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The Kite Runner Relationship and Symbolism

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The Kite Runner Relationship and Symbolism

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How does Hosseini use symbolism in ‘The Kite Runner’ to present key relationships? You should consider different reader responses and the extent to which your critical approach assists your interpretation.

In Khaled Hosseini’s novel, ‘The Kite Runner’, it is often thought that symbols and metaphors are used as visual representations to reinforce and put emphasis on important stages in the novel. In can be seen that symbols are used in the novel to highlight particular moments in key relationships. For example Kites, the Pomegranate tree, Scars and the Slingshot are each used to put emphasis on specific moments in the relationships between Amir and Hassan and Amir and Baba. Through using symbolism and metaphor to present these key relationships, Hosseini is able to show the reader these relationships through ‘a matter of the extraordinary rather than ordinary language’ giving the novel depth and diversity.

Firstly, in the relationship between Amir and Hassan, Kites are a central and, arguably, the most important symbol. Kites are thought to represent the freedom and bonding of the two boys, both at the beginning and the end of the novel. When the boys were children, kite flying is seen to be fun and pleasurable; something that the two boys enjoyed very much, whereas when the Taliban took over Afghanistan, kite flying was banned. This could represent the more unpleasant times when the relationship between Amir and Hassan was destroyed and when there was little freedom in Kabul. Kites also symbolise the brotherhood and friendship between the two of them, particularly when they are building their kites together- ‘We saved our weekly allowance in the fall’. It makes it easy for the reader to see and understand the innocence and love between the two of them. The use of kite flying and kite running is also used to show the class distinction between Amir and Hassan. Amir is Pashtun whereas Hassan is ethnic Hazara. In kite flying, one role is thought to be more...

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