Kite Runner

                                                    

        Religion
tends to be followed by many citizens but may be interpreted differently
amongst many people in societies. The
Kite Runner, written by Khaled
Hosseini, illustrates how individuals may hurt others with their own personal
choices and beliefs. The book portrayed how the characters were divided into
two major sects in Afghanistan, the Hazaras and Pashtuns. The culture of Afghanistan
classified the nation into two groups which described the society’s way of
living. The distinguishing factor of the two major castes is that Pashtun’s
respect and pride are valued. Their status in Afghanistan is highly recognized.
However, Hazaras are regarded as people from a lower-class society who are
treated with hate and are unaccepted for their standard way of living. Although
the two sects follow the same religion and beliefs, one’s action may result in
chaos due to their individual opinions and class of society. The Kite Runner by
Khaled Hosseini illustrates injustice often stems from personal choice, not necessarily
from institutions.

        The Kite
Runner illustrates how Baba’s relationship with Amir is different when compared
to Hassan. Amir and Hassan are both considered to be a part of diverse groups,
the Hazaras and Pashtuns. The book depicted how Baba seen more potential in Hassan
as a successful individual than his own son, Amir. Amir’s abilities to prove
his father wrong had failed multiple times in the story. Baba’s thoughts reflect
and alters his beliefs being expressed in the story when comparing Amir and
Hassan.

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“Self-Defence has nothing to do with the
meanness. You know what always happens when the neighborhood boys tease him?
Hassan steps in and fends them off. I’ve seen it with my own boys. And when
they come home, I say to him, ‘How did Hassan get that scrape on his face?” And
he says, “He fell down.’ I’m telling you, Rahim, there is something missing in
that boy [Amir]. (Chapter 3, page 18)

I mean that. He needs someone
who…understands him, because God knows I don’t. But something about Amir
troubles me in a way that I can’t express. It’s like…”I could see him
searching, reaching for the right words. He lowered his voice, but I heard him
anyway.” (Chapter 3, page 18)

        This
quote clearly expresses how the relationship of Baba is differentiated between
Hassan and Amir. Baba sees more potential in Hassan than his own son Amir
because of the desire to approach certain tasks in a resolved manner. In the
following context, Amir is eavesdropping Baba who is having a conversation with
Rahim Khan. “Amir troubles me in a way that I can’t express” shows how Baba
feels very concerned with Amir and worried about whether he will succeed as an individual
afterwards. This internally effects Amir because he believes he has no value
and brings his self-confidence down due to his father, Baba, being displeased
with Amir’s lack of quality being a successful individual like Hassan. However,
Baba praises Hassan as quoted, “Hassan steps in and fends them off.” This quote
expresses how Hassan has the abilities which Amir lacks in himself.  Throughout the text, Amir was given many
chances by Baba to redeem himself to prove his father wrong that Amir will succeed
eventually in different scenarios. However, Amir and failed to do so countless
times to prove Baba wrong. Injustice is being expressed towards Amir because it
comes from Baba’s personal choices and beliefs, not from institutions.

      The book depicted how Amir’s decisions had caused
a lot of chaos and violence which negatively harmed Hassan. Assef severely
rapes Hassan for refusing to give up the kite when Amir successfully wins the
overall Kite tournament, to which Amir was disturbed and shocked. Assef, a
Pashtun, believes in chaos and violence. In the following context, he severely
rapes Hassan and mocks Amir for interacting with another Hazara. Although Amir
and Assef are Pashtuns, Assef mocks Amir because Assef realizes the importance of
being a Pashtun meant that Hazaras must be treated with hate. Amir decides not
to do anything because his personal choices prevented him from intervening.
Amir was ambivalent when it came to making an appropriate decision which was
running away from the situation or interfering in the fight. This demonstrated that
Amir’s decision to intervene or not came from personal choices, not from institutions.
Due to this, Hassan was forced to fight alone against Assef and the boys.

“But before you sacrifice yourself for
him, think about this: Would he do the same for you? Have you ever wondered why
he never includes you in games when he has guests? Why he only plays with you when
no one else is around? I’ll tell you why, Hazara. Because to him, you’re nothing
but an ugly pet. Something he can play with when he’s bored, something he can
kick when he’s angry.” (Chapter 7, 106)

“I’ve changed my mind,” Assef said.
“I’m letting you keep the kite, Hazara. I’ll let you keep it so it will always remind
you of what I’m about to do.” Then he charged. Hassan hurled the rock. It struck
Assef in the forehead. Assef yelped as he flung himself at Hassan, knocking him
to the ground. Wali and Kamal followed. I bit on my fist. Shut my eyes.” (Chapter
7, 107)

        Amir’s personal choices led him to do
what’s right, according to him (which was entirely wrong because he let Hassan
get raped severely). By not intervening, Amir felt guilt for not standing up
for Hassan despite Hassan had standing up for Amir several times based off the philosophy
that they are best friends. This incident illustrates how Amir’s choices had affected
Hassan severely. In the following quote, “before
you sacrifice yourself for him,” shows how Hassan was practically an “ugly pet” who
had no value in society. Amir didn’t stand up for Hassan because he knew Hassan
and Amir stood no chance against Assef and his boys. As Assef was getting ready
to harm Hassan, Amir decided not to intervene which resulted in Hassan getting
raped sternly. Amir’s guilt and betrayal were very significant in the book as
it portrayed how injustice affected Hassan due to his status in the country
(Hazara). Furthermore, the personal choice of an individual comes from his/her deliberation.

       The choice of an individual can severely affect
a person’s standard way of living.  Amir’s
betrayal and guilt is expressed as he decides to take Hassan’s birthday money to
put under Hassan’s mattress. Amir’s intention was to avoid Hassan by allowing
Hassan to be accused for stealing money and Amir’s watch. This will provoke Hassan
and Ali to leave the house for falsely being accused of stealing. Baba always tells
Amir that “there is no other act more wretched than stealing.” Amir believes if
Ali and Hassan are caught stealing, they’d have to face the consequences. Amir’s
personal decision illustrates the injustice that affects the other individuals
who are superior to Pashtuns.

“ THEY’D
BOTH BEEN CRYING{Ali and Hassan}; I could tell from their red, puffed up eyes. They
stood before Baba, hand in hand, and I wondered how and when I’d become capable
of causing this kind of pain.” (Chapter
9, page 111)

“Baba came right out and asked. “Did
you steal that money? Did you steal Amir’s watch, Hassan?” Hassan’s reply
was a single word, delivered in a thin, raspy voice: “Yes.” (Chapter 9,
page 111)

“I flinched, like I’d been slapped.
My heart sank and I almost blurted out the truth. Then I understood: This was Hassan’s
final sacrifice for me. If he’d said no, Baba would have believed him because we
all knew Hassan never lied.” (Chapter 9, page 111)

       The
decision Amir had made not only affected him, but the lives of two Hazaras (Ali
and Hassan). Amir sensed how “capable” he is “causing this kind of pain.” It
depicts how his own decisions are ones that he regrets and possibly will regret
for the rest of his life. When Hassan falsely acknowledges that he had stolen
the money and Amir’s watch, Amir felt as if he had been “slapped” and his
“heart sank.” This depicted the injustice he created with one decision
affecting others around him. The decision Hassan made was also significant in
the book because it was a “final sacrifice” for Amir. In the text, Amir recognizes
his guilt 20 years later when he has to rescue Hassan’s orphaned son. Both Amir
and Hassan had given justice and injustice based off their personal decisions
which also refers to how injustice and justice is based off personal choices,
not from institutions.

         Furthermore, the Kite Runner illustrates the
significant ways which religion can divide a nation into two major sects. The Kite Runner written
by Khaled Hosseini, portrayed many examples how injustice and justice can emerge
from personal choices and beliefs. The Kite Runner depicted how the
relationship of Baba is differentiated between Amir and Hassan. The rape of
Hassan by Assef and the betrayal from Amir all came from personal choices, not
from institutions.