Comparison of Themes in The Outsiders and The Kite Runner

868 Words2 Pages

For as long as people have had disagreements, there have been social classes divided by both ethnicity and wealth. The rigid social structure formed by these disparate groups often hurts the lower rungs of society, who many times end up disparaged by the rest of society. In S.E. Hinton's book, The Outsiders, the main character, Ponyboy Curtis, tries to combat the social separation between the Greasers, presented as poor gang members, and the Socs, depicted as rich and out of trouble. In the book Ponyboy, a Greaser, tries to escape murdering a Soc in self-defence. In Khaled Hosseini's novel, The Kite Runner, Hosseini illustrates the effect of the social and political strife on the country and its people through Amir, a rich Pashtun Sunni boy, and Hassan, a poor Hazara Shi'i. Hassan is sexually assaulted for being a religious minority and a servant. Amir abandons him and tries to forget until he chooses to save Hassan's son from the Taliban. Both Hinton and Hosseini explore the theme of class separations harming people, which extends across the two novels' radically different settings and characters. The settings for the two novels differ drastically in both time and location. Hinton's story takes place in Oklahoma. “He was staring at my head as he circled me. 'I wouldn't have believed it. I thought all the wild Indians in Oklahoma had been tamed (Hinton 106).” Hosseini, however, places his book in mainly Afghanistan. Hinton portrayed her novel in the 1960s while Hosseini uses a broad spectrum from 1975 to the 21st century. “I thought of the life I had lived until the winter of 1975 came and changed everything (Hosseini 2).” Although the different settings do change what is going on at the time of the book, it does not chan... ... middle of paper ... ...h him; another part to this is because he believes Hassan is just a dirty Hazara boy. “I'd chase the car, screaming for it to stop. I'd pull Hassan out of the backseat and tell him I was sorry, so sorry, my tears mixing with rainwater. We'd hug in the downpour (Hosseini 109).” After Amir causes Hassan to leave, he laments about letting, more like making, his best friend leave him. He sees the dirty Hazara boy as his best friend at that moment. In both of these stories, the main character realizes how similar they are to the other social or religious group. Both Hosseini and Hinton, although writing about very different scenarios, characterize the same theme in each of their novels - class separations harm all people. Learning from their work, we can aim to break down these barriers between social classes and bridge the gap between our separated societies.

Open Document