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The author Khalid Hosseini portrays himself as a selfish coward in his novel, The Kite Runner.  In his novel, several themes emerge throughout the story, though the dominant theme I have obtained is redemption. Throughout this book, the writer shows how he has grown and matures from a selfish little boy into a courageous man. Amir seeks redemption for his betrayal of his childhood best friend, Hassan. As a young boy, Amir feels though he should be put through emotional and physical pain to be able to find his redemption. Hosseini writes that Hassan represents Amir’s failure in his childhood and as Amir grows into an adult, while Hassan’s son, Sohrab represents Amirs redemption.
The author Hosseini starts the story out with the love and tension between a father and his sons. Baba had two sons, Amir and Hassan, but not knowing Hassan is his brother until later in the novel, Amir gets upset with how Baba treats Hassan superior to him. Amir soon realizes Baba picks Hassan over Amir when they do anything or when Amir goes and does something Baba always includes Hassan. Amir notices it more and more; so he begins to pretend to like sports, he started writing story’s for Baba to read, and try’s to win the kite flying tournament to gain Babas approval. One following winter, Baba gave Hassan a special birthday present. Baba got Hassan a plastic surgeon for his Clift lip. His name is Dr. Kumar, he was an Indian surgeon. Amir becomes selfish and upset over Hassan’s present. “I wished I too had some kind of scar that would beget Baba’s sympathy. It wasn’t fair. Hassan hadn’t done anything to earn Baba’s affections; he’d just been born with that stupid harelip (Hosseini 46).” Amir feels Baba is giving Hassan more attention than what he receives. 
In the winter of that year, 1975, the kite flying  tournament is held in Amir’s neighborhood, but this year is different. Each neighborhood has its own completion but this year all nearby districts compete together. Right before the tournament Baba casually tells Amir, “I think maybe you’ll win the tournament this year. What do you think (Hosseini 56)?” An overwhelming desire to win seizes Amir as he thinks this will earn him Baba’s approval. Hours after flying; all that remain are Amir’s kite and one other, a blue kite. They battle and Amir wins, sending the blue kite flying loose. Hassan goes running for the kite but hours later he hasn’t returned. Amir goes looking for him, only to find him getting raped by Assef and his two friends. Amir struggles to say do something, to stop Assef but instead, he ran. He thinks to himself, “I actually aspired to cowardice, because the alternative, the real reason I was running, was that Assef was right: nothing was free in the world. Maybe Hassan was the price I had to pay, the land I had to slay, to win Baba (Hosseini 77).” Amir became selfish, knowing what he did was wrong but grateful for Baba becoming closer to him.
At the outset of Chapter 1, just as the book begins, Amir writes the words, 
 “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 (Hosseini 1).” For years Amir has been living with his guilt. To him, feeling the guilt and resentment inside him for not stopping Hassans rape was what he thought he deserve. Lying in the dark, with his own thoughts, Amir feels his guilt washing over him. “I watched Hassan get raped; I said to no one…A part of me was hoping someone would wake up and hear, so I wouldn’t have to live with this lie anymore…I understood the nature of my new curse: I was going to get away with it (Hosseini 86).”  He feels he is getting away with the betrayal and the only way he deliberated to live with his guilt and remorse was to drive away Hassan. He tries to do whatever it takes to get him out of sight, away from him so he can forget about his sin. He takes matters in his own hands, hoping this was the last of his lies, he accused Hassan of stealing. “…I took a couple of the envelopes of cash from the pile of gifts and my watch, and tiptoed out…I lifted Hassan’s mattress and planted my new watch and a handful of Afghani bills under it…I knocked on Baba’s door and told what I hoped would be the last on a long line of shameful lies.(Hosseini 104).” 

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