through altering the pattern of situations that the present times take. Among the said characters include Rahim Khan, Baba and Soraya. These characters were at least given minimal roles in the film in consideration with the main plot and the portrayal of the lives of the main characters. Nevertheless, their personal backgrounds which served as the grounding element that made them important in showing how the desire for redemption is indeed a key element in the film. In relation to proving that these individuals does have an impacting effect on the presentation of redemption as the story’s main theme, defining their role and their background shall be presented in the discussion that follows.

The Theme of Redemption Based on Characterization

Redemption is often a desire that is sourced out from the feeling guilty about particular matters especially involving a past decision that resulted to the conditional failure of others. Likely, a wrong decision that has caused one to suffer its own consequences does not reprimand a sense of redemption. Nevertheless, when another person or other people become involved in the situation, it is but normal for one to feel compelled to redeem themselves and be of a better source of strength for those who may have suffered because of their decisions. The capability to respond to such source of redemption then becomes a sense of satisfaction for the one feeling guilty which is assumed as the process by which one tries to find another way to at least ease the suffering of the other who may have been affected by a mistaken decision in the past. Serving as a payment to what has been lost in the past, redemption provides one an assurance that somehow, whatever mistakes have been made have already been given an answer hence insisting that the past does not count anymore. Finding a way to redeem one’s self is never an easy path to walk on. Most often than not, the guilt remains fully affective on the ways by which a person tries to live every day. One might believe that with a sense of redemption, the guilt could be cured, but in the end, what has been done in the past cannot be completely covered by a counter action that is assumed to solve the problems. Approaches of solution could ease the rising new problems but they can never bring back whatever has been lost in the past. True to its sense, this indicative factor of guilt and desire for redemption has been shown by the three characters in the story of the Kite Runner which shall be discussed herein.

Rahim Khan

Rahim is a friend and business partner of Baba, Amir’s father. He is known for his knowledge and connection to people who know a lot about the conflicts that are occurring in the country. It could be analyzed too how he was defined in the film as someone who can understand people in an uncanny way hence knowing what they want and what they need even before they speak of it. This also made him aware of the rape that Hassan has undergone in the hands of the bullies when he was trying to retrieve Amir’s kite from them. Nonetheless, Rahim did not speak of anything hence felt guilty later on and wished that he has done other than to just keep his mouth shut about the truth and watch the Hassan as though nothing happened. The guilt even grew into a more distinctive feeling especially when he found out how the friendship between Amir and Hassan began to fade due to the jealousy that Amir had with the other. Likely, though, the two were separated further due to the conflicts occurring in the country which made it more impossible for Rahim to mention about what he knows to Amir.

Later on though, in search for redemption, he decides to tell Amir everything that he knows including that of the young child that Hassan left after he died. Rahim pursued the possibility that Amir could actually get back to their country and retrieve the son of Hassan. He assumes that this way, he would be able to redeem himself through being able to become an instrument into saving what was left of Hassan and somehow, he thought that this incident would also give his friend Baba a chance to be redeemed from his incapability of saying that he was indeed the father of his son’s best friend.

Baba

Baba is Amir’s father who was presented in the movie as someone who has the position and the capability to influence others. Not only is he rich, he also has the power to control matters and the people tend to follow him. There are of course others who would rather settle not to follow him especially that they are against his principles. However, for Hassan and his family, following Baba as their “lord” is a lifetime conviction that they chose to follow. Hassan, the, Amir’s family’s servant and his best friend is noted in the film as the son of Baba. Never, however, did Baba every presented himself a father to the young child. He chose to keep himself quiet about the matter as he needed to keep his reputation intact. Having a son from outside his marriage would immediately drag his reputation down and he is also afraid of the fact that his son might find out about and he simply do not know how the child would react to the matter. To avoid such complications, Baba then decided to simply keep his mouth shut and watch Hassan from afar. To compensate for his weakness, he tried to give attention to Hassan’s good qualities every now and then which made Amir irritated on the other hand which eventually ended up their friendship.

When tragedies finally occurred, Baba wanted to do something for Hassan but could not. Upon arriving in America and hearing what has happened in their country and to his other son, Baba wished nothing but for Amir to find his brother and best friend, but it was already too late, Sohrab was the only surviving soul in the family line of Hassan which they could still choose to rescue.

Soraya

Soraya is Amir’s wife who used to have a life that is apart from what an obedient daughter should be to her parents and her family. Her history was not that ideal especially that she lived a life apart from the usual expectations from a young daughter. Nevertheless, when she met Amir, she felt special, like as if she was a different person who has finally found favor in the eyes of the man she chose to marry. To at least do what she was not able to do for her parents, she took care of Baba the best way she could as he treaded his way into old age. Along with this, she immediately accepted Sohrab when Amir took him home to America. She did what she could to make the child feel safe and at home, helping him realize that this is now his new family. The process was not easy, and thus she accounts this as the payment for all the mistakes she has done when she was still a young child.

Reflections and Conclusion

People have many reasons as to why they have made decisions that mistakenly lead them and the other individuals that are most often than not important to their lives into a less desirable situation. The story of the Kite Runner and the people who revolved around Amir specifically points out how the chain of events in the past and the mistaken decisions that were made can never be changed. What can be done is to likely salvage what was left of the miseries of the past and make better memories out of that. Hassan has died within the hands of the enemies, a matter that can never be changed anymore. Nevertheless, his son, the one he left in his memory is the one still experiencing hardship in the hands of the same people who killed his father. Saving him from them served as an essence of redemption for all the shortcomings of the people who used to set aside the worth of Hassan due to their personal pursuits and reservations.

Reference:

Pauli, Michelle (2007-08-15). “Kite Runner is reading group favourite for second year running”. guardian.co.uk (London). http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2007/aug/15/news.awardsandprizes. (Retrieved on December 18, 2011).

Dargis, Manhola. “From Memories, There’s No Escape“, “The New York Times. http://movies.nytimes.com/2007/12/14/movies/14kite.html?scp=2&sq=the%20kite%20runner&st=cse. (Retrieved on December 18, 2011).

Noor, R.; Hosseini, Khaled (September/December 2004). “The Kite Runner“. World Literature Today 78 (3/4): 148.

The Kite Runner by Khaled Housseini. (2009). http://www.khaledhosseini.com/hosseini-books-kiterunner.html. (Retrieved on December 18, 2011).

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