Phases Of The Development In Khaled Hosseini’s Novel: “The Kite Runner”

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‘‘There is a way to be good again’’

If a child has faced hardships throughout everyday life, he appears to comprehend the life superior to a child who is spoiled by his family members. Likewise, The Kite Runner is a story about separation, persecution, and the division of two classes of society -one of Hazaras and others as Pashtuns. Hosseini’s The Kite Runner is a long energizing adventure of Amir’s life in Kabul and San Franciso. The author uses the flashback techniques. This paper seeks to explore the condition of Afghanistan, the difference between Pasthuns and Hazaras and how Amir and Hassan grow up together, how time changes and sets a rift between these two boys. The Kite Runner gives viewers a window, into Afghan history and culture. It is a novel of salvation and the return of humankind. This novel is a perfect mixture of past and present. Loyalty, Conflicts, Fear, Strength, weakness when combined together give a beautiful shade to Hosseini’s The Kite Runner.

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Keywords: – Afghanistan, Family Relationship, Discrimination, War, Kites.


“Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do,” Voltaire once said.

Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner is an extraordinary work brimming with good edification, in which the experience of Afghan, individuals are depicted. The novel presents an ethical image of the general population of Afghanistan. This novel is set in both Afghanistan and America. The story is about companionship and treachery. The Kite Runner is a coming-of-an-age novel. Hosseini refers to this story as a pure love story. Set against the background of the fall of the Afghanistan government and to the rise of Taliban and the Soviet Union. Amir and Baba leave Afghanistan and move to the United States where he indulges in the recollections of his youth closest companion Hassan. At the beginning of the novel, it tends to be seen that the title of the novel, The Kite Runner can without much of a stretch be related to the ideas of opportunity and eternity. The protagonist Amir, tells the story about kinship crushed by jealousy and fear. Flying the kite is pleasant in the light of the fact that it satisfies the fantasies of human opportunity that unburdens the transitory social obligations.

About Khaled Hosseini:

The Afghan American writer Khaled Hosseini was born on March 4, 1965, in Kabul (the capital of Afghanistan). As a diplomat, his father worked for the Afghan Ministry and his mother was a Persian teacher of Farsi and History in Kabul. When he was 5 years old, his family moved from Kabul to Iran and they returned back to Afghanistan in the year 1973. In 1976, he and his family followed his father to Paris. In 1978, the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) seized the government. Afghanistan was occupied by the Soviets, the Hosseini family decided to seek political asylum. They all moved to California, where he completed his high – schooling. He earned a degree in biology from Santa Clara University. After his college, he decided to become a Physician. In March 2001, while practicing as a Physician, he started writing his first novel “The Kite Runner” which was published by Riverhead Books in 2003. Some parts of the novel are based on his childhood. After 27 years, when he returned back to his hometown i.e Afghanistan, he felt completely disappointed after seeing the terrible conditions there. He stated that luck saved his family from the hands of the Soviets and Talibans. His works include connections, recollections, and writings, and a craving to impart his country to the world.

About the novel The Kite Runner:

The novel is about a 12 years old child named Amir, a youthful Pashtun child from Wazir Akbar Khan, area of Kabul. Amir’s mother died while giving birth while Hassan’s mother abandoned him and his dad. Amir and Hassan were breastfed by the same woman. Both are denied from the mother’s adoration and care and were in this way supported by their father’s.

Amir says, “Hassan and I fed on the same breasts. We took our first steps on the same lawn in the same yard, and under the same roof, we spoke our first words. Mine was Baba. He was Amir, my name.” (Hosseini, 2003, p.10, 11)

Amir’s father (who is referred to in the novel as Baba, Daddy) adores both the two boys, yet appears to be incredulous of Amir for not being manly. Amir has a fatherly figure as Rahim Khan, Baba’s companion, who comprehends Amir better, and supports him for his interest in writing stories. Baba blames Amir for his mother’s death during childbirth. Ali and Hassan often visit a pomegranate tree, under whose shadow they read stories and play games. “One summer day, I used one of Ali’s kitchen knives to carve our names on it. Amir and Hassan, the sultans of Kabul.” (Hosseini, 2003, p.30)

Under the shadow of the acacia tree, they sit together and play games. Amir states, “When I was very little, Baba took Hassan and me to Kunduz. I don’t remember much about the trip, except sitting in the shade of acacia tree with Baba and Hassan, taking turns sipping fresh watermelon juice from a clay pot and seeing who could spit the seeds farther.” (Hosseini, 2003, p.316)

Amir was determined to win the competition of The Kite Flying and runs for the last kite effectively so as to win the endorsement of dad, one of the most extravagant and most regarded dealers in Kabul. His steadfast friend, Hassan a Hazara, his step-brother, the child of his dad’s hireling and the best kite runner that Amir had ever observed, guaranteed to help him. During the finish of the tournament, Hassan runs for the last kite, saying to Amir, “For you, thousand times over.” But Hassan was assaulted by Assef, on the way, when he was going to retrieve the kite. Amir saw all the incident but remained quiet. Amir felt remorseful for his cowardice and this incidence changed his life of Amir. By not helping Hassan from the shameful act of Assef, Amir ruined his life. Hassan and Amir pretend that nothing has happened. Amir and Hassan soon got separated. Amir develops guilt and he chooses to make Hassan leave his home. He hides some cash and watch under Hassan’s mattress and discloses to Baba that he stoles it and Hassan agrees. Baba forgives Hassan but Ali and Hassan leaves the house. Five years later, when the Soviets invade Afghanistan, Amir and his father leave Kabul and started a new life in California. Baba works at a gas station whereas Amir takes classes to develop his writing skills. Amir falls in love with Soraya Taheri. But Amir can’t escaped from the memories of Hassan. Fifteen years after marriage with Soraya, Rahim khan calls Amir and says it is his wish to speak to Amir. He tells to Amir “There is a way to be good again.”

On reaching Afghanistan, the stunning news he gains from Rahim khan is that Baba is the dad of Hassan too. Further, Rahim Khan discloses to him that Ali and Hassan both are dead. The main way to be good again is to save Hassan’s child Sohrab from Assef. Amir with the help of a guide farid searches for Sohrab. Sohrab dressed in women’s clothes is made to dance. Sohrab saves Amir by using slingshot to shoot out Assef’s left eye. He saves Sohrab as well as takes him to the United States with him. In the end of the novel the qualities of Sohrab’s father is revealed by Amir.

“Did I ever tell you that your father was the best Kite Runner in Wazir Akbar Khan? Maybe all of Kabul?” (Hosseini, 2003, p.337)

A positive response comes when Rachael, from England, reads The Kite Runner. “This is a beautifully told story that a lot of people are sure to enjoy. I read it with my book club and there were mixed reactions. I enjoyed the way the author writes. His words were so beautifully phrased and crafted. It is very worthwhile to read. Some people will love the narrator and some will hate him. Try this book. You won’t regret it.” ( Isbn =15944800010)

About the nation Afghanistan

The current circumstances of Afghanistan aren’t steady since its governmental issues are loaded with war and brutality. Politics destroyed Afghanistan. The politics of Afghanistan was loaded with savagery. Afghanistan was assaulted by Soviet Union in 1979.The Soviet troopers tormented on the general individuals and obliterated the nation’s infrastructure. The nation’s capital is Kabul. Afghanistan means “Land of Afghan”. It is bordered by Pakistan, Iran, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. From 1933-1973, Afghanistan was administered by King Zahir Shah. When the King was on vacation, Mohammad Daoud Khan seized the power on July17, 1973. Mohammed Daoud Khan was previous Prime Minister of Afghanistan and Zahir Shah’s cousin. It was as yet a startling time for the general population of Kabul who heard revolting and shooting in the lanes. For a long time, Mohammed Daoud Khan was the President and Prime Minister of Afghanistan. At that point on April 27, 1978, he was savagely toppled by the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA). Daoud was slaughtered with his family. They crushed many buildings as when Amir went to see his home in Afghanistan, he found that everything was devasted, each tree was cut down in parts. The politics of Afghanistan has affected the entire nation as it crushed the freedom of the general population. They utilized religion so as to expel Western impact from Afghanistan. They imposed few rules on the general individuals so as to set up the religion in the administrative decision framework. Taliban people compelled every woman to wear a veil, but before that, they have the freedom of wearing dresses according to their wish. Later on, when the Taliban came into power, each lady in the arena was wearing a veil.

In 1919, after the third war against the British forces, Afghanistan regains its independence. General Mohammed Daud becomes the Prime Minister in 1953. He swings to the Soviet Union for financial and military help. In 1978, General Daud is ousted and executed by Liberal People’s Democratic Party. In 1996, Taliban seized control over Kabul. Pakistan and Saudi Arabia perceived the Taliban as the authentic leaders of Afghanistan. On Sep11, 2001 there was an attack on the World Trade Centre. Within, a month the United States and Britain propelled air strikes against Afghanistan after the Taliban refused to hand over Osama Bin Laden. In Nov 2001, Taliban rule got finished. In 2004, Hamid Karzai became the President of Afghanistan.

Difference between Pashtuns and Hazaras

Hazaras and Pashtuns are two different ethnic groups of Afghanistan. There is always a clash between two groups which started shortly after the founding of Afghanistan in 1747. They vary in many aspects. A portion of the ethnic gatherings of Afghanistan are Pashtun, Tajik, Hazara, Uzbek, Aimak, Turkmen, Baloch, and some more. Hazaras are considered Persian-speaking individuals and they mostly occupy central Afghanistan. The Hazaras shape a minority gathering of Afghanistan and hence are abused by the greater part of gatherings. They bear Asian features and thus are easy to identify among the people of Afghanistan. Hazaras are additionally viewed as Turko-Mongol as they look like Mongolians and East Asians though they share a social foundation with Turkic individuals. Hazaras, on the other hand, are less in number. They are considered as the lowest class in Afghanistan. Pashtuns (additionally spelled as Pushtun, Pakhtun, Pashtoon, Pathan) shape Afghanistan’s biggest ethnic gathering. They speak Pashton dialect. The greater part of the Pashtuns are Sunni Muslims. Pashtuns, from where Amir belongs, has the highest population in Afghanistan. They are majority in number. Pashtun culture is all tighter her different from the Hazara culture. Most of the Pashtun pursue the Sunni Muslim Religion. The Shia are Hazaras whereas Sunnis as Pashtuns. The Hazara people have different lives. The Hazara people do the works of servants and labourers. Pashtuns see Hazaras as unwelcomed visitors. A Pashtun is “An individual from the overwhelming ethnic gathering of Afghanistan and parts of Western Pakistan.”.

Amir is the protagonist and Pashtun in the novel The Kite Runner. His father Baba is also a Pashtun. Most of the characters in the novel appear to be Pashtun and they have significantly more power than the Hazara people. Hazara and Ali are Hazaras in the novel. Since the Hazara individuals don’t have much power, they appear to depend on their religion more. In The Kite Runner, Amir grows in an environment where Hazaras are considered as inferior. He hears “flat-nosed” and “load-carrying donkeys” for Hazaras from Hassan. Assef states that Hazaras pollute the Afghan land. When Hassan is about to be raped a thought goes through Amir’s head. Rather than going to save his friend he thinks “He was just a Hazara, wasn’t he.” At the end of the novel, Amir goes back to Afghanistan to save his Hazara nephew. This shows that all Pashtuns are not bad and some even fall in love with Hazaras too.

Some believe that Afghanistan should be home to only Sunni muslims. For Pashtuns, Hazaras are just the slaves for them. Mostly, Hazaras never get the education. When Amir shows his teacher the history book on the Hazaras he reacted, “The following week, after class, I showed the book to my teacher and pointed to the chapter on the Hazaras. He skimmed through a couple of pages snickered, handed the book back. That’s one thing Shi’a people do well,” he said, ‘picking up his papers,’ ‘passing themselves as martyrs’ .He wrinkled his nose when he said the word Shi’a like it was some kind of disease.’’ This demonstrates that Sunni Muslims hatred Shia people.

According to Wahab in his book, A Brief History of Afghanistan, the major race and ethnic group in Afghanistan in the Pashtuns and followed by the minority groups such as Tajiks, Hazaras, Turkmen, and Baluchi.

Rais in his book Recovering the Frontier State: War, Ethnicity and the State in Afghanistan states: – “The Hazaras are the poorest and most marginalized of ethnic communities of Afghanistan. It is partly their barren landscape and partly long-standing discrimination against them that has placed them in an inferior economic and social position. Pastuns hated Hazaras, they started occupying their land, destroying their house, killing thousands of Hazara’s men and women forcing them to work as labors.”


“Honest but a Painful story”

This is one of the amazing stories that stay with us for a long period of time. Hailing from Afghanistan Amir recalls an event that had happened 26 years before, he recounts the narratives of his comrades and ladies, featuring their anguish, their torment, and the issues that are making their lives damnation. Khaled Hosseini is a man with a mission, a mission to reclaim his nation of all its ills, to make it wonderful. He does this by composing lovely books with amazing canvas, spreading crosswise over Afghanistan and the Afghan diaspora everywhere throughout the world. He tells the story of the Afghan people, Afghan women, men, and children who are caught in the web of religion, politics, and terrorism. The nation Afghanistan was changed over to Islam. After the British left India, Afghanistan turned into a free nation. Nobody after the Great Mongols endeavoured to hurt its Islamic character. Almost 99% of the nation is as yet Islamic. There are non-Muslims in the nation and it is one of the most flawless Islamic nations on the planet. Men at that time thought that ladies are only machines for the growth of the generation, they have to feed their children and have to keep themselves in the four walls of the house. Baba cautioned Amir against the stupidities and unsafe tendencies of Mullah Fatiullah in these words: “Gods help us all if Afghanistan ever falls into their hands.” He called people like Fatiullah as “self-righteous monkeys.” Amir’s feeling of guilt was a consistent piece of his life clung to him all throughout his adulthood. He knew that after he betrayed Hassan, his relationship will get change. Amir finally finds a way to redeem himself even though the one, he betrayed is no more. I appreciate what Amir did to find redemption, yet in addition, understand that essentially having the bravery to defend Hassan prior would have made a huge difference. Inspite of his lack of action, in the beginning, Amir settles on a choice that transforms him, just as the life of Sohrab. He takes Sohrab to the United States with him. They go to the park with other Afghans. They fly a kite and battle for it. Utilizing one of the Hassan’s most loved traps, they win. Sohrab smiles and as the losing kite flies free, Amir runs for Sohrab. All in all, Khaled Hosseini, utilizes the adoration, tension, and hardships among dads and children to show the need for a compassionate paternal figure. Above all, the connection between Amir and Sohrab strengthened the father-son relationship and shows how a child’s satisfaction needs a dad’s support. Really, a compassionate fatherly figure is important in properly raising up a child. Hosseini’s The Kite Runner is a heart-touching novel about the individual’s search for redemption. Khaled Hosseini’s in his portrayal relevantly catches and recognizes the all-inclusiveness of human encounters like shame, guilt, friendship, and pardoning. The writer himself makes a confession and says how his life reflects that of Amir and that fiction can influence pursuers and even the novelist himself. When the kite is taking off into the blue sky, our psyche is raised into airborne dreams of wonderful fantasies. If the engaging Kite flying turns into the kite flying tournament for the Afghan men, this energetic game may end up being a battlefield of ethnic classes.


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