The Influence of Religion in the Kite Runner: Essay
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All through the novel Kite Runner there are various references to Muslim tradition and beliefs, there is an instrumental role of Islam on the story and its characters. Religion seems to be many things to many people in this book. Baba is celebrated in part for his exceptionally secular ways in a traditional society. Amir exercises it in an entirely private way, as if his faith were more repentance than conversion. Hassan is a victim of discrimination and bigotry and in Assef’s Taliban rendition, Islam is essentially just a pretext for his pathological cruelty.
It would be impossible to completely appreciate Kite Runner without reference and understand of the characters religious values and morality. Baba’s view of a sin is that the only sin is theft and every other major sin is a variation of theft and “when you tell a lie, you steal a man’s right to the truth”. The attitude towards drinking was that it was a sin and those who did drink did so in private out of respect.
“Piss on the beards of beards of those self righteous monkeys. They do nothing but thumb their rosaries and recite a book written in tongue they don’t even understand.
God help us all if Afghanistan ever falls into their hands”. Amir’s father didn’t like the devout right winged religious clerics who impose their strict religious views on others in Afghanistan who do not allow for normal human errors and sins of flesh. It may be suggested that Baba only did good deeds in order to assuage his racked guilt. To completely understand the novel it would be impractical not to appreciate and understand Baba’s religion values and morality. Amir was influenced by his father not to have too much regard for traditional religious values by his father and this allowed him to find happiness with Soraya.
It is only when his father becomes sick that he begins to turn back to his long forgotten beliefs. After his marriage and father’s death religion is still a part of his life but only practice his faith in an entirely private way, as if his faith were more repentance than conversion. When suddenly Amir is forced to deal with his “sins” of his past and attempts to make right what he has done and find “a way to be good again. ” he understands how not having religion in his life has not allowed him to move on completely from his past.
Without appreciation and considerations to morality and religion then it would be difficult to fully comprehend the novel. Hassan is a victim of discrimination, bigotry, and class structure in Afghan society. Hassan and Ali are members of the Hazaras, a minority group of Afghanis. Amir and his father are Pashtuns, the majority, who believes they are a better class than the Hazara. Religion was all that separated Amir and Hassan, as did tribe and class. Amir learned from his father that the Harara tribe to which Ali and Hassan belonged, were inferior people.
Because of this bigotry and basic class structure, Hazaras are often victims of physical, emotional and psychological abuse. Thus when a crisis comes and Hassan is being attack, Amir not only doesn’t come to Hassan’s aid, but also allows him to be brutally abused. Morality lacks because of this class structure, which allows people to be treated as second-class citizens. Considerations towards morality and religion helps the reader to broaden there understanding of the novel and it would be impossible to appreciated the book lacking them.
Assef a local radical provides a chilling insight into the radicalism exhibited in some individuals in Afghanistan and how they have distorted views of the world and their heroes. Assef’s childhood idiosyncrasies included idolizing Hitler, and despising ethnic minorities like the Hazaras, Assef supports many of Adolph Hitler’s views on creating a perfect race and instead of exterminating Jews Assef wants to exterminate Hazara’s. Referring to Hassan he asked Amir: “How can you call him your ? friend’?
” It’s not surprising that Assef grows into a drug-addicted, hypocritical, Koran-quoting sadist and local head of the Taliban. Considerations to morality and religion values would need to be appreciated to fully understand this novel. The Kite Runner certainly does present a religious and cultural setting Understanding the influence of religion is certainly a central thing to appreciate the themes of the novel. Understanding and making your peace with your personal morality are very central themes in the novel that need to be appreciated to fully understand Kite Runner.