In this novel, The Kite Runner written by Khaled Hosseini uses the effective language feature of symbolism to help develop the theme of the book which is guilt and redemption. The author uses symbolism, foreshadowing and narrative point of view to represent Amir’s life and how he betrayed then tried to redeem his relationship with Hassan. The first paragraph is about how the author uses Kite running as a symbol for how Amir betrays Hassan and then tries to redeem himself. Secondly, The pomegranate tree is a symbol of Hassan and Amir’s relationship and how it changes over the years. Finally, Hassan’s dream is a representation of what is to come in the future.
Throughout the novel, Khaled uses kite running to represent the themes of the book which is betrayal and redemption. At the beginning of the novel when Amir and Hassan first enter the kite fighting competition it all seems very innocent and fun to both of them, but as the book goes on Amir is constantly reminded by kites on just how he betrayed his only friend Hassan in the Ally 20 years ago and used the kite to try and prove himself to his father as well as earn his pride and love. Baba has always wanted a sporty, tough son; the opposite of Amir, so he sees kiter running as an opportunity to achieve just that as it is the biggest event in Afghanistan.”We won! We won!” was all I could say. This wasn’t happening. In a moment, I’d blink and rouse from this beautiful dream… Back to my old life. Then I saw Baba on our roof…pumping both of his fists. Hollering and clapping. And that right there was the single greatest moment of my twelve years of life, seeing Baba on that roof, proud of me at last.” This quote is after Amir made the sacrifice for a closer relationship with Baba that will only last for a brief amount of time. Instead of helping Hassan his only ‘friend’ who was getting rapped but actually found the kite. The choice Amir made that day to leave Hassan will go on to haunt him for the rest of his life. Another example of kite running as a symbolism is at the end of the book when Amir adopts his nephew and is on the road to redemption.“Do you want me to run that kite for you…For you, a thousand times over, I heard myself say. It was only a smile, nothing more… A tiny thing… But I’ll take it. With open arms. Because when spring comes, it melts the snow one flake at a time, and maybe I just witnessed the first flake melting.” This quote is at the end of the novel after Hassan dies and his son becomes an orphan, Amir adopts him and takes him outside to do kite flying. At this point, Amir feels like he has redeemed himself because he couldn’t talk to Hassan and apologie to him so instead, he did the activity Amir and his best friend once loved with his nephew. Therefore the kites are also a symbol for redemption throughout the novel, as they go through Amir’s journey of how innocent they both were at the start, how he lost Hassan and become filled with guilt, then at the end when Hassan is gone and Amir has once and for all redeemed himself.
The second symbol used in the novel is the pomegranate tree which is a representation of Amir and Hassan’s friendship and how it slowly died and fade away over the years just like Hassan.