The Kite Runner
The Concepts of Fate and Free Will in The Kite Runner and Oedipus
Fate and Free Will
The elements of fate and free will are not black and white. Humans have an unconscious free will while making everyday decisions: what we want to wear, where we want to go, and when we want to sleep. Sometimes, however, we make large-scale mistakes, so large they haunt us our entire lives, eventually leading to tragedies. It is important to recognize these errors in personal freedom and attempt to mend our mistakes before our fate goes into full effect. Every action has a consequence (a fate), one we cannot afford to be blissfully ignorant to.
In both The Kite Runner and Oedipus, the concepts of fate and free will are intertwined heavily throughout each storyline. Both protagonists have made extremely influential decisions, setting in motion a slew of negative outcomes. Amir and Oedipus also ignore the choices they have made by running away from them. This only further strengthens the intensity of their mistakes, rather than weaken them. The methods they use in attempts to escape are different, however. Oedipus’ naturally prideful personality is what drives him to project his guilt and blame onto others, while Amir’s non-confrontational personality drove him to flee from the actions of the past, and anything reminding him of said actions. Either way, they have surged the consequences of a fate that could have been avoided. For example, in the Kite Runner, Amir’s detrimental mistake was remaining a bystander and allowing Hassan to be raped by Assef. Instead of prioritizing the dignity of a loyal friend and brother, Amir’s only concern was the possibility of praise from Baba. But even after receiving admiration, he still felt guilty. Yet, he refused to apologize to Hassan. Ultimately, the shame ate him alive, as he tried to get Hassan to leave. Amir even framed his best friend for stealing his new watch and birthday money. Later, as the Taliban fought against Russia’s communist agenda, Baba and Amir decided to flee their home, and left Hassan to fend for himself in a country destroyed by war and hatred. Amir, however, was unaffected as he fled to the United States, running from his past actions and striving to forget they even occurred. This proved to be unsuccessful in the long run, as news of Hassan’s death and his full relation to Amir was unveiled by Rahim Khan. Amir has now lost the one person who truly cared about him and is unable to gain closure for the event that occurred during his childhood. Instead, he must find an alternative route. Amazingly, all of this could have been avoided if he made a crucial choice to save Hassan and prevent his rape entirely.
Although Oedipus started out fate-oriented, the story later progressed into an equal balance of choices and consequences. In the beginning, Oedipus reigned as the new king of Thebes, alongside his queen, Jocasta. After hearing of a plague outbreak in the city from his citizens, he orders his brother-in-law, Creon, to find the oracle and ask for assistance. Upon Creon’s return, Oedipus is told to find who murdered Laius, whom was king prior to Oedipus’ arrival to Thebes. Determined to persecute the suspect, he summons Tiresias, a blind prophet, to his kingdom. At first, Tiresias is reluctant to reveal what he knows, but he then accuses Oedipus for killing Laius. Oedipus is furious upon hearing this allegation, and angrily mocks and blames the prophet. Before departing, Tiresias warns Oedipus of his true fate: he will kill his father and sleep with his mother. Riddled with anxiety, Oedipus speaks with Jocasta, to obtain a second opinion on his alleged fate. Jocasta rejects it and advises Oedipus to ignore the prophet’s claims. She further explains a prophet once informed her that Laius would die at the hands of her son. However, the child was abandoned and died, while her husband was murdered by a pack of thieves. Oedipus becomes anxious, disclosing his violent encounter at a crossroads with a man who looked like Laius prior to arriving to Thebes. This was the error that jump-started a plethora of tragedies. Oedipus made the detrimental choice to express his anger through violence, brutally murdering Laius. He remains blissfully unaware of this, however. Eager to discover the truth, he summons the only surviving witness of the murder: a shepherd. Before the shepherd’s appearance, a messenger informs Oedipus his father, Polybus, has died. Relieved, Jocasta tells Oedipus his father’s death is proof the fate is not going to happen, but the messenger clarifies Oedipus’ adoptive father died of natural causes, not his biological father. The messenger himself delivered Oedipus to Polybus after receiving him from the shepherd, whom was given the child by Laius and Jocasta. Overcome with fear, Jocasta begs Oedipus to cease the investigation, but he continues. She runs into the palace, horrified. The shepherd confirmed, after threat of force, to admit the truth: Oedipus is really the son of Laius and Jocasta. With feelings of fear and agony boiling inside, Oedipus bolts into the palace to find Jocasta’s lifeless body hanging by a rope. Devastated, he steals the brooches from her dress and stabs himself in the eyes, blinding himself permanently. These atrocities could have easily been evaded by Oedipus restricting his expression of hostility through brutality, and instead calmly addressing Laius’ presence at the crossroads.
If a large-scale mistake is made, it must be mended. It cannot be left to fester and accumulate over time. It cannot be blamed on blissful ignorance or escaped through elaborate schemes. This interaction of free will and fate can either lead to the successes of others, or the downfalls of others. Human life is much too precious to allow the prospect of consequence to be unfortunate.
The Issues Of Bravery Or Cowardice In The Movie The Kite Runner And The Novel A Thousand Splendid Suns By Khaled Hosseini
During a lifetime, many people are put in situations where they can either help someone who needs them or they can ignore the situation and do what is the best for their own sake. In both the movie The Kite Runner and the novel A Thousand Splendid Suns written by Khaled Hosseini, each of the characters is put in a situation where that particular character can show either bravery or cowardice. The characters that show cowardice were not able to live with that guilt any longer and they made changes in their lives whereas the characters that show bravery die with courage.
The Kite Runner tells the story of Amir, a boy living in Afghanistan, and his life experiences. During his childhood, he is known as being a coward who does not stand up for others in a time of need, whereas his best friend, Hassan, is the complete opposite of him and stands up for what he thinks is right. In the beginning of the movie, Hassan protects Amir from Assef and his friends who are bullies. Hassan puts himself at risk when he says, “You are right. Agha. But perhaps you didn’t notice that I’m the one holding the slingshot. ” Hassan shows bravery by standing up to a group of nasty boys from town who are older and bigger than he is. Then when Amir wins the kite flying tournament, Hassan runs to get the kite. Assef catches Hassan in an alley and wants the kite. Hassan is so loyal to his friend that he does not give Assef the kite because it belongs to Amir. Assef rapes and tortures Hassan. Amir witnesses Hassan being raped and does nothing; in fact, he runs away. This situation defines the rest of Amir’s life; he knows that he needs to make up for what he did or he will live with regret for the rest of his life. Years later, Amir goes back to Afghanistan and finds out that Hassan was killed protecting Amir’s house. The Taliban wanted to take the house, but Hassan was so loyal to his friend that he was killed for this loyalty. Amir finds out that Hassan’s son, Sohrab, has been taken by Assef. Amir sees this abduction as his chance for redemption. Amir risks his own life to make up for what happened to Hassan. By rescuing Sohrab, Amir feels free from the guilt that his childhood mistakes caused him. His act of bravery redeems him from his cowardice.
The novel, A Thousand Splendid Suns, portrays Jalil as being a cowardly man at the beginning of the story. Jalil is so engrossed with keeping his reputation clean that he pushes Nana out of his house. Nana is the housekeeper who is pregnant with Jalil’s illegitimate child, Mariam. Jalil keeps in contact with them and tries to stay in Mariam’s life only at his convenience. For Mariam’s birthday, her one wish is to go into town with him. Jalil disappoints his daughter and allows Mariam to fall asleep in the street while waiting for him. After Nana’s suicide, Jalil forces Mariam to marry Rasheed, a shoemaker. There are hints that Jalil deeply regrets the way he treated Mariam as seen when Jalil keeps a box that includes a tape of the movie, Pinocchio. Pinocchio is the cartoon that Jalil promised to take Mariam to see on her birthday, but never did; he also wrote a letter about how he regretted not taking her in and he enclosed Mariam’s share of an inheritance in a box that went to miriam after his death. Mariam is one of the main characters who is very dynamic. She shows bravery throughout the novel, not so much by speaking up, but by her courageous actions. Mariam shows courage for enduring the verbal and physical abuse from her husband, Rasheed. Even though Rasheed continuously physically and verbally abuses her, she still has the courage to wake up every single morning never knowing what Rasheed would do to the her that day. Towards the end of the book, when she kills Rasheed as he was strangling Laila, she calls his name because she wanted him to see what she was doing right before she struck him over the head. In that moment, Mariam finally makes a decision for herself. When Mariam dies for the killing of Rasheed, she dies with dignity. She thinks that she could have given up a long time ago and changed her past, but, in the end, she is happy that she did not give in to the circumstances of her life.
In each of these different situations of bravery, the characters are self-sacrificing and put others above themselves to uphold values of importance to them. Mariam is self-sacrificing by protecting Laila, and, in the end, dies for her. Jalil is a cowardly man who lives with regret, but in the end tries to make things right with his daughter. Hassan is brave and is always sacrificing for his friend, Amir. Amir sacrifices himself like his friend had done for him to save Hassan’s son, Sohrab. Even though it took Jalil and Amir lifetimes to redeem the mistakes both made, they were able to do the right things by the end of both stories.
Comparison Between Novels The Kite Runner And Still Alice
The kite runner is a novel written by Hossein Khaled, an Afghan-American author. The book informs readers about a story of a young boy, Amir from the Kabul district. This story is set from a backdrop of events such as the Soviet military’s intervention in the fall of Afghanistan monarchy and the removal of refugees from Pakistan as well as the rise of Taliban rule. The novel is seen as a story based on the father-son relationship. The narrative involves family relationships where themes of guilt and redemption are prominent in the novel. For example, there is a pivotal scene showing an act of violence that Amir fails to prevent against Hassan however, as the book approaches its last half, Amir tries to agree his wrongdoing by saving Hassan’s son after two decades. On the other hand, Still Alice novel was written by Lisa Genova and it tells a tale concerning a woman Alice, suffering from the Alzheimer’s disease. The 50-year old Alice is a professor at Harvard and a well known linguistic expert in the world. She starts showing the early-onset symptoms of Alzheimer disease. For example, during a presentation at Stanford, she forgets certain words and after going for a run in her usual Harvard square neighborhood, Alice can’t find her way home. Alice is married to a successful man and they have 3 grown children. However, the development of Alzheimer disease has changed her relationship with the world and her family. The ambitious and professional Alice had to deal with the physical progression of the disease as well as the emotional component of the disease. The development of this degenerative and incurable disease influences his relationship with her family. Nevertheless, the kite runner and still Alice novels centers of issues of family relationships with both similar themes and different themes at the same time. The characters vary and the writing styles used by the authors vary. The similarities and differences in the setting up of the novels help us to compare the themes, characters and other similarities in the kite runner and still Alice novels.
For instance, in the novels The Kite Runner and Still Alice, they both express the development of character through themes. For example, in The Kite Runner, Amir is haunted by his past actions which make him regret his past actions and decisions’. Amir tries not to remember that he had left Hassan, his best friend to lead an awful fate. When Amir wins the local kite-fighting tournament, he earns Baba’s praise, and Hassan runs the last kite to find it for his friend Amir, however, after seeing the kite, Hassan encounters Assef in the alleyway who refuses to give the kite. Assef then goes on to beat and rape Hassan while Amir witnessed the act but could not intervene due to his cowardice. Amir then betrays Hassan to his father, and after he left, Amir frees from the daily reminder of betrayal and his fear when Hassan was beaten, and he could not help, still living in his shadow. In Still Alice, Alice is haunted by her past career, and she can’t come to terms that she is going to lose her job through an incurable disease during her prime years. For instance, she forgot a word and an event with her organizer in a restaurant which worried her. Alice was saddened further by learning that her daughter Anna had also inherited the disease and she could not put up with it that her grandchildren might also be infected. She had to end her career at Harvard due to poor performance and low grades to her students after 25 years of teaching.
Also, another difference between The Kite Runner and Still Alice novels is the betrayal theme as evident from the books. For instance, in The Kite Runner, when Assef attacks Hassan, Amir watches from a distance out of fear that Assef will beat them. He feels guilty, but he understands that his cowardice will dent any hopes of Baba’s liking and keeps quiet about the occurrence. Afterward, the feelings of guilt toward Hassan prevent Amir from interacting with him, always keeping a distance from him. He then plants a watch and money under Hassan’s mattress hoping that Baba would chase Hassan away and make life more comfortable if he is not around. Baba forgives Hassan, but they decide to leave with, Ali. Amir feels freed from the daily reminder of his fearfulness and betrayal towards Hassan, yet he lives in his own shadow. In Still Alice novel, Alice is betrayed by his husband, John. His reaction towards his wife’s disease where he first denies it and then John proceeds to research on the cause and cure for the disease. On realizing that the condition has no cure, John desperately clings to his thriving career and accepts a job offer in New York despite furious objections from the children. He loves his wife but betrays all the promises he made during marriage and leaves for the new job.
Also, the rivalry has been expressed in both novels by the authors. However, the rivalry is different and unique in the books. For example, in The Kite Runner, the competition is between friends Hassan, Amir, and Assef. In the book, Amir could not accept his misfortunes and be inferior to Hassan in kite running. In the story Still Alice, there is sibling rivalry where Lydia is the source of conflict among the children. For instance, Anna is disappointed that her bright youngest sister decided not to go to college and study acting and at the same time angry that John supports Lydia’s decision.
Additionally, there is a corollary relationship between the parents and their children in the two novels. For example in The Kite Runner, the relationship between Baba and his son Amir manifests itself in a complex and contradictory manner. Baba loves Amir, but he favors Hassan while Amir craves for his father’s affection. Elsewhere, in Still Alice, Anna is angry that his father supports Lydia’s decision to study acting instead of going to class as she and his brother Tom did. Nevertheless, in both novels, the parents and children love and disappoints and in the long last they honor one another.
In conclusion, The Kite Runner and Still Alice novels feature distinguishing themes, characters and other similarities. Both books revolve around family issues showing conflicts between siblings and the relationship between the parents and their children. Topics such as betrayal, redemption, and rivalry are used by the authors to define the character traits of different characters in the books. However, the authors have used different styles and personalities to reach their audiences. For example, in Still Alice, the author tries to educate the audience on the symptoms and the effects of Alzheimer disease. Elsewhere, in The Kite Runner, the author informs the audience of the social functioning of the society by use of themes such as betrayal, guilt, redemption, and reconciliation among the characters. Nonetheless, both authors send explicit messages to the audience.
Theme Of Betrayal In The Kite Runner By Khaled Hosseini
Khaled Hosseini’s novel The Kite Runner shows us a variety of themes depicted throughout the story, most noticeably the theme of betrayal. The theme of betrayal revolves around Amir and his best “friend” Hassan. We see Amir turn against Hassan because of his own fears, guilt, and desires to gain his father’s acceptance get the better of him. Because of Amir’s selfishness, we see the story unfold in a negative way as it affects both Amir and Hassan emotionally and physically.
Leading up to the events of Hassan’s rape, we see we see Hassan be nothing but loyal to Amir and stands up for him when times get tough. For example, Hassan’s loyalty is truly shown with the first confrontation with Assef and his gang. Assef is a known local bully that torments kids and even adults; when Amir and Hassan meet Assef, Amir is instantly threatened and is almost assulted but Hassan steps in and saves Amir with his slingshot. Despite being a Hazara, Hassan knows what he needs to do in order to save his best friend even if it means putting his own life in danger. This confrontation shows us Hassan’s willingness to step up to the plate and show his loyalty, but it also exposes Amir in the process.
As I stated earlier, Amir’s fears and guilt get the better of him; Amir was afraid of Assef and the repercussions to come if he stood up for Hassan. Out of his own fear, Amir is unable to act on his own and relies on the assistance of Hassan which ultimately makes Hassan a future target for Assef and it is made known when Assef stated “Your Hazara made a big mistake today, Amir”. After the confrontation with Assef, Amir is faced with guilt for not only failing to stand up to Assef but failing to support Hassan, Amir’s guilt comes from almost betraying Hassan. Assef’s statement “How can you call him your ‘friend’?” is a very important point in the book as it makes Amir question the difference between what is right and what is wrong. Out of mere defence Amir almost blurts out “But he is not my friend! He is my servant!” Amir’s reasoning and thinking of Hassan is one of the books first acts of betrayal, and it is a very pivotal point for both Hassan and Amir.
During the event of Hassan’s rape, Amir had a big decision to make, between what is right and what is wrong. Amir knew the right decision was to help “return the favor” and stop Assef from hurting Hassan even if it meant putting his own life in danger, but out of jealousy and desire to please his father Amir chose the kite over Hassan which was in Amir’s mind the “key to Baba’s heart”. Amir’s decision for not standing up for Hassan was because throughout the book we see Amir always trying to impress Baba but never succeeded. An example of this is when Amir goes to show Baba the story he has written, Baba shows “little more than feigned interest” in the story and proceeded to walk away. So when the time came for the Kite Tournament it was Amir chance to finally impress Baba and Hassan knew it meant so much to Amir and supported him all the way. After the event of Hassan’s rape, Amir is overwhelmed with guilt. He knows that leaving Hassan in the alley was the wrong thing to do, but his selfishness and desire to gain his fathers approval was more important than Hassan’s well being. Amir’s idea for betraying Hassan was because “Nothing is free in this world. . Hassan was the price I had to pay, the lamb I had to slay, to win Baba” because in the end “He was just a Hazara”. Hassan’s physical damage is a representation of Amir’s betrayal, in Amir’s mind he made the right decision because he finally had a chance to impress his Father and the only way to do it was to bring back the lost kite. Because of the incident Amir begins to question his morals and values towards his once best friend Hassan. Amir always falls back on the idea that he was too scared to stop Assef save Hassan but in reality Amir only wanted one thing and that one thing was to gain Baba’s respect and acknowledgement.
The last major act of betrayal Amir does towards Hassan was framing Hassan for stealing and hiding Amir’s birthday money and watch. The immense guilt and jealousy Amir feels is overwhelming for him and we see that Amir will do anything to have Hassan get “pay back” and get in trouble so they could be even again. But despite Amir’s plan to get back at Hassan, it backfires as Hassan openly admits to taking the watch and money. Amir is shocked by Hassan’s response, at that moment Amir realizes why Hassan took the blame because “He knew I had betrayed him and yet he was rescuing me once again, maybe for the last time”. Out of shame Ali and Hassan leave for good. Despite having Hassan gone from the house, Amir thinks the guilt will go away and everything will go back to normal; but in reality it doesn’t. The guilt Amir feels gets even worse, the effect of Hassan leaving causes Amir deep emotional pain because he knows what he did to Hassan will never be redeemable.
In conclusion Amir’s fears, guilts, and desires ultimately led to Amir’s betrayal and the downfall of Amir’s and Hassan’s friendship. Failing to stand up to Assef out of fear was the novel’s first act of betrayal, we see Amir question the reality of their friendship and what it really means to be a friend and stand up for what is right. Next was the act of guilt, Amir’s guilt comes from almost betraying Hassan in the first confrontation with Assef and secondly with not being honest with Hassan from the very beginning. Finally was Amir’s desire to gain Babas acceptance, out of jealousy and selfishness we see Amir go through many attempts to achieve Baba’s acknowledgement even if it meant betraying his so called best friends in the process.
Guilt and Redemption in Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner
Notions of sins and their corresponding atonement have permeated throughout Khaled Hosseini’s incisive fiction The Kite runner as a major theme, where in the novel, the protagonist Amir’s sin towards his father Baba and his best friend Hassan, as well as Baba’s sin towards his best friend Ali are respectively disclosed, and their attempts for the realization of self-redemption have cost them at a considerably heavy price. The sins, together with their consequent retributions and subsequent atonements, intertwine with one another to form an everlasting karma cycle of morality. Within this cycle, admittedly, most of Amir and Baba’s sacrifices for their remedies are highly worthwhile as which have alleviated their interior torments and retrieved their moral conscience, whereas a certain proportion of the sacrifices are beneath worthiness as they violate the original intentions of atonement.
The moral cycle starts within the elder generation, between Baba and Ali, who are respectively Amir’s father and Hassan’s nominal father. Because of Baba’s selfish desire, he once had an affair with Ali’s wife and gave birth to Hassan. In order to keep his nangs and namoos as a renowned figure, his hypocrisy had make him a thief which he detests the most, and deprived from Hassan his identify, from Ali’s honor. In order to atone his sin towards Ali and Hassan, he makes enormous effort to keep them in his family. He treats Ali as a close friend with equal identity, regardless of their disparity in social hierarchy, and tried by all means to restore affinity with Hassan that a father and a son supposed to possess. When Ali decided to leave with Hassan due to Hassan’s mental issue, Amir saw Baba do something I had never seen him do before: he cried. The two-words truncated sentence, he cried, emphasizes not only the rarity of Baba’s crying, but also his cherishment and gratitude for Ali and Hassan’s sheer existence in his family, because only if they stay with him can he atone for his delinquency. He says please to them in pain, in plea, in fear, the repetitive phrase with the anaphora of in again emphasize Baba’s desperation for their removal and his mental struggle for his atonement. The fact that Baba is unwilling to let Ali and Hassan leave to some extend proves that he regards his compensation for them is more than worthy since it pacifies his sense of sinfulness and helps him achieve a mentally peaceful state. Moreover, after Hassan heard of Baba’s death, he wore black for the next forty days, where the numerical diction of forty days highlights Hassan’s respect and yearning for Baba. He signs that Agha Sahib was like my second father, without knowing the truth, he still regards Baba as his father, this indicates that Baba’s effort has eventually won the affection and affinity of his son, which again proves his atonement worthwhile.
Most focally, however, the tale devotes on depicting Amir’s grievous atonement for not standing up for Hassan when he was in danger but expelling him away from his family instead. Although the process of his self-expiation is full of both physical and psychological anguish and agony, he still has not regret for the price he has paid. Long before Amir realizes that he should no longer become a man who can’t stand up to anything as in Baba’s comment, and that he should atone his guilt for Hassan by actual deeds, he has already subtly been doing his psychological atonement in the way of interior dilemma. When Amir discovers that his wife Soraya is unable to conceive a child, he deems that perhaps something, someone, somewhere, had decided to deny me fatherhood for the things I had done., where the repetitive alliteration starting with some in his inner-monologue emphatically demonstrates that he infinitely believes the deprival of his fatherhood is a punishment for what his has done to Hassan. He deems himself deserved and culpable of the punishment, because only to atone for Hassan at the cost of his mental tranquility or even his right of being a father, he can relieve himself from the relentless guilt he feels for his best friend. Furthermore, when Amir determines to return to Kabul and rescue Hassan’s only child Sohrab from the child abuser Assef, in order to fulfill his maximal expiation, he has a bloody fight with Assef which made him scared with Ruptured spleen. Broken teeth. Punctured lung. Busted eye socket. Though helping Sohrab to get rid of Assef has destructively damaged his physical health, he consciously neglects his sacrifice because when during Assef’s assault, for the first time since the winter of 1975, I felt at peace. The peace of getting revenge, the peace of compensating his sin, the peace of terminating the interior torment that he has been suffered for thirty years. To Amir, as long as he could retrieve his moral tranquility, anything he has paid for the atonement is worthwhile. This explains why when Amir sees the first subtle smile of Sohrab after his suicide attempt, he running with a swarm of screaming children, the high modality motion suggests his inner joyfulness and the ultimate liberation from the haunting past, which against reveals the worthiness of his costly atonement.
However, to some extent, the sacrifice for atonement can be excessive compared to the sin. Amir’s mother hemorrhaged to death during childbirth, which makes Amir an indirect murderer and a sinner to his father for killing his beloved wife. In order to atone himself in front of Baba, he determines to win the kite fighting tournament, and asked Hassan to run the last kite for him to satisfy Baba and fulfill his self-esteem. Because his eagerness for redeeming himself is so intense, that he eventually sacrifices Hassan through his non-action when seeing him getting sexually abused by Assef. On his way home in victory, he thinks maybe Hassan was the price I had to pay, the lamb I had to slay. The rhyming phrases emphasize his desperation for gaining Baba’s affection and atoning himself at all costs. This colossal sacrifice eventually leads to Amir’s long-term psychological torment. Beyond the years his guiltiness haunts around him, floods into his dreams or even random thoughts. Once Amir dreamt about the scene that Hassan had got slaughtered while himself was the man in the herringbone vest as the killer, after he experienced the impoverished situation of Farid’s family which made him imagine the analogous adversity Hassan’s family had gone through only due to his selfishness of unwilling to take them to American, thus to disguise his crime. His internal struggle and turmoil has not been diluted but intensified over and over chronologically, which is represented by the flashbacks of his memory that disrupted the linear structure of the novel. Within these flashbacks, the disastrous post-sacrifice consequence is revealed, which strongly rejected the worthiness of the great cost of his atonement for Baba.
In Baba’s friend Rahim Khan’s letter to Amir, he outlined the significance of atonement by defining the boundary of good and evil: a man who has no conscience, no goodness, does not suffer. And apparently, Amir and Baba are inherently good in nature, hence most of the time they deem their atonement worthy, despite of the huge sacrifice they made, as their remedies have restored their goodness and conscience and saved them from the sea of painful psyche. Nevertheless, karma is fugitive. Sometimes blind sacrifice might be counterproductive and brings about more irretrievable sins they need to atone. Yet it is the unforeseen cycle of sins and atonements that add suspense to the Amir, Hassan and Baba’s interweaving traces of lives, and to the novel Kite Runner as a whole.
Foreshadowing in The Kite Runner
By looking the novel “The Kite Runner”, one can see how the author, Khaled Hosseini, uses foreshadowing device to great effect in the story, which is important because it gives subtle hints about what will occur as the story opens. Foreshadowing is an author nudging the reader and saying, “hey you! Pay attention!” It is also an excellent way to create suspense. Add more drama to the story.
The Kite Runner is a story of two boys, Amir and Hassan, and their inside and out struggles while growing up in Afghanistan. Hosseini uses foreshadowing right away in chapter one, page 1. “I became what I am today at the age of twelve, on a frigid overcast day in the winter of 1975”, the narrator, Amir, begins. This type of foreshadowing is paired with a flashback: the chapter is headed with a date of December 2001, so we know this novel will contain a flashback to Amir’s childhood.
Chapter 1 foreshadows the entire novel. As Amir sets up his story, dropping little hints along the way, we realize that the novel will answer our questions properly. The chapter is sprinkled with names: Rahim Khan, Hassan, Baba, Ali. Who are these people, and how are they all connected? Right from the start, the Hosseini prepares us for the journey we are about to take with Amir. Chapter introduce events of the novel in a rather obvious way. We are meet with names and places that we can expect to encounter as we read. Throughout the rest of the novel, foreshadowing comes to play in a much subtler way.
In chapter six Amir describes a strange feeling he sometimes gets when he looks at his close friend Hassan. This foreshadowing type called “subtle foreshadowing”. ”I suddenly had the feeling I was looking at two faces, the one I knew … and another, a second face, this one lurking just beneath the surface.” This is not the first-time Amir has had this strange impression. “I’d seen it happen before – it always shook me up a little.” This “other face” of Hassan would appear shortly, giving Amir an “unsettling feeling”, that he had seen it somewhere else. This passage is a subtle hint to the reader. Hosseini employs it here to foreshadow what we learn later in the novel – that Hassan and Amir are actually half-brothers. That “second face” that Amir sometimes sees in Hassan is his own.
Khaled Hosseini in his novel uses examples of direct and indirect foreshadowing. Direct foreshadowing is, for example, when Amir again actually tells us at that Afghanistan suddenly changed forever. This is an example of foreshadowing because Amir gives us a hint that things were going to change in Afghanistan. This quote would turn out to contribute of the story in a big way. Later in the book, we see how Afghanistan turned into a war zone and a country full with injustice, from the invasion of the Soviet Union all the way to the Taliban gaining power and taking over towns in Afghanistan, only to introduce injustice and violence to their people instead of helping them.
The last type of foreshadowing – indirect, we can see in the chapter twenty. When Zaman, the orphanage owner, tells us “He’s (Sohrab) inseparable from that slingshot. He tucks it in the waist of his pants everywhere he goes”. This is an example of foreshadowing because even though he does not tell us that Sohrab is going to use the slingshot, we all know that the process of getting Sohrab back will not be easy. This quote would also turned out to contribute to the story in a huge way because we later see that Sohrab saves Amir from the beating that he was receiving from Assef by shooting Assef in the eye with his slingshot, helping save not only Amir’s life but his as well. As you can see, the novel The Kite Runner did a great job at providing us with different types of foreshadowing and how author, Khaled Hosseini uses them in his novel.
Guilt and perseverance as the motivation in The Kite Runner
The present paper explores guilt and perseverance in The Kite Runner as the motivation for an individual to seek redemption and attain the satisfaction of self-fulfillment. Unfolded through the first person narrative mode , the novel is structured like the memory lane of the protagonist Amir whose sense of remorse and guilt over the sin of leaving behind his ever loyal friend Hassan, for reasons far too vague , force him to commit acts of expiation through return . Amir’s return to homeland, tarnished and tattered by war, fundamentalism and the turbulence of a Taliban led regime unfolds his journey towards self-identity and redemption. Unlike Changez in The Reluctant Fundamentalist, in The Kite Runner, Amir faces no sense of identity crisis in the adopted homeland. Rather he feels himself a stranger when he returns to the changed realities of his home town, Kabul. Amir’s journey home in search of Hassan’s surviving son, Sohrab is replete with conflict, violence and violations.
In the novel, the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan is a volatile plane of clash and confrontation of identities and loyalties. As Seyham describes, border carries intrinsically within itself an idea of perpetual motion and confrontation (201). The border thus turns almost into a real space in which the confrontations between cultures , nationalities and languages take place , and in which , ideally the culture of hybridization replaces the traditional idea of a national identity. Amir is a cultural hybrid which makes him distinct and unique. Thus the novel revolves around the central axiom of personal selves permeated by political prejudices and permutations.
In a lifetime, everyone will face personal battles and guilt, some large and some small.
Such as guilt over sneaking out, not doing homework, or telling your parents a little white lie. People find peace of mind through redeeming themselves, in other words, we do something that makes up for the cause of guilt. Khaled Hosseini’s novel “The Kite Runner” revolves around betrayal and redemption. Redemption is the act of saying or being saved from sin, error or evil, which the main character Amir seems to need the most. Amir lives with the guilt he has built up over the years because of one incident from his childhood. Amir’s fathers words still echo through his head “A boy who won’t stand up for himself becomes a man who can’t stand up to anything”. pg. 24. Although Amir destroyed the lives of many people, and he has had more than one opportunity to redeem himself of his guilt, he is not the selfish little boy he once was. How often does one stop and think, “How will this affect everyone else in my life?” Amir had a chance in the alley, to put Hassan first and change the path of both their lives, but he made the decision to turn around and run because it was what he thought was best for him: “I had one last chance to make a decision. One final opportunity to decide who I was going to be. I could step into that alley, stand up for Hassan the way he’d stood up for me all those times in the past and accept whatever would happen to me. Or I could run. In the end, I ran. I ran because I was a coward. I was afraid of Assef and what he would do to me. I was afraid of getting hurt. That’s what I told myself as I turned my back to the alley, to Hassan. That’s what I made myself believe. I actually aspired to cowardice, because the alternative, the real reason I was running, was that Assef was right: Nothing was free in this world. Maybe Hassan was the price I had to pay, the lamb I had to slay, to win Baba.”
Amir’s selfish ways were a result of the lack of his father’s affection in his life. As a young boy, he was forced to deal with his father’s disinterest in him, which made him incredibly jealous of Hassan. Amir could not understand at the time, why his father adored his servant’s son more than his own son. As the tension increases between Amir and Hassan, Amir can no longer stand to see Hassan every day because of what Amir had not stopped and he could not bear seeing his father showing Hassan love and not him. Hassan and his father are forced to leave their home after Amir places his watch under Hassan’s pillow and accuses him of stealing it. Hassan did not even deny the accusations because he had figured out what Amir was doing. “Hassan knew. He knew I had betrayed him and yet he was rescuing me once again, maybe for the last time.” pg.111Even after the alleged theft of the watch, Amir’s father is willing to forgive Hassan, which stunned Amir, and made him see that the love his father has for Hassan is greater than he imagined.
Amir did not just ruin Hassan’s life; he also ruined the lives of many people with his decisions after the incident in the alley. Baba lost a chance to watch his son, Hassan, grow up and also lost the chance to bring him to America so he could start a new life. Sohrab lost both his parents to war because they were still living in Afghanistan, lost his childhood to war, and tried to commit suicide as a result of Amir going back on his promise to keep him safe from orphanages. Soraya lost her right to the truth when Amir kept his past a secret even though she opened up to him about hers. It is one thing to destroy your own life with guilt, but it is a completely different issue when you destroy the lives of others.
Before Amir can go on the road to redemption, Amir must realize that he can’t go back and change what he has done as a child, and he must find inner peace. Although if it was not for Amir’s actions as a child, Sohrab never would have needed to be saved in the first place but by saving Sohrab, the last piece of Hassan’s life, does make a difference. From the moment he chose to turn his back on Hassan, there were many chances where “There’s a way to be good again” pg.238 for all his wrongdoings, but he chose not to take any of these. Sohrab was his last and only chance for redemption. “I have a wife in America, a home, a career and a family”. But how could I pack up and go back home when my actions may have cost Hassan a chance at those very same things? And what Rahim Khan revealed to me changed things. Made me see how my entire life, long before the winter of 1975, dating back to when that singing Hazara woman was still nursing me, had been a cycle of lies betrayals and secrets.” pg.238
Amir admits that he cost Hassan a chance at a good life and that he had many opportunities to change the outcome of Hassan’s life. But at this moment he realized he could lose everything he has built in America, but for the first time in his life, Amir did not care about only himself, he came to terms with what he had done, and he was ready to redeem himself at any cost.
Amir finally became the man who stood up for himself and his sins. Throughout his childhood, Amir looked for his father’s affection and he never could get it. His father had said “I’m telling you, Rahim, there is something missing in that boy.” pg.24 Amir’s father would have been proud of him at this very moment because that was all he had wanted from him. The guilt that was built over the years was finally put to rest at the safety of Sohrab. In Afghanistan when Amir stood up for Sohrab and Assef aggressively beat him up, Amir had said “My body was broken just how badly I wouldn’t find out until later but I felt healed. Healed at last. I laughed.” pg.289 which showed Amir had come to terms with what he had done as a child and was finally felt relieved. Although he was getting beat up, it did not matter anymore, he just wished he had stood up to Assef years ago, and maybe he would have earned his redemption in that alley.
In chapter seven, an unthinkable things happen: Hassan is raped in an alley by a bully, Assef, and Amir does nothing to stop it. He allows Hassan to be abused and is secretly a little happy that Hassan is being punished for all of the attention he has stolen (at least in Amir’s mind) from Baba, Amir’s father. He runs away from the awful scene and says, “The real reason I was running, was that Assef was right: Nothing was free in this world. Maybe Hassan was the price I had to pay, the lamb I had to slay, to win Baba”.
Things get even worse in chapter nine when Amir’s guilt, shame, and anger are so great that he wants nothing more than for Hassan to be gone. Amir tries several tactics, butnone of them work. Finally he frames Hassan by planting a watch and some money under Hassan’s bed. Baba is finally forced to ask Hassan directly about the incident.
Baba came right out and asked. ”Did you steal that money? Did you steal Amir’s watch, Hassan”? Hassan’s reply was a single word, delivered in a thin, raspy voice: Yes. I flinched, like I’d been slapped. My heart sank and I almost blurted out the truth. Then I understood: This was Hassan’s final sacrifice for me. If he’d said no, Baba would have believed him because we all knew Hassan never lied. And if Baba believed him, then I’d be the accused; I would have to explain and I would be revealed for what I really was. Baba would never, ever forgive me. And that led to another understanding: Hassan knew He knew I’d seen everything in that alley, that I’d stood there and done nothing. He knew I had betrayed him and yet he was rescuing me once again, maybe for the last time.
Amir wanted to get rid of Hassan, and Baba now sends Hassan away because of Amir’s lie. We find out later that Hassan is also Baba’s son, so Hassan is being betrayed by both Amir, his brother, and Baba, his father. Despite that, Hassan remains loyal and loving to them both.
The opening lines of the book speak of Amir’s guilt and remorse: That was a long time ago, but it’s wrong what they say about the past, I’ve learned, about how you can bury it, because the past claws its way out. Looking back now, I realize I have been peeking into that deserted alley for the last twenty-six years.
Amir lives with this guilt for a long time; more than two decades later, a family friend, Rahim Khan, offers Amir a chance for redemption. He wants Amir to come back to Afghanistan to rescue Sohrab, Hassan’s son, from an orphanage. Hassan died in another act of loyalty to the family. Amir finally agrees to rescue the boy who, it turns out, is in a much worse place than an orphanage by the time Amir finds him.
That was supposed to be the end of his obligation: Amir would rescue his nephew, Baba’s grandson, and leave him with a nice family in Pakistan. Instead, Amir is moved to bring Sohrab back to the United States and raise him as his own son. This act of rescue serves as an act of redemption, both for his own sins and his father’s against the true and loyal Hassan.
The issue of courage in The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
“He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.” This is a well-known quote from Muhammad Ali, it means, without courage there won’t be any changes in ourselves, this quote have the same idea as the book The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, the book is about a wealthy Pashtun boy name Amir and his servant as well as constant companion, a Hazara boy name Hassan, their friendship and fate. The book is full of thought provoking lesson and ideas, among all those ideas one important thing the reader can learn from the book is about courage, this idea has shown over and over again throughout the entire book, it can be seen from the characters’ action and personal though, For example Hassan fearlessly protect Amir, Amir decided to face his past, and how Baba stand up for others. In the book the author has shown people can’t cause a change without courage and determination, to make the changes often require overcoming the fear of failure.
To protect someone need a lot of courage, because you might fail to protect other. In the book The Kite Runner, when Assef is picking on Amir and about to fight him, Hassan decided to stand up for Amir and go against Assef. He overcomes his fear and threatens him. “You are right, Agha. But perhaps you didn’t notice that I’m the one holding the slingshot. If you make a move, they’ll have to change your nickname from Assef ‘the Ear Eater’ to “One-Eyed Assef,’ because I have this rock pointed at your left eye.” (Hosseini, 45). Hassan Stood up for Amir and protected him, he proves his friendship and loyalty is stronger than his fear. Not only that after the kite tournament, Hassan protected Amir’s kite, Hassan knows the importance of the kite, so when he was bully by Assef he, still holds the kite tight in his arm and claims Amir and him are friends, “Amir agha and I are friends”, Hassan said.” After the tragedy Hassan still hold the kite tight in his arm and pretend nothing happened in front of Amir because he doesn’t want to lose his precious friend, but he does not know Amir knows what happened. To draw the conclusion Hassan is scare but he would overcome his fear for his friend and something he believes is important to him and that is courage.
The past is full of shameful and regretful moments and to face the past it needs a lot of courage. What happened to Hassan in Afghanistan is a nightmare for Amir, he tries to forget it multiple times, as he grows older, when he’s back to Afghanistan to visit Rahim Khan, and he finally decided to face the past, the past he wants to forget. “I don’t want to forget anymore” (263), when Amir says that he’s ready to face the past. Everyone is a slave to their past. No matter how much you wish to move forward, the events of last year will bear down on you, you carry it forever in a corner of your heart, waiting for it to resurrect. That is why it required a lot of courage to face it. In addition, Amir decided to face the truth, overcome his mistake and regretful moment, and went to find Sohrab when he heard about Hassan’s death. Amir knows he can run from his past all he wants, but it will always follow him, Forever. When he decided to redeem his sins by searching for Sohrab, he obtains the pluck from his friend and family. He became courageousness to do so. It’s hard for people to face the past. It can make people want to die out of regret and shame, but Amir finally stand up and face the past and redeem his sins, it makes Amir from a coward who’s running away from his past to someone who put his head up and face the truth.
Courage is needed to face someone who’s stronger than yourself? No, when you face someone who’s stronger than you is courage. When Amir and Baba are in the truck on their way to America, Baba stands up for the women, who’s being sexually assaulted by the Russian soldier. “That was when Baba stood up. It was my turn to clamp a hand on his thigh, but Baba pried it loose, snatched his leg away. When he stood, he eclipsed the moonlight. “I want you to ask this man something,” Baba said. He said it to Karim, but looked directly at the Russian officer. “Ask him where his shame is” (121). Baba knows those soldiers have guns, and he might get kill, but he still stands up for the women, people are often scare and not willing to stand up for others, when they know they’ll against someone who’s more powerful than themselves, likewise, Amir decided to stand up for Sohrab like Baba, He became a man who stand up for other, to rescue Sohrab he has to fight Assef to earn him back, first Amir was planning to bag, but it reminded him of what Hassan did “I remember how envious I’d been of Hassan’s bravery. Assef had backed down, promise with Hassan. Now it was my turn.” (300). He knows regretting the past forever won’t solve anything. That’s why he became fearless and goes against Assef. To face someone who’s stronger than its own is hard, because people know they might fail or be in danger but when they overcome the fear of failure. Become mentally stronger, because of the courage and pluck gained after all those difficult situations.
Finally, individuals can’t cause a change without bravery and assurance, to roll out the improvements regularly requires to overcome the dread of disappointment and courage is to own the dread itself. In the book the kite runner it perfectly proved protecting others, facing the past, fight someone who’s stronger than you requires courage to change what will happen or what has happened already, if to summer up the factor list above we can draw the conclusion that courage is the most important element in making changes. But at the end what is courage and who to obtain it.
The Kite Runner and Hamlet
The Kite Runner is a book written by Khaled Hosseini in the year 2003. The author of the book is an Afghan-American who tells the story of Amir who is a small boy from the district of Kabul. The novel exposes many themes based on the Afghanistan customs and cultural practices. The book has many themes in it that have all been exposed to the main character and his best friend, Hassan. It also covers the start of refugee movement in the United States and Pakistan. The Taliban regime is also discussed in this book. On the other side, Hamlet is a book written by Shakespeare at the start of the 17th century. The setting is in Denmark where Prince Hamlet is called upon by his father’s ghost to wreak over his uncle, Claudius. He had murdered his brother so that he would get the throne. He also took his dead brother’s widow as his wife. The book is the longest that Shakespeare has ever done and is referred to be one of the most influential works ever done.
Internal and External Conflict
Internal and external conflicts are seen in the characters in the two books. Most of the problems that befall characters in The Kite Runner and Hamlet are as a result of a conflict that exists between the internal and external factors facing the characters. This kind of conflict has caused a lot of suffering in the characters from both scripts. A difference between the inner self and the forces from the outside world in many cases will result in the unwanted or unexpected outcome. Internal conflict occurs in the mind of an individual. The person experiences psychological struggle, and they have to decide between matters that are both beneficial to the character or may both cause harm to the character. Internal conflict causes a state of inaction in a person as is the case in Prince Hamlet’s story. This state causes a mental struggle in a person to the point that they are not able to come up with upright decisions for the problems in their life. External conflict refers to conflicts that occur between a character and forces from the outside. It can be a person and a group or between a character and the environment around them. Internal and external conflicts have been discussed in depth in the two books.
Both internal and external conflicts change the character or cause of action in a person. They create tension, stakes, and character development in the two novels. They have been used as obstacles to character goals. They have been used to show the things that stop a character from achieving the goals they had at the start of the story. They have also been used to explain why a particular character will act in a certain way. Different internal and external conflicts are likely to cause certain reactions in a person. These conflicts have also been used to give the characters in the two books different traits and characters. The different conflicts in the minds of characters cause them to show different personalities and interests. The forces that surround them will also lead to a difference in what they want. Because of this difference, characters from the two texts are more likely to show different traits and behaviors based on different internal and external conflicts they experience. A comparison of the different cases of internal and external conflicts shown in the two texts is discussed in this paper.
From the two books, a person who takes action gets rewarded while that one who is hesitant at making decisions remains stuck and suffers tragedy. From the two novels, both Amir and Hamlet seem to be peoples who are hesitant in making decisions which causes them a lot of suffering. Hassan who works at Amir’s home and also happens to be his best friend helps him out all the time. Hassan is very brave and sacrifices his happiness to serve Amir, “For you, a thousand times over Amir Agha” (Hosseini, pg.1). Amir is a person who is very hesitant at taking actions; at one time he watches Hassan get raped and does nothing about. “In the end, I ran. I ran because I am a coward. I was afraid of Assef and what he would do to me” (Hosseini, pg.68). At this stage, Amir experiences internal conflicts within himself. He was thinking of helping his best friend, but at the same time, he was afraid of what the bully Assef would do to him. Because of this conflict within himself, he is hesitant at helping his best friend and Hassan ends up being raped.
Similarly, Hamlet is another character in the book which does not act in time when something comes up. He is aware of the flaws in the society but is reluctant when it comes to how and when he should act towards them. After getting the message to kill his uncle, he experiences some conflict within himself which leads him to delay in acting. He later accidentally kills the wrong person and finds himself saying, “How to stand I then, that have a father killed, a mother stained, excitement of my reason and my blood, and let all asleep, while to my shame I see all the imminent death of twenty thousand men” (Shakespeare, pg.231). The state of inaction experienced by Amir and Hamlet is as a result of internal and external conflicts.
Internal and external conflicts within the characters in the two books are the aspect that differentiates them also. In the case of Amir, his actions have also been influenced by his father, Baba. His father is a man who did not respect his values, and he wanted his son to be like him. “A boy who won’t stand up for himself becomes a man who can’t stand for anything.”(Hosseini, Pg.22). His father acts as external conflict. Amir is willing to stand on his own and make decisions as a man. On the other side, his dad is a self-centered man who wants his son to be like him. He feels that what he does and his beliefs are the best for his son. Due to this external conflict brought up by his differences with his father, he ends up being a person who takes a lot of time to act. This conflict negatively affects him. Baba even doubts if Amir was his real son at some point because of the differences that existed between them.
On the contrary, the relationship between Hamlet and his father King Hamlet was very strong. It is the reason why his father’s spirit haunts him to take revenge after his father was dead. “I am thy father’s spirit; doomed for a certain term to walk the night. Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder”(Shakespeare, Pg.65). Hamlet and father had a love for each other. However after the ghost instructed him to take revenge on his father’s death, he doubted its existence for some time. The external conflict that occurs between Hamlet and the ghost makes him hesitant in the process of taking revenge for his father’s death. Internal and external conflicts do not have the same effect on characters in the two novels. In some cases, these conflicts make people act fast towards something while in others they bring reluctance in the process of taking action when things come up. Internal conflict makes Amir a coward and is not able to save his friend Hassan. On the other side, an external conflict between him and his father help him to work hard and become a better person.
Internal and external conflicts may be used to bring good or bad to a person. These conflicts have been used extensively in the two novels to define the main characters. They have also been used to explain why certain actions were taken by a character in the book. They have developed characters and explained their causes of action. Internal and external conflicts have also been used to pass certain messages to the reader. Themes and various aspects of the society have also been exposed in this way. From the cases of the two novels, readers should realize the power that internal and external conflicts have on their lives. By knowing the power they have, they will be in a position to control the conflicts they come across. This way, their actions will not be negatively affected by internal and external conflicts.
The Impacts of Bullying on People in The Kite Runner
Bullying has impacted many people all around the world. Whether bullying is online, in person, or even through a telephone it hurts many. Books even show how bad bullying can be. The sad part is many children, adults, and elders, are bullied every single day. Bullying can take impact in many places, hurt many people, and change people in many ways.
Depending on where you live can take impact on the bullying you receive. For example, if you have a nice house someone may try to rob your house or force you to buy him or her something. While if you live in a not so good shaped house, someone could make fun of the characteristics of the house. If you live in a torn up neighborhood you might get made fun of if you don’t have the nicest stuff. Sometimes life can be difficult and where you live shouldn’t depend on the bullying you can receive.
Bullying hurts a lot of people. Some people do not let bullying affect them. Other people though let it take their life away. This could be painful to many of their family members. People do not realize how hurtful truly words can be. Its sad to know some people will bully others to the point where death occurs.
Bullying also impacts how people view the world. Some people become very evil and see the world as a very cold place. In The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, the character Hassan receives a lot of bullying. Hassan knows not to go to the place where Assef, another character in the book, bullied him brutally. While other people take the world as it happens. For example Amir, he doesn’t do anything. Amir just lets everyone bully him and then moves on. Some can handle bullying while others cannot, and just break down. Bullying does hurt a lot of people.
Bullying takes impact daily and it’s a very sad statistic in which death occurs. Many do not realize how bad people can suffer. Bullying needs to stop before things get worse. The KiteRunner makes you realize bullying is not worth the price anyone could pay. Since there is only one life to live, everyone should take life with a smile and show everyone can be strong.