Extracts from my MA Dissertation on Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner
The Kite Runner is an epic story with a personal history of what the people of Afghanistan had and have to endure in an ordinary every day life; in a country that is divided between political powers and religiously idealistic views and beliefs which creates poverty and violence within the people and their terrorist run country. The story line of the novel is more personal with the description of Afghanistan’s culture and traditions, along with the lives of the people who live in Kabul. The novel provides an educational and eye-opening account of a country’s political chaos. Many people seem to think that all of Afghanistan’s citizens are terrorists and support violence and bloodshed.
The novel manages to capture some of the traits of modern Islam. On the one hand, the readers witness the Taliban officers publicly stoning a woman at a soccer stadium, and on the other, Amir who lost his faith at about the same time he lost his best friend, discovers its majesty again alongside the redemption he so desperately needed. This artifact reveals both the beauty and the bloody excess of religion.
Through this novel, Hosseini suggests that redemption is possible if the person who seeks redemption first admits his guilt. Hosseini explores the ideas of guilt and atonement through Amir and to a lesser extent through other characters. Rahim Khan explains the positive value of the guilt that has haunted Amir for years by showing him that it can lead to true redemption.
The novel is beneficial because it forces the reader to face complex but universal themes such as guilt, forgiveness and redemption which are always related to men all over the world. It is this fact that makes the novel a world-wide appeal. Meghan O’ Rourke rightly comments: “If The Kite Runner’s early adopters picked up the book to learn something about Afghanistan, what kept them reading (recommending it) is the appealingly familiar story at the heart of the novel; a struggle of personal recovery and unconditioned love, couched in redemptive language immediately legible to Americans.“
The Kite Runner is so impacting and poignant, that it will be forever imprinted upon the reader’s soul. And through love, forgiveness and redemption, one can find a way to be good again. The novel offers an unsparing portrait of ravage and despair. But it purveys an allegory of redemption and healing that, despite the seemingly unmediated realism of the atrocities it describes, is far too neatly reflected in the novel’s tidy mirror.