The Effects of Racism and Social Class on the Individual and Society in Khaled Hosseini’s the Kite Runner.

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Racism plays important roles in Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner. Author uses the racism to describe the characters and the culture represented in the stories. In The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini uses prejudice as a tool to tell this story of betrayal and redemption. This novel is set in Afghanistan and the ethnicity of the characters plays an essential role in the relationships and situations that arise. While the author uses individual characters to tell the story, he portrays the general attitudes and history associated with the character’s Hazara and Pashtun ethnic origins and the conflicts that arise. Ali and Hassan represent the marginalized group in this story. They are considered by the ruling class to be of lesser value due to their ethnic origin, religious beliefs, appearance and social standing. They are discriminate against because of these differences. The author gives us a glance of this when Amir reads about the harassment of, and attempted uprising of the Hazara, and how Amir’s people, the Pashtuns had: “…quelled them with unspeakable violence”. The disregard that people have for the Hazara is reinforced when Amir asks his teacher about what he has read and he responds by saying, “That’s one thing Shi’a people do well, passing themselves as martyrs”. Assef shows how internalized this hostility is when he says to Amir and Hassan, “Afghanistan is the land of the Pashtuns. It always has been, always will be. We are the true Afghans, the pure Afghans, not this Flat-Nose here”. Assef’s later rape of Hassan shows the depth of this hatred. Both Hassan and his father Ali accept their position without question, and while they may feel pain when they are personally insulted, neither questions his lot in life. It was acceptable for Baba to have sexual relations with Ali’s Hazara wife Sanaubar, and Ali doesn’t question or condemn Baba’s actions, is an indication of this internalization of lesser status. Instead Ali becomes the loving father of his master’s...
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