The authors use imagery to emphasize the guilt experienced by the characters such as “How guilt refined the methods of self torture, threading beads of detail into an eternal loop, a rosary to be fingered for a lifetime” connoting the guilt Briony feels leads to ‘self torture’ that has stayed with her a ‘lifetime’. Furthermore, McEwan uses a metaphor for religon when he mentions the ‘rosary’, which is a string of beads used in Catholicism and Islam.
This links to the theme because both religions use shame and guilt to oppress human desire, invoke fear and maintain order and may show how Briony’s loss of wondrous imagination has been suppressed due to it running wild at a young age and causing harm. By comparing the guilt she feels to the beads on an ‘eternal loop’ it implies no beginning or end to Briony’s guilt no matter how much she attempts to redeem herself, perhaps because her sister and Robbie never forgave her. Moreover, in The Kite Runner the Kites are an on-going image and symbolise firstly when Amir was a child it was a symbol of joy and something that bonded him with his father. However, it then becomes a symbol of his betrayal of Hassan when he allows him to be raped when he runs for the kite, tainting his memories of Kite flying with guilt, until, in the final stage of the novel instead of the Kite being a symbol of his childhood betrayal and disloyalty it becomes a way he can finally connect with Sorhab after all they had been through and this mirrors the Kites role at the beginning of the relationship between Amir and Baba.
Perhaps showing how Amir achieves his redemption as he found ‘a way to be good again’ by helping Sorhab, whereas Briony never seems to become redeemed due to Cecelia and Robbie both dying without forgiving her or ever getting there own happy ending as a couple.