East of Eden vs the Kite Runner

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The desire for love and the need for acceptance can create more than a feeling of rejection. In East of Eden and The Kite Runner, many characters find the task of love daunting and insufficient to their expectations. Love presents itself in every aspect of both novels and therefore is a major theme. Whether it was love from family or lovers, both novels explore the idea of unrequited love and its consequences on the characters lifelong journeys. The theme of love is a major underlying cause of many problems within East of Eden for it creates a feeling of rejection by family and lovers. The idea that love is blind becomes the center of revolution for the feelings between Adam Trask and his wife, Cathy. Steinbeck “explores the conflict…between self-imposed blindness and the human need to attain full knowledge” (Owens 4). Adam suffered from the first of the two conflicting traits through the blindness of his love for Cathy. Adam “loved [her] better than anything in the world” whilst “Cathy was a monster” (Steinbeck 323,182). Adam’s love blinded him from seeing the true and fully real Cathy as opposed to the one in the dreams he created. This creates problems when Adam is unable to let go of the woman he thought he loved, and refused to fully embrace life. As consequence to Adam’s actions, his twin son’s, Aron and Caleb, grew up virtually parentless relying on their servant for care and nurturing.

As John Steinbeck plays on love as a creator of problems in East of Eden, Khaled Hosseini also uses love as a complication in his society in The Kite Runner. Amir grew up motherless and without understanding from his father, so when it came time for him to find a woman of his own, he automatically gravitated towards one who understood his passion for writing, which went against his father’s hopes of what Amir would become. Even in America, the “Afghans manage to keep alive their ancient standards of honor and pride” through the rituals in their society, including...
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