The novel begins with Amir’s memory of peering down an alley, looking for Hassan who is kite running for him. As Amir peers into the alley, he witnesses a tragedy. The novel ends with Amir kite running for Hassan’s son, Sohrab, as he begins a new life with Amir in America. Why do you think the author chooses to frame the novel with these scenes? Refer to the following passage: “Afghans like to say: Life goes on, unmindful of beginning, end…crisis or catharsis, moving forward like a slow, dusty caravan of kochis [nomads].” How is this significant to the framing of the novel?
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The author frames the scenes in the same way we envision the circle of life. The story begins in the alley with Amir's greatest regret and ends with forgiveness.... the ability to forgive himself and give back to the boy who loved him. When Amir and Sohrab fight the blue kite, Amir is taken back to the moment before everything changed, when Hassan had not been raped and they were just two boys having fun together. He says, "I was twelve again." Now that Amir has forgiven himself, kite fighting reminds him of pleasure instead of pain. His memories no longer being painful, he shares them with Sohrab: "Did I ever tell you your father was the best kite runner in Wazir Akbar Khan? Maybe all of Kabul? ... Watch, Sohrab. I'm going to show you one of your father's favorite tricks, the old lift-and-dive." In the ultimate moment of circularity, Amir runs the kite for Sohrab just as Hassan ran his last kite for him half a century before. Finally Amir understands what it is like to be as loyal and loving as Hassan, and can truthfully repeat Hassan's words, "For you, a thousand times over." The kite is a symbol of Amir's good, fatherly wishes for Sohrab. He wants to bring him joy, opportunity, a sense of security, and the will to live again, if only this were as easy as bringing him the kite. The last time Amir went to find a kite, he ended up turning his back on Hassan for good by running away from the scene of his rape. This is why the novel's last words, "I ran," are so meaningful. Even though Amir's story has made a circle metaphorically speaking, it has not ended where it began. Amir is running in a positive way, away from Sohrab physically but toward him emotionally. He is finally running with freedom in his heart instead of fear.