"Kites rise against the wind, not with it." A quote by Tony Robbins, an American businessman, author, and philanthropist. A perfect quote to describe the story of a young afghan boy who struggles to cope with his past. In the novel, "Kite Runner", the symbolism of kites develops through the story because in the beginning it was the cause of Amir's guilt, in the middle it was a symbol if Amir's freedom in America, and lastly it symbolizes his contentment with his past.
In the beginning of the novel the kite represents Amir's guilt for standing by, watching Hassan's rape. The kite is a reminder of that experience, because the kite was the reasoning for the rape of the boy. When Amir was kite fighting to impress his father, Baba, he won his contest and Hassan went to get the kite that had been previously been kite down, for a sign of victory. When Amir goes to look for Hassan and finally finds him in the alley with Assef, and he states, "I could step into that alley, stand up for Hassan--the way he'd stood up for me all those times in the past--and accept whatever could happen to me...In the end I ran." (pg. 77)The kite in this incident shows Amir's cowardly tendencies, which adds to Amir's guilt, for he knows he will always have to live with the fact he did nothing to help Hassan. Also when Hassan approached Amir after the rape. he states, "He had the blue kite in his hands; that was the first thing I saw. And I can't lie now and say my eyes didn't scan it for any rips." (pg. 78) Amir put the kite that shows his victory over his feelings of abandonment towards Hassan. He does this in attempts to forget what happened to Hassan and save himself from the regret he feels. The kite overall reminds Amir of the shame he feels for not saving Hassan in the alley.
In the middle of the book, the kite represents the freedom Amir has in America. When Amir notices Baba's grease covered hands, he thinks "For me America was a place to bury my memories..." (pg. 129) America for Amir was a place to forget the kite fighting, and his wrongdoings towards Hassan, and all the pain and suffering he endured in Kabul. Also when speaking of how America drowns out his past, he says, “America was different. America was a river, roarng along, unmindful of the past. I could wade into this river, let my sins drown to the bottom, let the waters carry me someplace far. Someplace with no ghosts, no memories, and no sins.” This show that now that he lives in America, he wants to remove his memories of Kabul, Hassan, kite fighting and anything to do with what caused Hassan's rape. The symbolism of the kite in the middle show that Amir metaphorically is the kite, because he becomes successful and happy in America.
Lastly, at the end of the novel, the kite symbolizes Amir's content and atonement if his past. After Amir visits Kabul he comes back to America with Hassan's son, Sohrab, who he has adopted, he takes Sohrab to a afghan gathering at a park. When Amir notices people kite fighting he attempts to get Sohrab to fly with him he speaks of Hassan and says, "Did I ever tell you your father was the best kite runner in Wazir Akbar Khan? Maybe all of Kabul?" (pg. 367) Amir says this to help Sohrab come out of his shell and be more social and active, he also says this because this is what Hassan should have been remembered like. He should have been remembered as a strong, good man, not a filthy Hazara. Also when helping Sohrab with his kite and flying it fir him, he states, "For you, a thousand times over." (pg. 371) He says this as if he were taking to Hassan and nothing had changed since that faithful day in Kabul. He says it almost in a way of apologizing to Hassan and Sohrab for all the awful things that had happened to them. But in the end, the kite demonstrates Amir's tranquility with his past, and his coming future.
Overall in the novel, the symbolism of the kite showed the development of Amir's feelings as time went on. In the story, Amir is the kite in a way. He goes against the wind and deals with the consequences that come with them. He goes wherever life takes him, whether it be good or bad.