The Kite Runner is a novel written by Khaled Hosseini in 2003 about the fall of the Afghanistan monarchy because of the Soviet Union’s intervention. Amir, a Pashtun boy who moved to the United States, is the protagonist of the book. This story reveals such themes as family affairs, friendship, trust, guilt, and redemption. The Kite Runner is an interpretation of changes people experience before and after bombs destroyed their lives, political controversies, and human relationships that are not always easy to understand.
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The way of how war affects the land is always unpredictable. In the early chapters of the novel, before the bombs dropped, Kabul was described as “the land of Pashtuns”, “the true Afghans, the pure Afghans” (Hosseini 33). Some trees and children played with their kites. After the events, the happiness disappeared and was substituted by “rubble and beggars” (Hosseini 208). Trees were cut down “for firewood in the winter” and snipers had no place for hiding (Hosseini 209). Nothing but sadness fulfills the human mind, observing the changes caused by the war.
Being a young boy, Amir could hardly understand what happened to his country. Politically, the Soviet leaders decided to invade Afghanistan, and local citizens had nothing to do but leave their homes. The coup was the period when “a perfectly encapsulated morsel of a good past, a brushstroke of the color gray, a barren canvas that our lives had become” was formulated (Hosseini 103). It was not good or bad, but just a change that determined the quality of future life.
The relationships between Amir and Hassan also underwent considerable transformations. First, they were childhood friends, with Hassan being deeply devoted to their friendship, and Amir being jealous. Then, jealousy turned into a threat and the necessity to remove a competitor. Racial and social differences did not create problems, but personal pride and fears. Finally, the inability to forgive or to ask for forgiveness contributes to a better understanding of their complex relationships.
The Kite Runner is not only a story of one boy who witnessed injustice. This novel shows how war changes people and land. It teaches that what happens from the political point of view and what people see are not the same. However, the establishment of trustful relationships is a crucial element that should never depend on war, racial prejudice, or social inequality.
Hosseini, Khaled. The Kite Runner. Riverhead Books, 2003. Afghan Mellat Online Library.