In the novel, ‘The Kite Runner’ violence is a key aspect of the story, which helps emphasize other elements such as character and plot. Hoesinni’s depiction through scenes of rape, violence, and death only broaden the significance of the novel. It could be said that rape is the driving point behind the novel. It is the basis behind the entire story line and in this case there are multiple events. When Amir witnesses his friend/brother Hassan being raped by Assef, it shatters his world entirely. The descriptions of ‘his butt muscles’ or ‘blood dripping from biting his knuckles’ create a vivid image of the overwhelming scene. Amir’s choice, being fearful and selfish, choosing to hide and only by stand causes him so much pain for the rest of his life, not physically, but mentally through his overwhelming guilt. Scenes that follow only play on more of the guilt that Amir feels. In the case of ‘the soldier wanting the woman on the bus,’ Baba stands up to the soldier.
This not only saves the woman, but also hurts Amir in many ways. In one sense it remind him of Hassan, the guilt of not doing anything to save him, but also because it separates him more from his father than he already felt. Amir always felt like he had nothing in common with Baba, this scene only emphasizes it more by showing that their reactions to situations are not the same. These events cause Amir to live with this guilt his entire life, always dictating parts of his attitude because of what happened. On his return to Afghanistan, his motivation is fueled by the guilt of his actions. When learning about what happened to Hassan’s son, being abused by the same exact guys who abused Hassan, Amir knows he must stand up and fight for what he should have years before. He seeks redemption, or closure from his sins that he has buried within himself. These situations would have never taken place if it weren’t for the significance the rape had on Amir as a character.
Violence and death are also crucial ideas of the novel that amplify characters and situations. The first encounter of the soldiers harassing Hassan, “I took her from behind by that creek over there,” (Hosseini 7) laid the foundation for the difference people thought the Hazara and Pahtuns were. The separation throughout the book only grows stronger through the book. When Assef threatens Amir and Hassan, Hassan pulls his slingshot on him, threatening to let go. He saves Amir and this scene is extremely significant for more than just the fight. When Amir saved Sohrob, Hassan’s son, he is saved again, but by Sohrob who shoots Assef in the eye with his slingshot. This is like the situation has replicated, but now Amir feels redemption for taking on Assef, for sticking up for Sohrob and Hassan in a way.
It is a bit ironic that they are both good shots, and Assef just happens to be the leader who finds Sohrob out of all the orphans, but it adds to the idea as a hole. Another scene of violence is when Amir throws pomegranates at Hassan, constantly edging him on to hit him back and retaliate. Hassan however does not and only takes it out on himself more showing his unconditional love for Amir. This scene also shares the feelings that Amir has wanted to get off his chest but could not before.
His ideas of guilt and cowardice have overcome him and he feels that he should be punished for what has happen, but only good has come of it. This only adds to his guilt more because he knows that he can’t take back what he has done, and it will stay with him forever. Scene of violence are truly significant to the story because they deepen ideas and situations. The characters are broadened throughout the events and their reactions only bring in more elements. Hosseini’s projection of violence in ‘The Kite Runner’ created the determination and journey the protagonist Amir went on to find redemption from his choices.
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