The Role of Social Status and Ethnic Tensions in the Kite Runner
The Kite Runner, a very emotional novel, was written by Khaled Hosseini. It is the story of two young boys growing up in Afghanistan named Amir and Hassan. Their different social classes cause tension and they part their separate ways but are later reunited. Amir was the son of a well-known Pashtun while Hassan was his servant and the son of a Hazara. Hassan looked up to Amir in the same way that Amir looked up to Baba, but they had completely different personalities. In The Kite Runner, Hosseini shows ethnic tensions with the characters Hassan, Ali, and Amir.
Hassan is one of the main characters that Hosseini uses to show ethnic tensions. He is constantly picked on for his social status as a Hazara and the way he looks. In Afghanistan mostly everyone is prejudice towards Hazaras. In the novel, Hassan and Amir are walking home one day and a couple of men call Hassan. They said, ‘“You! The Hazara!”’ (7). They do not care who he is they just know what he is and judge him based on that. Amir read in a book “…that people called Hazaras mice-eating, flat-nosed, load-carrying donkeys.” (9). These are just some of the names that Hassan was called. Hassan was often picked on by Assef. He talks to Hassan and Amir one day and says to Amir, ‘“We are the true Afghans, the pure Afghans, not this Flat-Nose here. His people pollute our homeland… They dirty our blood.”’ (40). Assef is referring to Hassan when he says “His” because he is very hateful towards Hazaras, he wishes they could be wiped off the Earth like Hitler took out most of the Jewish race.
Ali, who is Hassan’s Hazara father, is also a character that ethnic tensions are shown through. Even though Ali is a grown man he was picked on just as much as his son is if not more. The older kids picked on him and called him a monster because he walked with a limp from his crippled leg that came from having polio. They would harass him and say, ‘“Hey,...
Cited: Hosseini, Khaled. The Kite Runner. New York: Riverhead, 2004. Print.
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