Sacrificing and Saving the Lamb: Betrayal, Guilt, and Redemption in The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Keywords:Trauma; Guilt; Redemption; Atonement; Karma, Otherization.
Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner (2003) tells the first-person narrative of a traumatized protagonist who tries to atone for his past sins and transgressions through committing acts of atonement and compassion. As Amir tells his story to the reader, he also uses storytelling as an act of healing one’s psyche and as a means of liberating himself from the “karma” of guilt. By the end of the novel, Amir comes to terms with his troubled past, can live a relatively more peaceful life, and starts a journey of rediscovering his fellow Afghani community in the United States whom he begins to cherish as his identity reference group. This article uses a methodological approach based on thematic analysis (TA) to analyze the narrative texture of the story. TA is more focused on what is said rather than how it is said that is often a concern for discourse analysis or conversation analysis. Using TA, this article investigates how the protagonist comes to have a compelling sense of remorse that forces him to seek redemption. Told against the background of the devastated country of Afghanistan ravaged by wars and violence, The Kite Runner is a powerful narrative of personal guilt, redemption, and reconciliation with one’s community in a foreign land