In the novel The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, the theme of guilt and redemption is portrayed by both Amir and his father.
On the one hand, Amir feels guilty because, despite his best efforts, he is unable to win his father’s affection and approval. Throughout his childhood, Amir believes that his father dislikes him because he sees him as the one responsible for Sofia Akrami’s death: “And maybe, just maybe, I would finally be pardoned for killing my mother.” (Chapter 6, 78%).
Furthermore, Amir feels guilty when he sees a father figure in Rahim Khan, who offers him the kindness and support that Baba fails to deliver. Amir finally realizes that Baba is hard on him because he struggles with his own guilt only when he finds out that Hassan is Baba’s illegitimate son.
On the other hand, Baba’s guilt for not being able to openly love both of his sons the same way makes him an emotionally distant man. Baba cannot openly acknowledge Hassan as his son, so he fights this guilt by turning against Amir and having high expectations from him. To Amir, who does not know that he has a stepbrother, Baba’s behavior is hurtful. In the end, Rahim Khan is the one who talks to Amir about Baba’s inner conflict: