The Kite Runner: Unrequited Love

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The Kite Runner Critical Essay
Adam Jack
Choose a Novel or short story which deals with true love, unrequited love or love betrayed. Discuss the writers’ exploration of the theme and show to what extent it conveys a powerful message about the nature of love.

‘The Kite Runner’ by Khaled Hosseini is a novel mainly set in Afghanistan during the 1970’s then later in the present day. Amir, a twelve year old Pashtun boy, witnesses the brutal rape of his loyal friend and servant, Hassan, a low-caste Hazara, but does nothing to stop it. Amir is haunted by this memory of his betrayal for years until he is given the chance to atone for his ‘sins’ and redeem himself. The theme of ‘love betrayed’ is clearly a key theme within the book, and this essay will show its importance in conveying a powerful message about the nature of love.

Amir, who is also the narrator of the novel, is relatively very well off in Afghanistan and is the son of a very powerful and well respected man – named ‘Baba.’ When describing his father, Amir says: “My father was a force of nature...” Nature is a powerful force in the natural world capable of creating both destruction and beauty, just as Baba is. This is also evidence of Amir looking up to Baba, as likening him to a force of nature appreciates his unpredictable nature and ability to go from one extreme to another in a matter of seconds.

Baba’s qualities of masculinity and strength are what Amir aspires to, as he makes up for his lack of physical presence and courage with sensitivity and his talent for writing. Baba often shows disinterest towards Amir because of his inability to stand up for himself; “a boy who can’t stand up for himself becomes a man who can’t stand up to anything” – and as a result, often does not give Amir the affection that he craves from him. Also, because of Baba’s power and status, he is accustomed to be able to change anything he wants to whatever suits him. It is evident that he wrongly applies...
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