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Jake Goorno: Kite Runner

Jake Goorno
Fitz- Freshman English
Final Exam
5/13


Your past is always your past. Even if you forget it, it remembers you.
-Sarah Dessen

The Past

Eventually, we must abandon the past. In the book, The Kite Runner, the main character, Amir, is often haunted by his decisions from the past. The past is a scary thing for Amir, but it’s behind him now, and although time has not stopped, Amir finds it difficult to move on. To him, the past is a plague; it is the only thing keeping him from happiness. When the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, Amir was forced to flee the country. Amir, now living in the U.S, has been separated from his early life. He has lost touch with many of his Afghan connections, and slowly, against his will, he is becoming Americanized. Amir receives a call from an old friend, Rahim Kahn, and as Amir stands in the kitchen of his San Francisco home, receiver in ear, he listens to the words of his dying friend. He knows that it is not just Rahim Kahn speaking; it is Amir’s past of unatoned sins.

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.
[Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner]

For years, Amir avoided confrontations with his history, but never was he able to elude his conscience. When Amir returned to say goodbye to his fading friend, he learns the truth of his past. Hassan, his childhood friend, and servant whom he had betrayed, was not only dead, but was of the same blood. To the Afghan people, blood is a powerful thing. In his last letter to Rahim Kahn, Hassan noted that there was a way for Amir to right his actions. He must travel back to their home town of Kabul, and rescue Hassan’s son. For years, Baba criticized Amir for his weakness, but no longer. That was long ago: it was time for redemption. In the end, Amir saves his nephew from the Taliban’s control. He stood up for himself, and he stood up against his past. Amir was no longer a coward; he was no longer weak: he was a man. Amir showed tremendous courage by righting himself. For so long, he was beset by the constant nagging of his youth, but that was all over now. He realized what he had to do, and he went out and made it happen. The past can't hurt you anymore, not unless you let it.   

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