Khaled Hosseini’s kite runner has many themes that are significant. This book also has themes that are hidden to the reader, to find these themes the reader needs to think about the events that occur in the book. In this book redemption, discrimination, and violence play a big role in the events in this book.
Redemption is one of the most important themes in the kite runner. Throughout the story, Amir is trying to redeem himself because of many events that he was a part of. In the begging of the story Rahim Khan calls Amir and tells him “There is a way to be good again.” (Page 2) Putting this in the first chapter of the story tells the reader many things about Amir, it could tell us that Amir has done many things that he regrets, or he has done things that caused pain to someone else. Amir’s mother dies when she is giving birth to him, throughout the story Amir tries many different things to redeem himself to his father. When Amir wins the kite competition he thinks that he would finally redeem himself for his mothers death.
Amir thinks that he redeems himself because “A smile played down on my father’s lips. He opened his arms” (Page 79) When someone does this someone will automatically think that you redeemed yourself to that person. Another event that Amir does that he redeems himself for later is when he blackmails Hassan. Amir’s father gives him a watch and Amir decides to put it under Hassan’s pillow. Later when Amir’s father finds out that he took his watch he forgives him, but Ali (Hassan’s father) says that they make the decision to leave.
To the near end of the book, when Amir goes back to Afghanistan, he receives a letter from Hassan. The letter tells him that he (Hassan) died, and that he has a son that it taken by the Taliban. Amir tells Farid (The person who takes Amir around in Afghanistan) about Sohrab, and he tells him “You have a visa to go to America, to life with me and my wife. It’s true. I promise” (Page 355) When Amir found out that he lost his best friend he went through a lot of trouble to get Sohrab. Amir could have avoided this if he did not frame Hassan. If Amir did not frame Hassan, Hassan and Ali could have fled the country with Amir and his father. This event has a big impact on the events in the story. Without these examples of redemption, it is hard to picture the book ending in the way that it did.
Along with many other themes, discrimination is one of the less discussed themes in this book. In my opinion I think that discrimination should be a theme that should be as important as any other theme. Discrimination plays a big role in the kite runner because of the structure of the social classes. In the begging of the story we know that Hassan is Amir’s Hazara but later we know that he is Amir’s brother. When Amir won the kite competition Hassan went to get the winning the kite. Hours had passed and Hassan did not show up. Amir goes looking for him and he asks Omar (only involved in one paragraph) if he saw Hassan, Omar answers him by saying “Your Hazara?” (Page 68) without saying more than two sentences, we can see that people in the class with Hassan are treated with no respect and they are called Hazaras. Another event that happens when Hassan finally finds the kite that allowed Amir to win the competition he is surrounded by Assef and his gang. Assef is one of the biggest discriminators towards Hazaras as he is intimidating Hassan, he says, “A loyal Hazara, Loyal as a dog” (Page 72)
When Hassan said this he could of compared Hassan to something else, but he picked a dog to show the most disrespect towards Hassan. In my own opinion I think that discrimination towards Hazaras in Kabul is horrible because they are treated as if they are a different race of people. Hazaras have the exact physical features as any average human being but they are treated like they are slaves. This is how discrimination, which is one of the themes that is not talked about a lot, is significant in this book.
Violence is also one of the themes that are not discussed as much, violence should be because it is important and it is hidden. There are many examples that show violence in the book. One of the examples that show violence is when Hassan gets raped when Assef and his gang surround him. The author does not tell the reader that Hassan got raped but instead he makes Wali, one of the members of Assef’s gang, tell Assef “My father says it’s sinful” (Page 75) This is a indirect message to inform the reader that Hassan gets raped. This is one great example that violence plays a big role in the process of this book. Assef could of threated Hassan instead of raping him. In my opinion I think that he could not have done something that wasn’t related to violence. Assef wanted to have his revenge on Hassan but it was hard to do something that has nothing to do with violence.
Later on in the book, when Amir and Hassan do not talk to each other after Hassan got raped for him over a kite. Hassan asked if he could go under the pomegranate tree and let Amir read a story for him. When Amir and Hassan were under the pomegranate tree, Hassan asked Amir what he was doing wrong so he could stop, Amir told him that Hassan should stand up for himself. Hassan did not answer and Amir started to throw pomegranates on Hassan, Amir then told him “Hit me back! Hit me back goddamn you” (Page 92) this is another great example that shows the violence that is included in the book. Hassan is the most loyal person in the book and Amir does not appreciate it; instead Amir wants Hassan to hit him with a pomegranate. When Hassan stands up, he then smears a pomegranate on his face and walks away. This is how violence plays a theme in the book. It is not as visible as the other themes in the book but it is as significant as the other themes.
Redemption, discrimination, and violence are themes in Khaled Hosseini’s kite runner that play a big role in the book. Without these three themes it is hard to picture if the book would end up the way that it actually ended up being.
Quotes and Information taken from “Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini