The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

885 Words4 Pages
People use many different objects or events to symbolize important moments in life. An example of this would be a wedding ring, it shows a couples love for one another. Authors can use symbols in their writing to express ideas, clarify meanings, and enlarge literal meaning. In Khaled Hosseini’s book The Kite Runner he uses a kite to symbolize tradition, differences in social classes, friendships and guilt to show how not standing up for others can negatively affect the rest of a person’s life.
Every country has their own traditions that the people living there enjoy. In Afghanistan, where The Kite Runner takes place, the community enjoys having kite flying competitions. In these competitions the person whose kite is last flying is the winner. While this is happening other community members are chasing down the kites that have been cut from their strings. As time progresses “There were not nearly as many kite tournaments as in the old days-no one felt safe outside for too long-but” (Hosseini 212). People do not feel safe outside anymore because of the Taliban. Therefore one of the many meanings behind a kite is tradition because it directly shows what that country does and it also shows how their country has gone downhill and can no longer do what they enjoy. With the Afghanistan community not able to do what they enjoy anymore relates to Amir. Amir cannot enjoy his life because he did not stand up for his best friend when he was in trouble. Using the kite as a symbol enlarges the importance of standing up for others.
The kite also symbolizes the differences in social classes. Hassan, a hazzara, is Baba and Amir’s slave. Hassan would make sure everything was good for Baba and Amir at the beginning of the day. “By the time I ...

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...nates and Hassan. Amir does this because he wants Hassan to throw some back at him to make him feel not as bad about witnessing the rape. Another time Amir’s guilt is shown is after his birthday party he receives a lot of gifts. Instead of keeping them he takes some and puts them in Hassan’s room so it looks like Hassan stole them. All of these situations show how tremendous the guilt was for Hassan just because he did not stand up for his friend. This is why the kite symbolizes guilt.
Symbols can be used in everyday life but they can also be used by authors. The kite in, Khaled Hosseini’s book The Kite Runner, symbolizes traditions, differences in social classes, friendship and guilt to show how standing up for others can negatively affect the rest of somebody’s life.

Works Cited

Hosseini, Khaled. The Kite Runner. New York: Riverhead Books, 2003. Print.

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