Scene to Themes: The Kite Runner
Afghani culture is largely based around their double consciousness, and throughout the Kite Runner we see many examples. While Amir is at the market with his father he attempts to speak directly to a young girl named Soraya about what she is reading in the middle of the marketplace, “I held my breath. Suddenly, I felt the collective eyes of the flea market Afghans shift to us. I imagined a hush falling. Lips stopping in mid sentence. Heads turning. Eyes narrowing with interest”(p.146). In Afghani culture, a boy must go through the girl’s father to talk or date her, but Amir decides to neglect these rules and pays the price when the entire market begins gossiping about him and his double consciousness overflows. Baba reprimands Amir for his disobedience of the rules, and Amir is once again reassured that he must stay to the cultural “rules”.
Amir’s greatest struggle throughout the book was for growing up a “disappointing” son who shared very little similarities with Baba. After Hassan’s rape, Amir then spends the rest of his life trying to redeem himself for his betrayal and inaction that hurt his friend. This causes Amir to return to Afghanistan and he attempts to save and adopt Hassan’s son Sohrab. After Amir learns of Baba’s betrayal of Ali, Amir realizes that Baba was trying to redeem his adultery through his many charitable activities and strong principles later in life. Amir is also able to find a strange relieving kind of redemption in his bloody fight with Assef, Hassan’s rapist, and his adoption of Sohrab.
The main father-son relationship is between Baba and Amir, as Amir struggles to find his father’s approval and Baba tries to love a son who is much different from him. When Amir learns that Baba is Hassan’s father as well, he realizes that Baba also had to hide his affection for Hassan, who was in many ways more like Baba than Amir was. Sohrab is then introduced later as the new “son” figure. The book never shows Hassan and Sohrab together, but it is explained that Hassan was a very good father before his death. The father-son relationship then becomes a large part of Amir’s redemption, as he tries to become a father to Sohrab by rescuing him from Assef and adopting him. The book ends implying that Sohrab will begin to open up to Amir, and that Amir will continue to find more redemption in fatherhood.