“I rather regret the things I have done, then the things I have not done.” -Lucille Bell
Guilt is a horror that not only texts a human spirit, but also time itself. Guilt floods Amir’s world, both as a child and as an adult. Loss of innocence, childhood toys, and dreams govern Amir’s feeling of guilt. Through the eyes of a growing twelve-year-old insomniac obsessed with his father’s approval, Hosseini explores Amir’s flourishing guilt through the literary devices of foreshadowing, symbolism, and metaphors in The Kite Runner.
Foreshadowing captures Amir’s guilt, for he was the narrator for-telling his mistakes. Mistakes that strip a young boy of his smile. Amir foreshadows to the moment when Hassan had stopped smiling: “The swelling subsided and the wound healed with time. Soon it was just a pink jagged line running up from his lip. By the following winter, it was only a faint scar. Which was ironic. Because that was the winter that Hassan stopped smiling.” (Hosseini 47) This is significant evidence of Amir’s guilt. Amir notices Hassan’s smile, his healing progression, and he mentally documents Hassan’s loss. Amir felt guilty because he knew he was part of the cause. He helped take Hassan’s smile away. The fact that Amir felt it was important to foreshadow this event showed that he cared, and feels guilty. This evidence of factual guilt also took place at the beginning on the novel when Amir confesses:
I became who I am today at the age of twelve, on a frigid overcast day in the winter of 1975. I remember the precise moment, crouching behind a crumbling mud wall, peeking into the alley near the frozen creek. That was a long time ago, but it’s wrong what they say about the past, I’ve learned, about how you can bury it. Because the past claws it way out looking back now, I realize I have been peeking into that deserted alley for the last twenty-six years. (Hosseini 1)
Amir’s guilt was foreshadowed twenty-six...