November 19, 2010
Two main themes in the novel The Kite Runner are that of social class and gender roles. Everywhere that Amir, the main protagonist, turns, society is divided. From his earliest childhood memories to living in America, there always seems to be some sort of invisible line drawn between his people. There is separation between the Pashtuns and the Hazaras, between Americans and Afghans, between men and women, and between the Talibs and the people of Afghanistan.
“’Afghanistan is the land of Pashtuns. It always has been, always will be. We are the true Afghans, the pure Afghans, not this Flat-Nose here. His people pollute our homeland, our wantan. They dirty our blood…. Afghanistan for Pashtuns, I say. That’s my vision.’” This quote reflects the hatred some people had for the Hazaras, or “Flat-Noses,” in Afghanistan. The Hazaras were the lower class, while the Pashtuns were the wealthy class. If there was a Hazara in Kabul, the bet was that he was “a beggar or a servant or both.” This severe social divide was not just economical. Only the Pashtuns were able to attend public school, and barely any, if any, Hazaras were literate. However, Amir grew up with Hassan, his Hazara servant, and didn’t know the hatred the rest of the Pashtuns harbored for the Hazaras. “Hassan and I fed from the same breasts. We took our first steps on the same lawn in the same yard. And, under the same roof, we spoke our first words.” After Amir Joel Huff-2
returned from school, he and Hassan would go up to “a bowl shaped hill just north of [his father’s] property” that had a cemetery atop it, with a luscious pomegranate tree just outside the fence. They climbed the tree’s large branches, and carved into it the words “Amir and Hassan, the sultans of Kabul.” After they ate the fruit and wiped their hands on the grass, Amir would read to Hassan. Despite the social divide, Amir and Hassan were like brothers....