November 27, 2011
4th period English Literature
One can tell that kites are the central symbol in “The Kite Runner” just by reading the title. Kites have many symbolic uses in this story. Freedom, joy, and camaraderie between Amir and Hassan are just a few examples kites symbolize in this novel.
In the very beginning of the story we can see the first symbolic use of the kites to represent relationship. “Then I glanced up and saw a pair of kites, red with long blue tails, soaring up in the sky. They danced high above the trees on the west end of the park, over the windmills.” (Page 1) The kites represent the relationship between Amir and Hassan, they float close to one another occasionally bumping each other accidently or manipulated on purpose. As the kite flyer and the kite runner they are a perfect team as each is an expert in their own right. “Every winter, districts in Kabul held a kite-fighting tournament. If you were a boy living in Kabul, the day of the tournament was undeniably the highlight of the cold season … In Kabul, fighting kites was a little like going to war.” (Pages 49-50) Kites represent the conflict the story is set in. Not only the war the people of Afghanistan are facing but also the battle the main character is encountering. Amir’s internal conflict over not protecting Hassan when he was getting raped, the battle to win Baba’s attention and to earn his praise and finally the battle over whether to get involved in rescuing Sohrab.
“Every kite fighter had an assistant─in my case, Hassan─who held the spool and I fed the line.” (Page 51) Here the class difference between Amir and Hassan, which largely dictates and limits their relationship, is symbolic to kite fighting. In kite fighting, one boy controls the kite while the other assists by feeding the string. Just as Hassan makes Amir's breakfast, folds his clothes, and cleans his room, so does he cater to Amir in kite tournaments. Even though Hassan shares in the excitement of kite...
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