The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini

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This has to be my favourite book so far, I couldn’t put it down. This book tells the tale of the lives of two Afgan boys; Amir and Hassan and the struggles they face throughout their lives. One of the most prominent themes of this novel is social hierachy and the way this affects life for both the upper and lower classes. Amir, an upper class boy, often uses his intellectual ability and status to humiliate and bully Hassan, who is of lower class, however Hassan doesn’t once rebel against Amir and instead accepts the way he will be treated due to his Hazara background, without any argument or rebellion. After an important Kite flying competition, Hassan runs to get the last kite as almost a trophy of his achievement, however soon comes across a few of the older boys in the neighbourhood who belive Hassan should be punished for being ‘just a Hazara’. They beat and rape Hassan and whilst Amir saw this, he did not interevene in fear of being beaten himself. Due to the overwhelming guilt felt by Amir, Hassan and his dad leave the household and move away. After the Taliban invade their home town, Amir and his father Baba move to America, escaping the violence and destruction within Afganistan. Amir grows up to be a married man, however him and his wife are unable to have children and Baba dies of cancer. After a long time of being away, Amir is forced to return to Kabul after it is revealed that after all this time, him and Hassan were actually half brothers and now Hassan is dead, leaving his orphan child alone in the dangerous Kabul. Upon his return, Amir faces the remains of his childhood home and this is the point where I related this to myself and the way I would feel if my home had been destroyed. After much struggle, Amir finally finds Hassan’s son and takes him to a safe place whilst they wait for a formal adoption to allow them to go back to America together. However, follwing the death of both his father and his mother and the complete distraught life he now leads, Hassan’s son attempts suicide. This was really eye-opening for me as often we forget about the innocent children torn from their families that have to live in these war torn countries. The entire novel is based on the way in which terrorism groups, such as the Taliban, completely destroy people’s lives. This reflects current events as well, such as the ISIS atrocities, and makes us as readers realise the signficance of terrorism for those affected.

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