Critical Appreciation Of The Kite

Topics: The Kite Runner

This sample of an academic paper on Critical Appreciation Of The Kite reveals arguments and important aspects of this topic. Read this essay’s introduction, body paragraphs and the conclusion below.

In The Kite Runner, the author Khaled Hosseini tells a narrative spanning the lives of characters amid political upheavals and war. Therefore, the themes he presents to the reader are highly prevalent to their understanding of the war throughout the novel, and this scene reflects these themes well. The sheer destruction war causes is a rather established theme throughout the novel and is an important theme in the scene where the protagonist, Amir, returns to Kabul after living in America.

It is between pages 214 to 217, that this scene presents how the brutality and violence of war has detrimentally affected both Afghan society and the physical surroundings itself and reinforces the themes presented throughout the novel.

The social and historical context surrounding the novel is significantly important in considering the portrayal of Afghanistan, particularly Amir’s return to Kabul.

Afghanistan’s history during the latter decades of the 20th century directly influenced the lives if the characters and provides a basis for the reader’s own understanding of the war. From 1973, when a coup d’�tat ended the monarchy, Afghanistan has been fighting against both foreign invaders and itself. In 1992, Afghanistan was converted into an Islamic state and in 1996, a group of Pashtun supremacists, the Taliban, took control of the country. They massacred Shiites and Hazaras in addition to enacting fundamentalist laws.

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The strife of war continued and undoubtedly is presented in this scene and throughout the novel as a whole.

The Kite Runner Critical Analysis

The placement of this scene within the novel, concerning the plot and movements of the characters, is also highly important in consideration of the war. Historically, Amir’s return is during the Taliban’s control of Afghanistan, after many years of fighting. His memories of Afghanistan and Kabul are from his childhood during peacetime and as a result, his return after many years of war presents a detailed illustration of how Kabul now is. His use of the past continuous tense such as: ‘There used to be shops here and hotels’ draws references to his experiences from when he was young serving as a reminder that for a long period of time prior to the war, Kabul had many amenities that have now been destroyed. This reinforces the fact it was war that destroyed these amenities and so war that has dealt a serious blow to society, plummeting it into what one would expect from a fledgling third world nation rather than a country rich in culture and tradition.

The atmosphere that Hosseini creates is incredibly significant in his portrayal of the key themes of violence and brutality of war. His use of diction, imagery and syntax creates a unique yet alluring style of writing which allows the reader to delve deeply into the atrocities of a war-torn Kabul. Significantly, the opening sentence of the final paragraph on page 214 sets the tone for the remainder of his description of the city. Hosseini deals with the harrowing social problems caused by fighting for he simply states: ‘Rubble and Beggars’. This automatically sets the precedent one might expect for a city ravished by war. What is quite intriguing about this statement is its blunt approach to the issue. Rather than skirting around the subject, Hosseini instantly illustrates a city ravaged by fighting.

He demonstrates the poor conditions Afghans are living in simply by stating: ‘beggars’ which suggests an enormity of poverty-stricken people living on the streets (of which have turned to ‘rubble’) and shortly after by saying: ‘they squatted at every street corner’. This reinforces the idea that there were large amounts of people displaced by the war and the term ‘squatted’ suggests that these people are close to the earth and so seen as dirt by the Taliban. These are the victims of the wars much as the Hazaras were victims of the Taliban. This is an excellent use of empathy to convey Hosseini’s outlook on war and helps to contribute to the reader’s understanding of it. It allows the reader to experience from the victims’ point of view of war how it was indiscriminate, that it was not only the racial targets of the Taliban that suffered but also society overall. It shows that the war indiscriminate and so reflects one of the novel’s chief concerns: the idea of brutality of and its destruction lives.

Hosseini makes it clearly apparent that the victims of the war were the innocent, evidently remarking upon how the war was indiscriminate. The war did not care who it hurt, for it ruined the lives of children who were left without fathers for: ‘fathers had become a rare commodity in Afghanistan’. The use of the word ‘commodity’ suggests an item of value to be bought or sold and in this sense is a metaphor for the value of a father. It suggests that fathers are very important and valuable to a child, as stereotypically (yet especially real in Afghan society) men are the breadwinners and provide for their children. The men have fought in the wars leaving their children without fathers, without a means of support and subsequently must rely on supporting themselves. This idea relates to the novel as a whole for Amir returns to Kabul in search of Sohrab, Hassan’s son, who has been orphaned by the war. In a sense Amir is this rare commodity, somebody looking to help and provide for a child whose life has been destroyed by the war. It is quite ironic that this person should be Amir, the one who witnessed yet did nothing to stop the rape of Sohrab’s father by Assef, who has subsequently sexually abused Sohrab. This shows how the war has hampered Afghanistan’s future, for the new generation must not only be burdened in the future with looking after the old, but will have had the burden of looking after them up until that point. It contributes to my understanding of the war; that the war has not only destroyed the current society of Afghanistan but its legacy will continue to destroy future generations as well.

The war severely affected Afghanistan’s culture, traditions and society through physically destroying many of the amenities and through impoverishing much of the population. Hosseini’s powerful descriptions and literary techniques allow the reader clearly to empathise with both the characters but more importantly with the victims of war. He allows me to understand that the war was indiscriminate, many of the victims being children. This means that the war has severely hampered Afghanistan’s survival in future years because of the enormous strife the younger generations have been through caused by the war.

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Critical Appreciation Of The Kite
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