In Afghanistan, there are many ethnic groups among whom segregation exists. Imagine being a part of one that’s really looked down upon. The life of that person would be so cruel that nobody would be able to even imagine the misery and the pain that they have to endure. Afghanistan is a country with immense diversity due to the different ethnic groups that it has had for a very long time. Despite living in the same country for hundreds of years, they have their own ways of living and what’s interesting is that there is discrimination among them due to the social class differences that exits in the Afghanistan society today.
In the novel The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseni shows through the character of Amir, Hassan and Baba that the social differences of the ethnicities (Pashtuns and Hazaras) have made huge differences in their lives and has also led to the fading away of the moral codes that have been honored in their society for a long period of time. A major factor that makes up society is the environment. It contributes a lot to what the society turns out to be and how it’s seen. The Afghan society is a big impact to the way Amir saw the world. As he grew up in Kabul, Afghanistan, he realized that all the people aren’t considered to be the same.
At least that’s had the society had him thinking. Having grown up as the son of a highly respected Pashtun is considered a blessing. But Amir who spends time with Hassan who is a Hazara had a huge affect on his life. Pashtuns are socially considered to be nobility whereas Hazaras are like the peasants. For example, Amir’s public behavior and relation with Hassan was unacceptable and that always had him confused. The two of them were very close but there was always something getting in between that. When Amir says, “Never mind any of those things. Because history isn’t easy to overcome. Neither is religion.
In the end, I was a Pashtun and he was a Hazara, I was a Sunni and he was a Shi’a, and nothing was ever going to change that. Nothing. ” (Hossenini 24). Even though Amir had a brotherly relationship with Hassan, it just wasn’t that strong because he was afraid of the way he would be look upon by the others in the community. It becomes a part of his life that he can’t avoid. One of the things that stands in between the unity of all and any kind of people is the discrimination. All it ever does is cause conflicts and makes lives miserable. For example the discrimination of the African-Americans in the 1960’s.
Sadly, even today, it is adapted and exists in many regions of the world. Afghanistan happens to be one of them. In The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini does a good job of strongly showing how a Hazara’s life can be affected in Afghanistan since they are considered to be a low ranking ethnic group. In Afghanistan society, Hazrara’s were not respected. Assef was an example of someone who agreed with this. He represented the evil in the novel, as for Hassan represented loyalty and innocence. However, since Hassan was a Hazara, his whole life wasn’t easy because he always cared so much for Amir, but in return he only got hurt and humiliated.
In the novel Assef, Kamal and Wali trapped Hassan in an alley. “Assef unzipped his jeans. Dropped his underwear and he positioned himself behind Hassan,” (Hosseini 75). This shows that Hassan cared for Amir liked nobody else. He would do anything for him but the fact that he was a Hazara and this incident happened, it changed their lives forever. The lives of these two boys separated because of their social differences. It shows how the social class difference can lead to such horrible things such as separation from the ones they loved.
The Afghanistan society’s social class differences really changes the way that some people live their lives because when there are people divided into different levels in a society and it has been a tradition and they are required to follow it. Afghanistan is a good example of this, especially the way Khaled Hosseni portrayed it in the novel. Baba was not just rich, but also a very well known man in Kabul, He was someone strong and truly dedicated to contributing to the good of his society. He was quite known for all the good deeds he did in his life, but the novel also views how he didn’t quite live his life respecting all the moral rules.
According to the Pashtunwali, the family unit much be glorified under a sacred conviction of responsibility and duty for respect of all the members (Ronna). This is one of the rules that he does not follow and this is found out when Rahim Khan calls Amir over to Pakistan and says to him, “Baba and Sanubar had Hassan” (Hossieni 222). Baba had kept his secret his whole life and it hurts him to not call Hassan his son. However, it also affected Amir because he never knew about his own brother and had pushed him away from his life when they were young.
In order to keep his dignity, he lived a life of a huge life, which always made him suffer. The fact that he was ashamed of letting everyone know the truth was because she was a Hazara and he was a Pashtun. Being someone from a different ethnicity was the problem and that clung to them for their whole lives. Because of the way that Hazaras are looked upon in the society, Baba was not able to tell anyone the truth about Hassan and it always bothered him. Amir wasn’t able to tell what was right and what was wrong because of what the society had taught him and Hassan was deeply hurt as problems between him and Amir started to rise.
All of these conflicts happened due to one reason, the social differences between the Pashtuns and the Hazaras. The way that their society works has completely changed the lives of many people as it shown in The Kite Runner. Works Cited Tourism, SAARC. “Ethnic Groups of Afghanistan” Afghanistan Ethnic Groups, Tribes of Afghanistan. [email protected] SAARC Tourism. Web. 3 Apr. 2012. Ildenfoso, Catia, Psithurism, and Anacl “For You a Thousand Times Over. ” Pashtuns and Hazaras. Blogspot. com, Apr. 2008 Web. 3 Apr. 2012. Ronna, Afghan. “Pashtunwali” The Codes of Pashtunwali. [email protected] Ronna. Web 3 Apr. 2012.
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