"The Kite Runner" By Khaled Hosseini, An Answer To A Seminar Question, "To What Extent Is The Kite Runner A Well Written Novel?"

899 words - 4 pages

Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner is a captivating story that truly showcases the author's craft as a substantially well written novel. In his debut work, Hosseini captures the reader in an invigorating world of facts and emotions, and does so in a constructed manner. This thorough narrative speaks the story of Amir who explains his childhood sins and his quest for redemption. His voice presents key, eye-opening facts of Afghanistan's recent history, and hauls the reader through vivid images and emotions from the eyes of a child and the mind of an adult. The techniques Hosseini utilizes allow the text to come to life and provides insight to the brilliant history and adventure of a fictional character in a very real Afghanistan.Hosseini ties together almost thirty years' worth of history, rich with details and images from Afghanistan; from the 1978 civil war, the Soviet control, the rise of the Taliban, to the Sunni Pashtuns and the Shi'a Hazara minority tensions. The presented historical facts allow the readers to flush out common stereotypes about Afghani people. To illustrate the religious tensions, Amir's discusses how far apart he and Hassan are, even though they are best friends, because of the social traditions of Afghanistan. He explains, "History isn't easy to overcome. Neither is religion. In the end, I was Pashtun and he was Hazara. I was Sunni and he was Shi'a and nothing was ever going to change that. Nothing." (25) Even though this statement is through the voice of a child, it puts this very real religious prejudice into perspective in historical context. Additionally, Assef, in his mindset that destroying the Hazaras is God's work, explains; "You don't know the meaning of the word 'liberating' until you've done that, stood in a roomful of targets, let the bullets fly, free of guilt and remorse, knowing you are virtuous, good, and decent. Knowing you're doing God's work. It's breath taking." (277) This too, although from the voice of a fictional character, provides insight to the very real strain felt by Afghan people. However, Hosseini also animates Kabul as a city where people are certainly full of life. He uses factual details to provide an atmosphere of Afghanistan; a city where children fight kites in winter time as tradition. Another instance is the setting up of flea markets in Fremont, California where all the customers are Afghani or of Afghan descent. During a recollection about his father's wrestling with a bear, the narrator explains; "If the story had been about anyone else, it would have been dismissed as laaf, that Afghan tendency to exaggerate-sadly, almost a national affliction." (11) This small detail provides...

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