Theme is a major part of a story and tells the reader the main message behind it. In the book The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini shows a theme of atonement of sins by presenting Amir with always feeling like he has to redeem himself to others.
In the beginning of the novel Amir deals with feeling as if he always has to prove himself to Baba. During labor Amir's mother died leaving Baba to care for Amir by himself. Since Amir is still alive and his mother isn't he feels as if it is his fault that she died. "Because the truth of it was, I always felt like Baba hated me a little. And why not? After all I had killed his wife, his beautiful princess, hadn't I? The least I could have done was to have had the decency to have turned out a little more like him. But i hadn't turned out like him."(19) Amir feels responsible for his mother's death because he is alive and his mother isn't. Since Amir is living,he is left with the feeling like Baba hates him because he took away the love of his life. So, to try to make it up to Baba, Amir tries to consistently make Baba proud. When Amir finds out about the kite contest he sees that as the perfect way to make him proud. "I was going to win, and I was going to run that last kite. Then I'd bring it home and show it to Baba. Show him once and for all that his son was worthy."(56) Amir realizes that maybe, just maybe this is a way to make Baba proud and win his love. Throughout the whole book this is a reoccurring thing that Amir feels as if he has to prove himself to Baba.
As you progress into the middle of the novel Amir realizes that he needsto make some changes in his life. The first thing that makes him think that is Baba dies and since he can't rely on him he has to show everyone that he can do things on his own. "Now he was gone. Baba couldn't show me the way anymore; I'd have to find it on my own."(174) It dawns on Amir that his safety blanket is gone and to get things that he wants he has to prove it. With everything going on Amir gets a call from his father's business partner telling him that Hassan has died and he has a son that needs help. "He knew about Assef , the kite, the money, the watch with the lightning bolt hands. He had always known. Come. There is a way to be good again, Rahim Kahn had said on the phone just before hanging up."(192) Amir sees this as an opportunity to partially make things up for the way he treated Hassan as a kid. This all being said Amir knows that he needs to show himself to the world and prove that he can be a better person.
At the end of the book Amir has grown and is finally becoming a man. When Amir tries to think about how he stood up to Assef he doesn't remeber much but he knows that he tried. "What was so funny was that, for the first time since the winter of 1975, I felt at peace. I laughed because I saw that, in some hidden nook in a corner in my mind, I'd even been looking forward to this...My body was broken-just how badly I wouldn't find out until later-but I felt healed."(289) Since he finally stood up to his bully Amir feels redeemed. This bully that he had bullied not only him, but Hassan also. Standing up to this bully is like him standing up for Hassan like he should have done all those years ago. Now that he was back in Kabul and knows that Sorahb was his nephew he tries to get custody of him to take him to America to live with him and his wife. "Sohrab, I can't give you your old life back, I wish to God I could. But I can take you with me. That was what i was coming in the bathroom to tell you. You have a visa to go to America, to live with me and my wife. Its true. I promise."(355) Since Amir is able to be there for Sorahb I believe that he feels redeemed because all throughout their childhood Hassan was loyal and had his back no matter what even if Amir wasn't. Now since Amir has grown into a man he feels redeemed since he was finally able to stand up for himself and help Hassan even if Hassan wasn't there anymore.
Throughout the whole novel there are signs of atonement of sins and how Amir has the need to feel like he needs to redeem himself. In the beginning , middle, and end you can find parts where that is all Amir wants and eventually he finally gets it. Sometimes in life you have to learn to grow up and work for something if you really want it. Because without the realization of wanting redemption you will never achieve it.