Kite Runner

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Dorothy Campbell
M.A.L.S. Essay

The Kite Runner
by Khaled Hosseini

This essay will discuss the central themes of the book The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini. Because the story is told at a time before the War on Terror, it brings the reader back to an Afghanistan the average American never knew existed and presents the current socio-economic reality of a United States one may choose to ignore. The description of Afghanistan before its many "occupations" is a tragedy in itself. The Author portrays a country on the cusp of greatness, which of course makes the inevitable future occupations all the more tragic. When Amir returns to Afghanistan after nearly twenty years, his shock is palpable. He has come back to an entirely different country, and only fragments remain from his past. It is Amir's journey to redemption that is the premise of this tale. We see that he is essentially a good boy and man, but that he made serious mistakes in his quest for his father's love and attention. As a man, then, he is called to compensate the sins of his past and "do good again." His small successes provide the reader with a sense of familiarity as one faces the daily battle of what is right and what is easy. The story begins in Afghanistan in the 1970s and spans over 20 years. It is told from the perspective of Amir, a rich Afghani boy who lives with his father and their Hazara (low caste Shi'a) servants. Amir, an only child, spends much of his childhood with Hassan, the son of his father's loyal servant Ali and also the best "kite runner" in Kabul. The boys grow up as brothers despite the social differences, but this relationship is put to the test after an important kite flying tournament. Amir is overwhelmed with guilt when he allows Hassan to be beaten and raped on the day of the tournament. He lies to have Hassan accused of theft so he will leave their home and Amir can try to forget his guilt. Amir and his father flee to America to escape the Russian...
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