A Woman's Place: The Kite Runner

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Throughout Khaled Hosseini’s novel, The Kite Runner, the reader observes many injustices committed due to the presence of the Taliban and cultural conflict in Afghanistan. One of the most concerning issues in Afghanistan is the mistreatment and inequality that women face on a daily basis due to Taliban mandates. Women in Afghanistan are treated as inferior beings to men and are unable to stand up for themselves due the laws the Taliban enforces. Hosseini uses the wives of Amir and Hassan, Soraya and Farzana, to represent the injustices to which women in Afghanistan are subjected. Before the rise of the Taliban in the early 1990s, women in Afghanistan were mostly treated as equals and with respect. Though women were still expected to be submissive to their husbands, the mother in a family would play a key role in family decisions such as who a son should marry (“Society and Norms”). The “Taliban regime cruelly reduced women and girls to poverty, worsened their health, and deprived them of their right to an education” (“The Taliban’s War Against Women”). Due to the Taliban’s oppressive presence, women are seen as below men. In The Kite Runner, Amir’s wife Soraya is still under her father’s authority, even though the family is no longer in Afghanistan. While Soraya’s position is due in part to the traditional Afghan culture, it may also represent how Taliban values and beliefs have infiltrated into everyday lives of Afghan people in some form or another (Hosseini). In The Kite Runner, Hassan’s briefly mentioned wife, Farzana, was beaten as Hassan watched helplessly for speaking out to a man in the marketplace (Hosseini). Women were not to speak loudly or out of turn, and no woman should walk outside of the home unless escorted b... ... middle of paper ... ...one group. In both of his novels, Hosseini has both protagonists and antagonists originating from Afghanistan. He depicts the flaws of the broad generalizations many people believe due to a lack of information or insight into the concerning situations occurring in Afghanistan. As awareness about the indecencies taking place in Afghanistan increases, hopefully more individuals will take action to aide those being oppressed and help solve the turmoil occurring due to the presence of the Taliban. Works Cited Hosseini, Khaled. The Kite Runner. New York: Penguin Group, 2003. Print. - - -. A Thousand Splendid Suns. New York: Penguin Group, 2007. Print. "Society and Norms-Gender Roles: Women." Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 May 2014. "The Taliban's War Against Women." U.S. Department of State. N.p., 17 Nov. 2001. Web. 25 May 2014.
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