Ethnic Conflicts in The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Hosseini influences the readers view on the complicity of all ethnic conflicts — both historical and present day 7 by simplifying the Afghani racial controversy through Amir and Hassan’s relationship and emphasizing the factors that create them: ancient hatreds, authoritative manipulation, and competition Nationalities are made powerful through teaching and repetition until they become a large piece of one’s identity. And when one feels a part of their identity being threatened they can often respond defensively and take thoughtless and illogical action to remove that fear.

This paranoia can be credited to the fact that ethnic communities have a tendency to hold on to historical conflicts as a point of reference. Many believe that because it happened once, conflict is inevitable, and see that as justification for discriminatory acts upon other ethnicities. The Pashtun and Hazara hold different very different beliefs and cultures, the Pashtun follow the Sunni religion and the Hazara the Shi’a religion. Consequently, the Pashtun do not trust the Hazara to be loyal Afghans, and violence tends to be the norm.

Nonetheless, the two ethnic groups are members of the same nationality 7 the two sons of Afghanistan, both fighting to prove they have rightful control As two alternate forces contending for legitimacy, Amir and Hassan can be viewed as representative figures of this ethnic rift, Amir and Hassan both have the same father. but only one is considered as the lawful heir.

In this way, Hosseini is simplifying the historic conflict that still divides Afghanistan and Muslims, as well as expressing his opinion by presenting a circumstance in which both ethnicities or sons are technically bona fide heirs blinded by their prejudices.

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Secondly, these fears and actions can often be endorsed by Political figures seeking power and support. In order to gain power, these politicians often side with one of the “warring” groups, and exploit their ethnic conflicts by reminding them of their historical differences which works to strengthen the hatred between the groups and give the politician a sturdy group of followers. “Belligerent leaders stoke mass hostility; hostile masses support belligerent leaders, and both together threaten other groups, creating a security dilemma which in turn encourages even more mass hostility and leadership belligerence” (Stuart Kaufman). Politicians resurface the fears of their chosen group and make empty promises to rectify the wrongs put upon them by the other ethnic group. It seems a transparent move, but nevertheless, this exact occurrence has happened countless times, decreasing the possibility of logical problem-solving.

In the Kite Runner, society acts as the influential figure that works to remind Amir of his and Hassan’s differences. Amir is reminded daily of the way the majority of his people feel about the Hazara, “People called Hazaras mice»eating, flat-nosed, load- carrying donkeys. I had heard some of the kids in the neighborhood yell those names to Hassan” (8). Nevertheless, until Hassan was raped, and Amir saw how deep the hatred of the Hazara people ran in some of the Pashtun, Amir still somewhat ignorantly viewed Hassan’s and his friendship as one that may one day be accepted in their community. Eventually, like politically maneuvered ethnic conflicts, it was external forces that tore through the vulnerable ground on which their relationship stood. The last, and possibly most common reason for ethnic conflict, is competition, and specifically over resources. When resources are scarce, many humans return to their “survival of the fittest” mentality. During these times ethnic intolerance often rises as groups attempt to create a divide between them and others, so that, if they prove more dominant, they will receive more resources and rights.

“These groups are all the more likely to be vulnerable.r.when they find themselves in situations characterized by a lack of opportunities” (6 OECD-USAID,“Land, Conflict and Development: What Role of Donors?”). In The Kite Runner, it is Baba’s attention that is being fought for rather than resources, When he was young, Amir’s relationship with his father’s was never what he hoped it to be; he always felt the need to impress him, or prove his worth, but never could‘ Amir overheard Baba speaking proudly of Hassan and about his lack of connection to Amir, and grew jealous of Hassan. Amir began to blame Hassan a bit for his and Baba’s poor relationship, Then came the day he won the kite cutting competition. and suddenly he felt the bond that hadn‘t been there. From that day forward, he continued to make choices in hope of strengthening his bond with Baba. In doing this he pushed Hassan away. So, he had won the competition of sorts but in such a way that it would sit very uneasily inside of him until he could somehow right his errors. I have never truly believed the extremes to which the large party conflicts in this world go to, or the disrespect and prejudice theses parties often have towards each other can be justified, however; before reading this novel, I had never realized why no big scale conflict ever captured me enough to cause me to pick a side in it.

After reading a and analyzing a The Kite Runner, I discovered my aversion to side-picking is simply because, though the subjects fighting and the thing being fought for may change, the mentality and way the fight is being fought never differs and the alternative and rational solutions are always ignored l have grown up in a house where communication is emphasized heavily as the only form of problem-solving, This does not go to say that I’ve never had an unconstructive conversation — I’ve had many illogical arguments. but with time I learned that they never got me anywhere. I find it shocking, that a realization as simple as this can be found in me, but not by world leaders. How is it that, we are considered such a progressive species, but still use combative war, perhaps the most rudimentary form of “problem solving” for the world’s largest issues. This illogical reality is why I never find myself investing anytime to learn more about the perspectives of a multiple party conflict, because I can already see right through both arguments. Like I said earlier, these conflicts can all be broken down into a handful of causes, and none of them justify the violence or mistreatment that occurs as a result. The Kite Runner helped me really understand the ingredients to a conflict, and validated my lack of upkeep with current-day disputes.

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Ethnic Conflicts in The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. (2022, Sep 07). Retrieved from

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