The symbolism of the pomegranate tree develops through the novel The Kite Runner Marcos QUIROZ

The Kite Runner, a novel written by Khaled Hosseini, and is about relationships; specifically the relationships between Amir, Hassan, Baba, Rahim Khan, Soraya, and Sohrab and how the complex relationships in our lives overlap and connect to make us the people we are. In the book Hosseini use the pomegranate tree to represent the friendship between Amir and Hassan at three points in the plot by resembling Amir and Hassan’s relationship from its strongest point when Amir and Hassan write their name on the tree all the way to its weakest point right after Hassan is raped

The pomegranate tree is first introduce in the story when the boys visit the cemetery and carve into the tree’s bark. “There was a pomegranate tree near the entrance to the commentary.” One summer day I used one of Ali’s(Hassan’s father) kitchen knives to carve our names on it: ‘“Amir and Hassan, Sultans of Kabul”’. Here we see the two boys as equals, they are both rulers of all they purvey. More importantly they are sharing that land too which shows them in a strong partnership together. “Those words made it formal: the tree was ours The pomegranate tree Is also used as a symbol to demonstrate that Amir and Hassan treat each other as equals even thou Hassan is a hasar and Amir is of a higher class then Hassan and his father is one of the greatest and wealthiest men in Kabul. This proves that their friendship is more important then their class.

The second visit to the pomegranate tree occurs after Hassan gets raped and Amir wants Hassan to punish him, as this might make Amir feel better and return things to the way they were. But Hassan proves that his loyalty and love for Amir are unwavering, as he does not retaliate. "Amir suddenly picks up a pomegranate and asks Hassan what he would do if he threw it at him. Hassan says nothing, and Amir starts pelting him with pomegranates. He yells at Hassan to hit him back, but Hassan won’t. Finally Hassan crushes a pomegranate against his own forehead and asks if Amir is satisfied. Then Hassan leaves, covered in red juice, and Amir starts to cry". This makes Amir feel even worse, as it proves that Amir himself is weak and cowardly as compared with Hassan. It also proves that Hassan is a better person than Amir, which has always been a source of jealousy for Amir. At this point the pomegranate’s physical disintegration becomes a metaphor for the break-up of the two boys as their friendship dissolves in that one moment

Finally we see the pomegranate tree when Amir returns to Kabul and is aware that Hassan is dead and he must rescue Sohrab. He returns to the tree to find it still labelled with the words he and Hassan carved into it twenty-six years before. "Amir says he is tired of trying to forget. He climbs the hill to the old pomegranate tree, and finds his old carving in the trunk: '“Amir and Hassan. The Sultans of Kabul.”' Amir sits down and looks down over the city, remembering it as it once was." Amir cannot help revisiting the old places of his childhood, but like everything else in Afghanistan, even the pomegranate tree has wilted. The Kabul that Amir remembers is symbolically dead, and in need of drastic change to redeem itself.This tells us that although the tree and Hassan are dead, the survival of the engraving shows their relationship is still alive as Amir has found a way to redeem himself.

In the book the Kite runner the symbolism of the pomegranate tree is used to resemble Amir and Hassan's relationship, but thru out the book the symbolism changes and transforms into a reminder of Amir's sins of when he abandon Hassan and betrayed his trust and respect for Amir. This then starts Amir's quest of redemption.

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Marcos Quiroz
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