Comparative Essay Between the Kite Runner and Obasan

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The novels, Obasan by Joy Kogawa and The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini both express the development of character through theme. In The Kite Runner, Amir is haunted by his past. He tries to forget events that had left his best friend, Hassan to lead a terrible fate. In Obasan, as a child, Naomi lived with discrimination even in her homeland, Canada; she must escape and live in the shadows. Both characters return to their past; Amir must make up for his sins and learn a family secret while Naomi’s brought to rediscover the racism kept away from her in her youth. The protagonists, Amir and Naomi develop as individuals when they discover their past, learn from their past and deal with the events that had forever changed their lives.

In their adulthood, Naomi and Amir travel back to their pasts. In Kogawa’s, the death of Naomi’s uncle brings her to discover her past of injustice. She further reveals her past when she reads her Aunt Emily’s diary. “I feel like a burglar as I read, breaking into a private house only to discover it’s my childhood house filled with corners and rooms I’ve never seen.” (Kogawa, 79) Within the diary, Naomi learns more to her past that she had ever realized. She was a passive, quiet and timid character. Her personality stays consistent until she experiences a thirst of discovering her past which brings upon her curiosity. In contrast to Amir, Naomi wants to unveil her past, longing to know what happened in her childhood, even if it doesn’t have a happy ending. The characters experience a point of change when Pearl Harbor is attacked by the Japanese in World War II. Naomi’s actions did not result to her change of life, but it was other peoples decisions that changed her life as well as other Japanese Canadians.

Hosseini’s protagonist lived a wealthy life in his youth and never stood up for himself. Amir’s father said, “a boy who won’t stand up for himself becomes a man who can’t stand up to anything.” (Hosseini, 233) Hassan and the...
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