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“The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini – Book Review

The book by Khaled Hosseini The Kite Runner is the heart-piercing story about the childhood of Afghan boys. This story represents rather realistic features of Afghanistan and is based on direct relation to time prospects in this country some 30 years ago. In this respect the author provides a scope of main characters. All of them are mutually related o one another. Their roles differ in terms of positive and negative evaluation. However, the story is full of themes and ideas. This attributive feature makes the book so eminent. Its screening version was even nominated on major movie festivals. This fascinating historical epic demonstrates different sides of peoples’ nature and their personal estimation of their deeds. All in all, the story gives a scope of reasonable and socially determined peculiarities of childhood in Afghanistan. This observation of the book is really hot owing to the realistic scenes related to actions and feelings of main characters. The Kite Runner gives a scope of vital themes for the mankind to think over, and in this feature Hosseini demands a reader to get involved into the genuine sphere of peoples’ relationships.

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The book renders a story about two Afghan boys, Amir and Hassan, living in Kabul. They are young and apt to compete in kite competitions. Amir and Hassan are best friends, notwithstanding the fact that Hassan and his father Ali work as servants in the house of Amir’s father, Baba. Amir is the protagonist of the book. In fact, it is his story. The main event which touches further upon the soul of Amir is the fatal for Hassan competition. Once competing in kiting the antagonist of the book, Assef bullied Hassan, because of his talent to run down kites. In this moment the amoral actions of Assef outrage a reader. It is so because he beats and rapes Hassan. The thing is that Amir was at a distance and could help his friend. However, he tries to ignore this scene and runs from that place. With the emergence of Russians in Afghanistan and with the start of the war Amir with his father flee to the United States in the city of San Francisco. However, the betrayal of Amir does not leave him alone. He suffers from what he inflicted to his childhood friend. He returns to Afghanistan knowing about the disasters with Ali and Hassan. Amir finds in Kabul the son of Hassan, Sohrab and tries to communicate with the boy while kiting and showing some techniques of his father Hassan. He also meets his wife, or better to say, widow. The whole relevance of characters can be shown due to the scheme bellow.

The whole relevance of characters

The book is really touching and creates a picture of lost hopes and the significance of duty in friendship. The book describes several themes. Some among them contemplate the themes of betrayal, choices, forgiveness, friendship, guilt, love, honor, immigrant experience, truth, class distinctions, relations between fathers and sons etc. However, the central theme is the theme of strength of character. This point is fair due to the inner moral struggle of the protagonist when he brought through a long period of his life. The scenes of betrayal and cowardice are stated at the core of the book. With a flow of the story the main character seems to deeply realize his fault. The class difference which separated Amir and Hassan is the problem which intended Amir to ignore the needs and sufferings of Hassan. In this point it is necessary to admit the goodness in Hassan. He is apt to be devoted to friendship. He is the most positive character in the book. This feature of his is adequately valued by Amir. The only thing which provided such negative effects is that Amir due to his childish mistake gets to the point of his unjust and unfair attitude toward Hassan. It is stated above that the book is the manifestation of Amir’s story. It is his act of repentance. The tragedy, however, is indicated with the loss of Hassan at the moment when Amir returned to Afghanistan.

The book shows that throughout distances bygone failures get back to people. Being conscientious Amir is the example of such moral intentions in his life. The situation with Hassan does not leave him for a long time. He feels no satisfaction in it until being convicted of sin. It appears that realizing that there is no Hassan at all, Amir tells about his pains to the Sohrab. This collision is the most touching, because it discloses the subtle nature of peoples’ feelings and their inner struggles.

Amir is described as the selfish boy in the book. He feels no difference between his actions and what God thinks about it. The theme of religion runs into the theme of living up to parents’ expectations. The conflicts of Amir with his father Baba prove this controversy. Amir needs more explanation of where the goodness appears to be. He asks himself this question during his life. Fortunately, his search becomes completed when he decides with the help of Rahim Khan to come back to Afghanistan. His beliefs are concentrated on supposed resilience if only he could have a possibility to talk with Hassan and tell him about his sin. This mission s delivered to Hassan’s wife and child. It is really sad to realize that the lifelong intention does not find a person to whom it was directed initially. In other words, trying to confess before Hassan Amir finds another way for such motivation.

In fact, the idea of the human spirit resilience is also imposed into the plot of the book. It is the real idea of the book because Amir wants to find out the harmony in his soul. He is immitigable because of his pains and his desires to fall down the burden of his life. This is why he finds out Assef, who is Talib at the moment. They are fighting. Amir comes out the combat as a winner. However, he needs recovery from that beating. After he recovers he flees to Pakistan and wants to bring Sohrab to the United States. In this flow of development in the book a reader sees the improvements in bygone selfish boy who becomes now altruistic and respectful to his best childhood friend’s offspring.

The Kite Runner provides also various points on psychological concerns. In this case the developmental theories are helpful. The characters are placed in the book as the objects for further psychological grounding of their deeds and their feelings. All in all children and parents are chosen for this purpose. Thus, in the book by W. Crain Theories of Development: concepts and application there are some appropriate theories for the explanation of Amir and others’ actions.

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First of all, the cultural basis of family and community dynamics in the book can be explained and analyzed by means of the developmental theory by Piaget. This theorist worked out the rational approach toward explanation of children’s behaviors. It is necessary to say that children cannot understand the weight of their actions until they are mature and psychologically ready. In other words, the significance of actions cannot be rationally admitted by children at once. It is solely possible with the process of growing up. The example of Amir is the representation of this flow in evaluation of actions by children in terms of psychology. Among the key ideas by Piaget decentration and egocentrism more fit the plot of actions by Amir (Crain 187). The concept of decentration means that an individual since childhood is apt to move from one system of classification or values into another. This balance serves to point out the state of adulthood. This also contemplates Amir’s getting to the point about his wrong actions. He is morally destructed only almost at the end of the book when he totally realizes the burden of responsibility for that terrible event with Hassan. The problem of egocentrism is seen in his attempts to acquit him for inability to help Hassan.

Another theorist, Sigmund Freud, based some prospects of his developmental theory on the reliability of defense mechanisms in human beings. Thus, with occurrence of anxiety an individual starts thinking over his/her actions. In this case the decision making mechanism provides a scope of ways for rational solving of the problem. Such good intention confronts then with barriers constructed in the individual’s psyche. Freudian theory represents denial and displacement, as the initial stages of these mechanisms (Crain 233). The thing is that Amir primordially fails to believe that there is nothing terrible after the evidence with Hassan. Amir does not recognize the significance of the problem and the wrongness of his cowardice. He thought that it was better to get out of that place to be on the safe side. Finally the stage of repression makes Amir better evaluate his bad attitude to Hassan. The result of it is return to dangerous Afghanistan.

Werner in his theoretical claims projects the point on primitive thinking among primitive people (Crain 264). This supposition makes the discussion about Amir more interesting. In fact, really Amir was limited in rational approach toward the problem. He was a victim of his selfish motives and conflicts with father. His early growing up was detached with understanding of his position in accordance with religion. He struggles with his misunderstanding of what Baba taught him to do and what he did at the moment. This circle of events around Amir is the first point of precocity. This test was failed by the protagonist initially. However, becoming an adult he realizes the weight of his immaturity in childhood. Great soul pains are the result of conscious estimation of reality.

Schachtel’s theory indicates the role of memory for making change in individuals. In this respect theorist wants to point out that the society markers are strong in relation to a particular individual. Family dynamics depends on the traditional and cultural peculiarities of the society. This is why an individual is helpless to go apart the prescriptions of it, unless knowing the possibility of aggression from the majority of the society. This assumption correlates the religious problem maintained in Amir’s understanding of father’s notations. It is memories that helped Amir to return to Afghanistan in order to confess before the Hassan’s family and Sohrab, in particular. Memories lead him throughout life toward the moment of retention. Especially this theoretical base is felt in Schachtel’s remark that all memories are “socialized” (Crain 111). To say more, the events in Afghanistan and its religious and social framework gave all grounds for Amir to recall the terrible situation. Looking for the forgiveness Amir cannot take away the negative memories.

To sum up, the book by Khaled Hosseini The Kite Runner demonstrates the concernment about the ideals of friendships. In this respect the narration of the story reckons with the motive of the narrator, Amir, to confess in his sins. The conceptual structure of the book represents mastership of the author to relate to different vital themes as of communication with people. The value of the book is considered with the adequate realization of wrong actions in past. Moreover, the approaches of outstanding theorists in psychological field, such as Piaget, Freud, Werner, and Schachtel, are correlated to the subject matter of the discussion. The rationale toward evaluation of children’s experiences promotes a supposition that with lack of maturity an individual cannot fully understand the significance of actions. Memories, motivation and growing up are three parameters which made Amir solve this lifelong problem.

Works cited

CliffsNotes. The Kite Runner: Character map, 2009. Web.

Crain, William. Theories of Development: Concepts and Applications (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2005.

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Hosseini, Khaled. The kite runner. London: Qanita, 2008.

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StudyCorgi. "“The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini – Book Review." November 4, 2021.


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