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Seeking Forgiveness in the Kite Runner

In: English and Literature

Submitted By coolcoolcool
Words 1568
Pages 7
Forgiveness is a necessary part of human existence, although it is rarely easy to give, and sometimes even harder to give ourselves. Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner demonstrates the struggles of seeking forgiveness for past mistakes and granting forgiveness to others for theirs. Although many characters seek forgiveness, only Baba, Rahim Khan and Amir find the closure they are looking for.
Baba spends his entire life seeking forgiveness for his past transgressions. He uses his connections with his community as a way to clear his guilty conscience: “I think that everything he did, feeding the poor, giving money to friends in need, it was all a way of redeeming himself” (Hosseini 316). Everything that Baba does for Kabul and its citizens, in a way, is contradictory. He does good, helping those who need to be helped, but for reasons that are entirely selfish. He hates himself for the mistakes he once made and he thinks that by being successful and by supporting those in need, he can make himself feel better, maybe even forget what he has done. Baba makes people believe he is a good man, because if everyone else believes it, then he can too. Rahim Khan says that true redemption is “when guilt leads to good” (316), so Baba is successful in redeeming himself but continues to struggle on his search for true forgiveness. Baba, who believes that theft is the only sin, steals the identity of his second son, Hassan. Baba never forgives himself for this, but he seeks forgiveness from Hassan by showing him the affection he rarely shows Amir: “He patted Hassan on the back. Even put his arm around his shoulder” (15). The way Baba treats Hassan, taking care of him, including him; it is his attempt at gaining forgiveness for something he has not even admitted to doing. He cannot love Hassan openly as a father the way he longs to, so he takes subtle opportunities to illustrate...

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