Bringing attention back to the main point, I believe that sacrifices and sacrificial lambs are a motif of The Kite Runner because certain characters make sacrifices that have major effects on the plot later in the novel. Firstoff, in the fifth chapter, Hassan and Amir have their first run in with Assef, the main antagonist. Assef, who is armed with brass knuckles, is obviously about to hit one or both of them. Amir narrates, I looked in his crazy eyes and saw that he meant it. He really meant to hurt me. Assef raised his fist and came for me. (41) Here is where the ever loyal servant Hassan comes to his rescue and draws his slingshot with a ... rock the size of a walnut. Hassan held the slingshot pointed directly at Assefr's face Please leave us alone Agha. he said. (42)
The reason this is a sacrifice and not just an act of heroism is because Hassan is putting himself in danger to protect Amir. He is provoking Assef instead of letting him lay into Amir, which would be easier and safer for Hassan. Another instance where a sacrifice was made for Amir by Hassan was when he fessed up to stealing Amirr's things even though Amir had set him up in an attempt to get rid of him. Baba came right out and asked, Did you steal that money? Did you steal Amirr's watch Hassan? Hassanr's reply was a single word, delivered in a thin, raspy voice: Yes. (105) This may not seem like a sacrifice in favor of Amir, but in reality, it saved Amirr's reputation with his family. If his father learned of his cowardice in the alley, he would have disowned him. Hassanr's final sacrifice was a literal one. After learning that he and his family were to be removed from their house by the Talibs, he refused to take his family out of the home. Rahim Khan says that Hassan protested, so they took him to the street, ordered him to kneel, and shot him in the back of the head. (219) All of this was done in an effort to preserve his family and keep their home, therefore a sacrifice for the family.
As you can tell, many of the notable sacrifices in the book were made by characters other than Amir; however, on the topic of redemption, I believe that Amir did redeem himself in spite of his lack of obvious sacrifices. I believe that sacrifice is tied in very closely with redemption and one may ask themselves, How can he redeem himself without sacrifices? but when you think more deeply about it, Amir did make sacrifices. Amir took the chance to go back to afghanistan from a late Rahim Khan and took this opportunity to take in Hassanr's child, indirectly the cause of his guilt. He even sacrificed his health in order to stand up for Sohrab in the fight scene on 212.
Some may argue that sacrifice isnt a major theme in the novel because of the lack of sacrifices made by the main character; however, I would argue that that is one of the most important reasons that sacrifice is a motif in the novel. The lack of sacrifice on Amirr's part shows how privileged he is as compared to Hassan who had to make sacrifices for Amir. Another argument one may pose is that Amirr's lack of sacrifice makes him a bad person in general but I would argue that Amir is certainly good in spite of his lack of sacrifices. Amir wasnt necessarily a good friend to Hassan but at the end of the book he became exactly like him and Baba, the two main good characters.
I feel as though the evidence provided from The Kite Runner is sufficient enough so that we can come to the conclusion that sacrifice is a motif of the novel. A main reason we can believe this is because Hassan made countless sacrifices for his superior, but most importantly, his friend while he received none of the same back. Also, there are many instances in the novel where lambs specifically are compared to characters or decisions made by characters. I find that this is most relevant because understanding that sacrifice is a major part of the novel can make you look at things with a whole new perspective. This perspective helps point out how privileged Amir was to have such a great friend and how he ended up redeeming himself from his past in the end.
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