The Kite Runner and To Kill a Mockingbird Comparison

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In both The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini and To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, literacy and education play a key role. The education of a man gives him power, and can determine his stature or influence in the community. Literacy gives a man an insight to knowledge that can be important. By developing characters with different levels of education, Khaled Hosseini and Harper Lee develop and strengthen the idea that literacy and education are dangerous tools, and can make the difference between life and death. Khaled Hosseini and Harper Lee depict literacy as both helpful and harmful. They also show how being uneducated leads to being taken advantage of. Using these ideas they strengthen the idea of educating and literacy being dangerous tools, but ones that are necessary for survival.

The Kite Runner is a novel about Amir’s journey through a difficult time in Afghanistan’s history. Though he has the ability to read, Hassan does not share his gift, and Hosseini uses this difference between them to show Hassan’s lack of literacy disadvantages him against other people, and Amir’s proud literacy is one of his only strengths. Early in the book, Amir explains Hassans illiteracy in saying “Hassan was drawn to the mystery of words, seduced by a secret world forbidden to him” (Hosseini 28). Hassan longs to be able to read, and Amir is able to feel important because reading makes him feel better than Hassan. Amir has always wanted to have something separate them, something that would make him special, because he has always been jealous that Baba gives both Hassan and Amir the same treatment. His reading finally gives Amir his special gift that he can have, to make him more important than Hassan. Amir feelings about being important bec...

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The Kite Runner shows how illiteracy disadvantages people, but even illiterate people could be educated. To Kill a Mockingbird shows the other side, where literacy may not always be helpful, and a lack of education is always deadly.

The two books show that literacy can be wielded as a tool, or it can be turned against its user. Hosseini shows literacy’s useful properties, while Lee explores it’s danger. Together they prove that while literacy is necessary for survival, it needs to be mastered. If literacy is not mastered, it allows its user to be taken advantage of. The illiterate and uneducated always lose to the educated, but even the literate people were able to suffer if they were not well educated or were not careful. Literacy is necessary, for all people, but education is even more important, because being literate means nothing if you are uneducated.