In "The Kite Runner" by Khaled Hosseini, a powerful and devastating novel about love, friendship, and betrayal, the author illustrates a heartbreaking story that not only portrays the struggles of complex characters, but also develop intricate themes. Through authorial decisions shown through literary devices such as flashbacks, imagery, and symbolism, Hosseini conveys that hope, which acts as a key to redemption, abolishes perpetual guilt.
Through the author's use of literary devices such as flashbacks and imagery, Hosseini illustrates that guilt triggered by past betrayal is perpetual and everlasting if one is unable to find redemption. In the novel, the main protagonist Amir suffers from the agony engendered by his intense guilt. Although Amir physically leaves the past behind him and starts a brand new chapter of his life in America, he remains haunted by guilt, which is shown by his inability to let go of his past. For example, when Sohrab holds the kite spool, Amir sees Sohrab as "the chipped-nailed, calloused hands of a harelipped boy". From this flashback, the author depicts Sohrab not only as Hassan's son, but also as a "small piece of Hassan", resembling Amir's childhood friend in many aspects. Through this reminiscent flashback of Hassan, the author shows Amir's confinement in the past due to his guilt evoked from past betrayal and sins. In addition, the author employs imageries to show guilt's perpetual nature. By describing the impact of Sohrab's detachment as "sucked everything in like a black hole", the author portrays Amir's life in America as disrupted by his seemingly everlasting guilt that he is unable to let go. The "unanswered questions, the blank stares, the silence" constantly generate pain in Amir's life, showing that without self-forgiveness and redemption, Amir is repeatedly confined by the agony of endless guilt.