The Novel “The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini

Pages: 6
Words: 1774


In the novel, The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini analyzes the situation in Afghanistan and some of the historical events that have defined the region for the past four decades. He relies on the use of several characters whose actions and roles help the reader learn more about the nature of this society. The experiences and fate of most of the studied people in the work match those of many Afghans in the present times. Through the lives of Amir, Baba, and Hassan, Husseini describes how past events and conflicts in Afghanistan disorient the lives of many citizens who have to seek asylum to pursue their goals.

Author’s Background

Khaled Hosseini grew up in Afghanistan as a child. He was born to a diplomat father in the city of Kabul in 1965. His family lived in several countries, including France and Iran. His father would settle in the United States as immigrants. The only time he went back to Afghanistan was when he had attained the age of 38 years. This move would reignite the feelings of his childhood. He would later study and become a physician, a career he never liked at all. He would later decide to make rewriting his fulltime job after the initial success of his first novel by the name The Kite Runner. His immediate success in this new industry has made it easier for Husseini to engage in activities and missions intended to help refugees. A good example is the establishment of the Khaled Hosseini Foundation that supports refugees going back to Afghanistan.

Events in the Novel and those Happening in Afghanistan

The studied novel appears to match most of the events and conflicts that happened in Afghanistan for four decades. The first outstanding event is the infamous invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviet Union. Such an occurrence would result in a prolonged conflict between the Mujahideen and the combined forces of the Soviet Army and the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan for around a decade. It is this upheaval that compels Amir and Baba to leave the country for Peshawar in Pakistan and later to the United States. This invasion echoes the same military invention that occurred during the same periods in both the novel and in real life. As described in the text, “in 1979, Russian tanks would roll into the very same streets where Hassan and I played, bringing the death of the Afghnastan I knew and marking the start of a still ongoing era of bloodletting” (Hosseini 28). These occurrences show how lives were lost and more people compelled to leave the country.

The novel goes further to present a detailed analysis of the Soviet-Afghan War that took place from 1979 to 1789. During this conflict, it became quite clear that more citizens were compelled to leave the country in the search for new opportunities and safety. Amir’s family in the book is seen leaving the country in an effort to avoid the ongoing challenge. The reader also realizes that such events coincide with the author’s experiences and the reason why his wider family chose to leave Afghanistan (Hosseini 48). The third event notable in this book is Amir’s success as a novelist and writer in his adulthood. This achievement emerges after completing his studies from San Jose State University. These occurrences echo Hosseini’s life and subsequent achievements as a famous novelist.

Additionally, the movement of Amir’s family to Pakistan as refugees is an event that describes the exodus of many people who fled the country following the invasion of the Soviet Union. The occurrence would result in a humanitarian crisis that compelled the victims to seek asylum in other countries, including the United States. These events would also be directly linked to the fall of the established monarch in Afghanistan. In the text, Hosseini writes: “The constitutional monarchy had been abolished, replaced by a republic, led by a president of the republic” (35). Such occurrences are more or less the same to the ones described in Hosseini’s novel. Finally, the book describes the rise of the Taliban and how they event manage to take considerable control of the country. The author captures these real-life events and describes them vividly in the novel.

Book’s Thesis

Khaled Hosseini has succeeded to write a riveting text that presents a succinct summary of the experiences and challenges of many Afghans within the past five decades. In the work, he explores how the theme of guilt defines his life through the eyes of Amir. While he manages to achieve some sense of renewal and redemption, it becomes quite clear that such an achievement cannot address his guilt (Hosseini 164). Consequently, it remains evident that the past of the characters play a significant role towards influencing and reshaping their future experiences.


The wider environment in which the Kite Runner is set presents a number of conflicts. Some of the leading ones including the war between different groups in Afghanistan following the Soviet invasion and the challenges most of the citizens have to go through. However, the author identifies other forms of challenges that revolve around the experiences and overall outcomes of most of the characters. For instance, Amir is seen as a child who is fighting an inner battle (Hosseini 172). This emerges when he realizes that Amir becomes guilty after realizing that he has betrayed Hassan. This occurrence presents a bigger conflict that reshapes most of his future decisions and choices.

The second notable conflict is evident in the manner in which Baba appears to relate with Hassan despite being his son. It becomes clear that Baba has more affectionate for Amir throughout most parts of the novel. This issue is noticed to present a bigger conflict between these two boys. In another incident, Amir is observed allowing Hassan to be raped. This occurrence sets the stage for a new conflict that reshapes his future life in fundamental ways (Hosseini 78). With these occurrences, Amir and compelled to focus on the most appropriate actions and decisions that could eventually result in redemption. However, the reader is able to realize that such a goal is not easily achievable.

Throughout the novel, another unique form of conflict is evident that appears to affect the experiences and eventual successes of Hassan and Amir. Specifically, Baba is seen as a source of disagreement since he is keen to influence Amir’s decisions. However, this protagonist is keen to discover himself and make decisions that could eventually take him closer to his goals. It is also evident that Baba is interested in guiding and compelling his son to emulate Amir’s actions and goals. This portrayal reveals that Baba remains self-centered and is keen to dictate the fate of his son. These conflicts and issues play a significant role towards reshaping the overall experiences and future goals of the affected characters (Hosseini 229). They also echo most of the challenges more people continue to experience in Afghanistan through the period under investigation.

Characters and their Fortunes

In the studied text, the author tries to present different characters whose lives and eventual gains in life appear promising. Such an approach in literary work is plausible since it gives Afghans a sense of hope despite the challenges they have encountered in the past. It is notable that Hosseini writes: “Life goes on, unmindful of beginning, end, kamyab, nah-kam, crisis or catharsis, moving forward like a slow, dusty caravan of kochis. (357)”. The first character who appears to have a troubled but optimistic childhood is Amir. As the protagonist, he narrates the book and provides the best lens for studying the issues that Afghanistan have gone through in the lives. Born in 1963, Amir’s mother dies during childbirth. His early childhood sees him develop good storytelling abilities. After fleeing Afghanistan at the age of 18, he transforms his life complement by pursuing his dream of becoming a successful writer. He realizes his fortune in this new country and eventually marries Soraya.

During his childhood, Hassan appears to be simple and polite. However, his character appears to be underdeveloped and he eventually leads a life characterized by guilt. Baba appears to be a wealthy business person who supports troubled people who intended to establish their enterprises. Following the decision to relocate to America, Baba is able to find a new employment opportunity at one of the local gas stations. He is compelled to forget his past riches and experiences in Afghanistan (Hosseini 202). He would later die several years late after suffering from cancer.

Soraya is presented as an Afghan immigrant who has been living in America for some years. Before her encounter with Amir, it becomes quite clear that she had a boyfriend who could have married her. However, she would later admit of her past despite the fact that such an act would not make her the best choice for marriage. However, Amir is willing to leave the past behind and confront the existing Afghan culture. He decides to overlook her past mistakes, thereby making the final choice of marrying her. The fortunes of these compelled Amir to state: “I have a wife in America, a home, a career, and a family. Kabul is a dangerous place” (Hosseini 221). This acknowledgment tries to condemn the actions and events that took place in the country.

Baba’s servant by the name Ali is another important character who helps deliver the intended message. Baba adopted while he was a child following his parents’ death. During his childhood, the reader realizes that he had lost his leg because of polio. Most of the children appear to torment him and believe he was the father to Hassan. He would later die after the explosion of a land mine. This occurrence appears to echo the plight of many Afghans during the period of the upheaval. They also explain why Hosseini writes: “It may be unfair, but what happens in a few days, sometimes even a single day, can change the course of a whole lifetime, Amir.” (142). These issues explain how most of the challenges in Afghanistan appear to cast a long shadow on the lives of more victims.


The studied novel is worth reading because it explores most of the conflicts experienced in Afghanistan and how they impact the lives of most of the characters. Amir is presented as a resolute protagonist who is aware of his past. He strives to achieve his goals while considering the best ways to overcome the challenges he had gone through. The story matches the life of the author while condemning the incidents associated with Afghanistan and how they disorient people’s future experiences and goals.

Work Cited

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