Soraya’s Moral Development
Soraya Taheri is one of Khaled Hosseini’s characters in The Kite Runner, who represents what a true woman and wife should be like. She is an example of Kohlberg’s classification of three levels of moral development in humans. Even though there is not a lot of information in the novel given about Soraya, her personality can be reviewed based on her behavior throughout the story. The reader first meets with Soraya in chapter 11, when she is working at a flea market. Her obedience to her father – General Taheri – can be referred to the Pre-Conventional Morality, stage 1: Obedience and Punishment Orientation. Because this stage involves fixed beliefs of a child that his\her authority is always right, Soraya’s situation can be somewhat modified. She knows that her father has authority over her and therefore obeys him. For example, when she tells her story to Amir, she refers to the escape with her boyfriend: “‘I didn't tell you,’ Soraya said, dabbing at her eyes, ‘but my father showed up with a gun that night. I was screaming, calling my father all kinds of names, saying he couldn't keep me locked up forever, that I wished he were dead. ... When he brought me home, he took me up to my bedroom and sat me in front of the dresser mirror. He handed me a pair of scissors and calmly told me to cut off all my hair. He watched while I did it.’” (Hosseini 179) Here, it is evident what impact general Taheri has on Soraya. Because of this incident, she is trapped in his authority more, hence cannot move to the next stage of moral development. She unquestioningly follows the rules her father set for her, and knows that if she disobeys – she will be punished. However, it is very clear that she has strong spirit, since decided to tell Amir about this. Soraya also cannot speak as a member of the society, and this is why this particular stage of her development is referred to as Pre-Conventional Morality, stage 1: Obedience and Punishment Orientation....
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