Throughout the novel "The Kite Runner", we see the the symbolism of the pomegranate tree. Hosseini uses the symbolism of the pomegranate tree to develop the novel by showing the readers relationships can change over time. The tree shows how a person can change for better or worse, and sometimes its uncontrollable.
While Hassan and Amir are young, and at the peak of their friendship, they carve their names into the pomegranate tree, symbolizing that their friendship will last forever, no matter what. Hosseini uses the tree to impress the closeness of the boys friendship. When it says "One summer day, I used one of Ali's kitchen knives to carve our names on it: "Amir and Hassan, the sultans of Kabul." Those words made it formal: the tree was ours." (ch.4, page 27, Hosseini) it conveys that they were equal, no matter what social rank they were. The tree would always preserve their relationship together, for as long as it stood there.
- As the boys get older, they get grow apart, and after an unfortunate incident, they stopped interacting. Hosseini uses the tree to show the reader how friendships can change over time, in fact when amir says " ...I knew I'd made a mistake. I shouldn't have come up the hill. The words I'd carved on the tree trunk with Ali's kitchen knife, Amir and Hassan: The Sultans of Kabul... I couldn't stand looking at them now."(ch.8, pg.87, Hosseini) This shows how someone can change, and even though the tree is to signify their friendship, it was starting to fall apart, slowly but surly. After feeling so much guilt, Amir finally snapped and threw pomegranates at Hassan with hopes that Hassan would hit him back so that they could be equal once again. In a slight turn of events " Hassan did pick up a pomegranate. He walked toward me. He opened it and crushed it against his own forehead. "There," he croaked, red dripping down his face like blood. "Are you satisfied? Do you feel better?" He turned around and started down the hill." (ch.8, pg. 93, Hosseini) Amir wanted a physical punishment from Hassan, so he couldn't feel anymore guilt, but instead Hassan once again takes the bullet, and punishes himself. What was once a place of brotherly love, is now replaced with Amir's guilt and anger.
Years later, After Hassanis dead and Amir is wracked with guilt, the tree, just like Amir's memories, still exists but no longer bears fruit. The tree not only symbolizes a unifying force between Amir and Hassan but also serves as a source of division. When Amir comes back to Kabul and sees what has become of his home, he visits the tree that once represented brotherly love. He remembers that "Hassan had said in his letter that the pomegranate tree hadn't borne fruit in years. looking at the wilted, leafless tree, I doubted it ever would again." (pg.276, Hosseini) This conveys that the once beautiful brotherly love they both had, has wilted along with their friendship and tree. They had shared so many memories under the tree, both good and bad, but now no longer will create nor share them with anyone else.