The Kite Runner

How Khaled Hosseini uses literature and stories to demonstrate the power of words to harm and heal in times of injustice. 12th Grade

Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner depicts the lives of two Afghan boys who grow up in the turmoil of invasion, heartbreak and war. Amir, the protagonist and narrator of the story, is Pashtun and Hassan, a Hazara boy, is Amir’s servant with a cleft lip. Despite being separated by different ethnic and social backgrounds, the boys share a close friendship. However, the afternoon of a kite-fighting tournament in 1975, leads to circumstances that neither boy can foresee, an event that traumatises their lives. Afterwards, Amir struggles to find his place in the world, filled with guilt and regret. When the Russians invade Amir and his father, Baba, have to flee from Afghanistan to America. Amir eventually realises he must return to a war-torn Afghanistan in redemption of his sins. But Afghanistan has changed and will never be the same. From a foreign perspective, The Kite Runner positions the reader to gain insight of the history and injustices of Afghanistan, from the downfall of the monarchy and the oppression of the Hazaras, to the invasion of the Russians and the assumed control of the Taliban. Many symbolic elements of the story reflect the history of Afghanistan. In particular, the element of storytelling is used by Hosseini to...

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