The Book “The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini
The story of The Kite Runner begins in the pre-war Afghan city of Kabul in the 70s, where there were children who did not know what shelling and explosions were. A favorite pastime and, at the same time, a very serious matter for all the residents were kite competitions (Hosseini). To defeat rivals and be left alone to soar in the bottomless blue sky was true child’s happiness. A kite symbolizes the soul, now soaring high in the sky, now lying broken on the ground. The competition in flying kites becomes not only the point of no return, after which everything changes in the lives of Amir and Hasan. Kite flying is also a metaphor for the fates of these boys, carried away by the winds to different sides of the world.
The narration on behalf of the main character helps to look into the complex and unique inner world of a man who has committed unjustifiable deeds in his life. The key event in the novel can be considered a kite contest. The origins of what will happen on a frosty winter day at this competition lie in the past of Baba, Amir’s father (Hosseini). However, the events of that day can be seen as the beginning of a series of subsequent actions. The symbolism of the book’s title begins to reveal itself in this episode. All the author’s attention is drawn to the kites soaring in the air. They soar swiftly into the sky, and the kids control them, competing in dexterity. The kites symbolize the fragility of the moment when children’s souls were still pure.
The author of the book tells the story of a small and unhappy man who is unable to stand up to a brutal and violent system. In his world, there is interethnic and interreligious discord, and religion is used as a tool to justify violence. Throughout the novel, Amir encounters division – between the Americans and the Afghans, between the Pashtuns and the Hazaras. However, the main character still finds the strength to remain a good person, admiring the peaceful life around him, which most do not always appreciate. The title of the novel thus symbolizes the main character’s gaining freedom from stereotypes and division, violence and hatred. Amir wishes to see himself floating freely in the sky, not in a world where it seems there is only white and black.
Amir’s attempt to become good again becomes the engine of the novel’s plot. Throughout the book, the hero overcomes his past sins and tries to find personal salvation. Amir is a character capable of admitting guilt for his deeds, which already demonstrates his willingness to become a better version of himself. He finds the strength to confront the past even when it seems that there are insurmountable changes in his psyche that will not allow him to think reasonably. The restoration of justice and honor in the novel follows the hero’s struggle with his fear, indecision, and guilt.
This book may be of interest to a wide range of readers not only because it allows one to explore the history of modern Afghanistan. It will also be interesting because it makes people look differently at themselves and at the peaceful life around them, which most do not always appreciate. The author, through subtle symbolism, has succeeded in demonstrating how strong a person’s desire to rise above their sins and take the path of goodness can be.
Hosseini, Khaled. The Kite Runner. Afghan Mellat Online Library, 2003.