Perspectives on Childhood in The Glass Castle and The Kite Runner

analytical Essay
1727 words
1727 words

In John Connolly’s novel, The Book of Lost Things, he writes, “for in every adult there dwells the child that was, and in every child there lies the adult that will be”. Does one’s childhood truly have an effect on the person one someday becomes? In Jeannette Walls’ memoir The Glass Castle and Khaled Hosseini’s novel The Kite Runner, this question is tackled through the recounting of Jeannette and Amir’s childhoods from the perspectives of their older, more developed selves. In the novels, an emphasis is placed on the dynamics of the relationships Jeannette and Amir have with their fathers while growing up, and the effects that these relations have on the people they each become. The environment to which they are both exposed as children is also described, and proves to have an influence on the characteristics of Jeannette and Amir’s adult personalities. Finally, through the journeys of other people in Jeannette and Amir’s lives, it is demonstrated that the sustainment of traumatic experiences as a child also has a large influence on the development of one’s character while become an adult. Therefore, through the analysis of the effects of these factors on various characters’ development, it is proven that the experiences and realities that one endures as a child ultimately shape one’s identity in the future. Firstly, one’s identity is largely influenced by the dynamics of one’s relationship with their father throughout their childhood. These dynamics are often established through the various experiences that one shares with a father while growing up. In The Glass Castle and The Kite Runner, Jeannette and Amir have very different relationships with their fathers as children. However the experiences they share with these men undou... ... middle of paper ... ...izens of Kabul. As a result, Hassan’s childhood is much more difficult than Amir’s, allowing him to become stronger, more resilient, and less ignorant. Nonetheless, the two boys grow up together in Afghanistan during a time when it is considered to be a relatively peaceful country. In the late seventies however, this peace is destroyed as a result of the Russian invasion in Afghanistan. Ultimately, the environments from which Amir and Hassan each came from largely influences the people they become in the transitional phase of their lives from boyhood to young adulthood. Works Cited Walls, Jeannette. The Glass Castle: a memoir. New York: Scribner, 2005. Print. Hosseini, Khaled. The Kite Runner. Anchor Canada ed. Toronto: Anchor Canada, 20042003. Print. "Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)." Canadian Mental Health Association. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Jan. 2014.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how john connolly's novel, the book of lost things, focuses on the dynamics of the relationships between jeannette and amir and the environment to which they are exposed as children.
  • Explains that one's identity is influenced by the dynamics of one’s relationship with their father throughout their childhood. in the glass castle and the kite runner, jeannette and amir have very different relationships.
  • Analyzes how jeannette's relationship with her father, rex walls, is heavily affected by the various facets of his complex character.
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