“There is a way to be good again.” These words, spoken by Rahim Khan in a phone call, years after the events in Kabul have a profound effect on Amir, awakening within him deep emotions and memories of his childhood. Although this phrase implies slight criticism of Amir (that he is not a good person) to the protagonist, Rahim’s words offer an opportunity for Amir to relieve his guilt over his treatment of Hassan, his loyal friend and servant, and a way for Amir to put the traumas of his past to rest.
Amir’s deep regret over his treatment of Hassan is a constant and curious happening. Despite feeling guilty about the cruel pranks he frequently plays on Hassan, Amir does not stop doing this. Moreover, his inability to protect Hassan from Assef and his gang weighs heavily upon Amir’s mind and changes the relationship between Hassan and Amir forever. Amir knows that Assef assaulted Hassan only because Hassan successfully made Assef into backing down from a fight with Amir. To Assef, being embarrassed in front of his friends, especially by a Hazara, was an intolerable shame and he wanted to cause greater humiliation on Hassan in the worst way possible. Amir could not tell anyone about what happened to Hassan because not only would this deepen Hassan’s shame, but it would also reveal how much of a coward Amir’s was to everyone. Therefore, he must bear the burden of his guilt until he can find some way to make up for his mistakes.
In the most general sense, the concept of finding a way to “make things right” and forgive one’s sins is a powerful idea that supports the beliefs of many religions and cultures. It is the reason why people apologize to others and why they are willing to endure difficult and sometimes painful rituals of purification in order to be pure in God’s eyes. To me, this concept, as expressed in Rahim Khan’s quote, resonates quite deeply as my reaction to the things I have done wrong is often to seek a way to make things right. Whilst I do believe that it is important to move on and not to dwell in the past, it brings an undeniable sense of relief to be able to settle things down with others whom I have wronged. For instance, when I was in 9th grade, due to some conflict, my relationship with one of my closest friends was furthered. However, this awkward relationship has continued for around 2 years and has just recently ended. Through this personal experience, I was able to understand the importance of “making things right” and how relieving life becomes after resolving a problem between a friend.
This was the first Kite Runner mini-essay that we were assigned to write. It was about an important quote by Rahim Khan in the first chapter of the book. At first, I had difficulty writing as I didn’t know what to write about. But as I thought about how this relates to my personal life, I was able to write without any major troubles.