Seung Woo (Mike) Son, 11A
(Word Count: 799)
Throughout the history, there have been leaders of good and evil, moral and immoral, peaceful and violent alike. Sometimes, when the evil takes power and misuses it, the staggering impact they entail in the society can be appalling and outrageous. In Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner, Assef is exemplary of an evil leader who misuses his power and stands in the frontlines of crippling Afghanistan and its people into a pitch-black mist of chaos.
First of all, Hosseini places Assef under the perfect setting in which the author bestows Assef the opportunity to develop his power as an antagonist in the novel. In the nineteenth century, Hazaras fails to rise against the Pashtuns in Afghanistan, and subsequently, discrimination against the Hazaras becomes prevalent in the society. In this type of environment, Assef naturally gains superiority over the Hazaras as a Pashtun and forms discriminative views and ethnic hatred towards them. It is even understandable for Assef to claim Adolf Hitler, the infamous dictator who relentlessly exterminated millions of Jews and other ethnic groups, to be a great leader, “a man with vision.” (Hosseini, page 40) This is because to Assef, Hitler is his role model; Assef believes that Hazaras should be exterminated from the face of the earth, as he is determined to ask Daoud Khan, the newly president, “to rid Afghanistan of all the dirty, Kaseef Hazaras.” (Hosseini, page 40) This way, Assef naturally develops his relentlessness and sadism that he fully makes usage out of. His violent mindset against the Hazaras leads him to later join the Taliban, in which he gains the position to freely kill Hazaras without punishment, and relentlessly ties up Afghanistan in a bundle of Taliban laws. As we can see, Assef uses his superiority over the Hazaras that he gains from the society that he lives in, and manipulates it fully to dominate over the ethnic group. To control and...