The Kite Runner...By Khaled HosseiniIs This Propaganda?
Can an author promote something that is nonsensical and biased to a group of readers who are primarily unaware of any goings on in this particular part of the world? Sure with the war in full bloom we as Americans are all in tune with the people of Afghanistan and their everyday troubles......Yeah right!!The middle east remains a mystery to me and to many others like me.
The Kite Runner is book about a young Afghan boy who leaves his native country to come to America and start a new life only to one day receive a phone call from an old friend, named Rahim Khan. The phone call rehashes memories of a home that he left behind many years ago, memories that he would soon rather forget. The main character in this fictional novel by Khaled Hosseini is named Amir. Amir is haunted by a past that is filled with sorrow and sin. He was born in the Afghan capital of Kabul where he lived with his father, a wealthy and influential member of the city. What Amir's father had in money and power he lacked in love and commitment to his son. As the book plays out, all Amir is searching for is his father's attention, praise and love. Amir's best friend in the novel is named Hassan. Hassan and Amir grow up together and are virtually inseparable. Through the classification system in Afghanistan, Hassan is seen as lower class because he is Hazara. Hazaras are the definite minorities in Afghanistan because they are Shiite Muslims and not Sunni(The Majority Muslims). Therefore all their lives Amir has looked down upon Hassan and ultimately taking his friendship for granted. Hassan was known to do anything for Amir. Amir talks about the differences between the two in class, wealth, and educational levels and how the two should never cross into each other.
The year is 1975 and the government is taken over by a coup ordered by the king's cousin and the city is frantic with fear. Afghanistan is set to be turned into a republic. Ali, Hassan's father rushes to the boys to make sure they are secure and ok. Even this little show of affection makes Amir warm inside and ever more jealous of Hassan for what love he receives. Later Amir's father, Baba, joins the three and caresses the two boys to Amir's delight. Such simple love and affection is all the boy craves and is overjoyed in this time of uncertainty. Oddly enough, Baba and Ali grew up under very similar circumstances then the two boys now. Through tragedy they were brought together and grew up side by side, but distances apart due heavy prejudice between Muslim classes. Ali also born into the Hazara class, had congenital deformities that scarred his face all his life. So along with being tormented for who he was associated with, he also received heavy taunts for his face and scars.
In Chapter 7, an event occurs that gives this book its title. An annual event that has the children from Kabul and other various districts all coming together for the kite flying competition. Amir has come close in recent years and Baba expresses his confidence in him that he can win it all this time which gives Amir all the incentive he needs to pull through. Hassan meanwhile is the best Amir has ever seen at kite flying. His control and trust in the kite to do whatever he wants it to do is simply amazing to Amir. The day of the contest is here with people sitting on roof tops, sipping tea and listening to Afghani music before the start of the competition. With Amir holding the strings and Hassan feeding him from the reel, the two are victorious in this year's tournament. All his life Amir was searching for his father's love and finally acheived something that was worthy of it. His plan was to go home and bring the blue kite that was used in the victory and present it to his father, but first Hassan had to go fetch it and was to meet him at home as soon as possible. On his way home Amir was bombarded with envious people congratulating him on his big accomplishment which in turn made him take longer to get home and to Hassan. Upon coming home, Amir asked Ali where Hassan and his father were. Ali, not knowing where either were recammended he go search for Hassan while Baba surely will be home soon. What happens next is something that will haunt Amir for the rest of his days. He finds Hassan in an alley trapped by the bully in this novel named Asseff and his two Pushtan(Upper Class) friends. Earlier in the novel Amir and Hassan were confronted by the three only to have Hassan step up and fend off the three potential bullies. Now is different story. The whole novel Amir and Hassan are together but when called on the fact that Hassan is Hazara, Amir never comes to his friends aid or sticks up for him. This time would put that life long attitude to the test. Assef calls Hassan to give him the blue kite, but Hassan refuses, Stating," he ran it down, so it's Amir's fair and square". Assef and the two other boys end up raping Hassan with no help at all from Amir. His so called friend Amir, crouching there behind the alley so as he couldn't be seen, never did anything to save Hassan. Later, after the ordeal was over and Amir and Hassan meet back at their home. Amir asks," where were you?I've been looking all over for you."Amir takes the kite from Hassan and is greeted by his father with all he's wanted his whole life, a loving hug and his admiration.
In the chapters to come, the incident was never discussed from that day on, Hassan, was to never smile again. He lived his life without feeling any enjoyment from life due to that moment after the kite flying tournament. Amir on the other hand is riddled with guilt now. The sorrow he feels turns into shame as he starts to distance himself from Hassan. The years to come see the Russians invade Afghanistan, Baba and Amir have left for Pakistan and then on to the United States where Amir settles in San Francisco. The tone of the book clearly has you sympathizing for Hassan, for all his love and loyalty gets him is a friend who looks down on him and doesn't help when it's needed most. Throughout the agony and sorrow the book brought to my attention, it seems the Afghan people are no different then anyone else. Everywhere else in the world people use tactics and words to gather minds on their side's. This book used a sad story and you just couldn'e help feel for Hassan while I grew contempt for Amir. What struck a cord with me was the differences in social class in Afghanistan that was brought up. Pushtans as the upper more sophisticated class and the Hazaras, the poor, servant class. Propaganda in this book was suttle but i choose to think that it influenced my thinking towards social and religous prejudice, and the classing system in middle eastern countries.