The Kite Runner is a powerful story of love and trust, but also includes elements of deceit and human wickedness at its worst. The full beauty of the story lies in the sundry emotions and subtle nuances provided by the author in the book version, and much of the deeper feelings and emotions of the book are either touched on much too briefly or missed entirely in the film version of the story.
Within the very first chapter of the book, Hassan is referred to as “Hassan the harelipped kite runner”. (pg. 8) The fact that Hassan is a harelip, and that the author deems it necessary to mention this physical defect lends a particular importance to this fact as the story unfolds. Evidently this physical flaw gave Amir a reason to believe he was somehow superior to Hassan, consequently causing him to behave in an unpleasant manner toward him. The film does not refer to this physical defect at all, and as a result, no reference is made to Hassan’s special 11th birthday, the facial surgery, or its final results on Hassan’s physical features. (pg.54) Again in chapter two, Hassan’s own mother, Sanaubar, had taken one look at her son’s cleft lip and mocked him. She referred to him as an “idiot child”. (pg. 16) Amir later refers to Hassan as “the face of Afghanistan,” and that it was a face “perpetually lit by a harelipped smile”. (pg. 31) The importance of this is played out when Amir takes opportunities to ridicule Hassan about his ignorance, possibly because of their disparity in classes, or because Hassan was a harelip, and therefore even more worthy of ridicule. The passage in chapter four where Amir intentionally misleads Hassan about the meaning of the word imbecile is a good example of this. When confront...
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...gist or heart of the story is often compromised, losing the power to grip an audience with its strong emotional or tragic plot. Furthermore, in the instance of The Kite Runner, one of the most important aspects of the story is the relationship between Baba and Amir. The feelings between father and son are intertwined throughout the entire plot, therefore making the story what it is. The compelling plot of the book was weakened by eliminating Hassan’s harelip. This physical flaw marred the features of this child, consequently making it one of the factors that influenced how he was treated by not only his father, but Baba, and Amir as well. Finally, the brutal assault by Assef was probably the most critical feature of the entire plot, lending weight and critical substance to the story, warranting it much more attention than it received in the film.
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