The Battle of Conformity

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The Battle of Conformity

In literature, there are four main types of conflicts: man vs. man, man vs. nature, man vs. society and, the toughest one of them all, man vs. himself. In the novels The Kite Runner by Kahled Hosseini and The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, both of the main characters have large conflicts with themselves. They battle with their conscience to figure out what’s right and what’s wrong. “So [they] beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past” (Fitzgerald 189). I see this battle every day in the high school world. There is always someone who breaks under peer pressure even though that person knows it is wrong. It’s the battle of conformity.

The narrator of The Kite Runner, Amir, has always felt like his dad, Baba, didn’t approve of him. This is why Amir tries so hard to impress him by winning the kite fighting competition. When Amir takes down the final kite left in the sky, he sends Hassan, who is his kite runner, to go retrieve it. Unfortunately, Hassan gets cornered by a boy named Assef, a brutal neighborhood terrorist, and is raped by him. Amir happens to witness the terrible crime, but doesn’t try to intervene. Even though Amir knows he should step in and defend Hassan, he pretends nothing is happening. He simply runs away, calling himself a “coward” and saying that “maybe Hassan was the price [he] had to pay” to win his father’s love and approval (Hosseini 77). When Amir finds Hassan again, he is obviously traumatized but he still clings to the treasured kite. Amir gives the kite to Baba to put on the mantle while he praises them for their good work. Amir basks in the glow of his father’s approval and love, but in the back of his mind, he can’t stop thinking about what happened to Hassan to get that kite. He tries to ignore it but his conscience continues to fight him.

Not only does Amir conform by not telling anyone about the horrific event he witnessed, but he also decides to stop reading his...
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