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The Kite Runner and the Caste System Essays

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I chose to do my paper on the caste system. The caste system is an inherited social ranking of the classes and plays an important role throughout the Kite Runner. The book sates that there needs to be an order of the people to make sense of things worthwhile. The two boys try to defy that the caste system is nothing more than a state of mind. The Afghan people feel alienated from their own history because of the caste system. Kite fighting is a perfect example of the caste system. One has the fighter who attacks other kites, and the runner who chases he fallen kites. Hassan who is a Shi'a while Amir is Pashtun and has many more opportunities available to him because of his social class. Although they are friends, Amir is hesitant to acknowledge this while in public. I believe that the caste system imposes many of its own seemingly unintentional rules among the people. This system even lead Amir to stand by while his servant was raped by local bullies. Even though there may not be any laws about certain issues, the caste system might impose and enforce them through hate and violence. The caste system forces people to be alienated from their own history.

The novel depicts the story of Amir, an Afghan living in San Francisco who receives a call from his father's friend living in Pakistan, a place which brings back bittersweet memoirs of childhood days spent in Kabul, Afghanistan. Amir narrates his idyllic childhood in Kabul where his father is well-endowed with much financial success, power, and prestige. Amir and his father render housing for their servants or to the socially disadvantaged people within their jurisdiction. As opposed to the wealthy background that Amir has grown accustomed to, Ali together with his s...


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... story plays a crucial role in presenting the powerful Amir to set a clear line between who is wealthy and powerful and who is unfortunate and bullied.





Works Cited


Barnes, Michael H. In the Presence of Mystery: An Introduction to the Story of Human Consciousness. Connecticut: Twenty-Third Publications, 2003.

Dumont, Louis. Homo Hierarchicus: The Caste System and Its Implications. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980.

Hosseini, Khaled. The Kite Runner. New York: Riverhead Books, 2004.

Kendal, Diana. Sociology in Our Times: The Essentials. California: Thomson Wadsworth, 2006.

Pruthi, R.K. Indian Caste System. New Delhi: Discovery Publishing House, 2004.

Smith, Brian K. Classifying the Universe: The Ancient Indian Varna System and the Origins of Caste. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994.
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