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In a novel, I believe what matters most are the ideas, because they introduce themes and symbols which makes the novel more significant, as small things such as the kite in “The Kite Runner”, by Khaled Hosseini, have a greater meaning in the novel and represent themes. In “The Kite Runner”, I noticed three symbols: The cleft lip, the kite, and the lamb. Hassan’s cleft lip is one of his most representative features as a child, and is one of the features Amir refers to most describing him; “A Chinese doll… and the cleft lip, just left of mid-line”, this shows Amir’s description of Hassan’s appearance.
The split in Hassan’s lip acts as a mark of Hassan’s status in society. It signifies his poverty, which is one of the things that separates him from Amir, as Ali and Hassan are not wealthy like Baba and Amir, but Amir doesn’t let this change in classes affect their relationship; “In the end I was a Pashtun and he was a Hazara. I was Sunni and he was Shi’a and nothing was ever going to change that”. Baba, who is Hassan’s biological father, chooses to pay a surgeon to repair Hassan’s lip as a birthday gift, signifying his secret fatherly love for Hassan.
Later in the novel, Assef splits Amir’s lip as he beats him, leaving Amir with a permanent scar much like Hassan’s. “The worst laceration was your upper lip”… “The impact had cut your lip in two, clean down the middle”. This is significant as it in a sense Amir’s identity becomes merged with Hassan’s. He learns to stand up for those he cares about, as Hassan once did for him. ”I remember how envious I’d been of Hassan’s bravery”. He becomes a father figure to Sohrab; “Do you want me to run that kite for you? ”… “For you a thousand times over”. This quote is significant as Hassan said this to Amir.
It also serves as a sign of Amir’s redemption; “Healed at last”. The kite serves as a symbol of Amir’s happiness as well as his guilt; “Guilt coursed through me”. Flying kites is what he enjoys most as a child, not least because it is the only way he connects fully with Baba, who was once a champion kite fighter. But the kite takes on a different significance when Amir allows Hassan to be raped because he wants to bring the blue kite back to Baba. “I could step into that alley, stand up for Hassan, the way he’d stood up for me all those times in the past…
In the end I ran. ” His recollections after that portray the kite as a sign of his betrayal of Hassan, and he feels guilty and wants to tell everyone how much of coward he was, but it would shatter his relationship with Baba; “I wanted to tell them I was the snake in the grass, the monster in the lake… I was a liar, a cheat, and a thief”. Amir does not fly a kite again until he does so with Sohrab at the end of the novel. Because Amir has already redeemed himself by that point, the kite is no longer a symbol of his guilt. What was so funny was that, for the first time since the winter of 1975, I felt a peace. ” Instead, it acts as a reminder of his childhood, and it also becomes the way that he is finally able to connect with Sohrab, mirroring the kite’s role in Amir’s relationship with Baba. Both in Islam and in Christianity, the lamb signifies the sacrifice of an innocent. Amir describes both Hassan and Sohrab as looking like lambs waiting to be slaughtered. Amir says this during Hassan’s rape, noting that Hassan resembled the lamb they kill during the Muslim celebration. He moved his head slightly and I caught a glimpse of his face. Saw the resignation in it. It was a look I had seen before. It was the look of the lamb”. Similarly, he describes Sohrab as looking like a slaughter sheep when he first sees Sohrab with Assef. Assef and the others had put mascara on Sohrab’s eyes, just as Amir says the mullah used to do to the sheep before slitting its throat. Both Hassan and Sohrab are innocents who are figuratively sacrificed by being raped, but these sacrifices have very different meanings. In Hassan’s case, Amir sacrifices him for the blue kite.
But in Sohrab’s case, Amir is the one who stops his abuse. In this context, sacrifice is portrayed as the exploitation of an innocent. Ideas are what matters most in a novel. They matter most because they bring the book to life, they relate to real life matters and the book is formed from these ideas. In “The Kite Runner”, by Khaled Hosseini, The cleft lip is important as it is a sign of Amir and Hassan’s identities merging, as he takes a beating from Assef resulting with a permanent scar on his lip, resembling Hassan as Hassan had a cleft lip.
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The kite resembles redemption as Hassan ultimately gets raped by Assef due to Amir’s cowardice, and so Hassan is always reminded of his cowardice when he sees a kite until he redeems himself by taking a beating for Sohrab, that he should of taken for Hassan, and the lamb as it resembles what Amir described what it looked liked as Hassan was brutally raped and what Sohrab looked liked being forced to dance and dress up in girl’s clothing.
Author: Brandon Johnson
Kite Runner Symbolism Essay
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Show MoreThroughout history bears are used to symbolize strength, protection, and bravery because of their protective instincts and powerful bodies. In The Kite Runner by Khalid Hosseini, Baba is usually reference to the bear. He is a well-respected business man in Kabul. Baba is seen to be very moral and powerful. He lost his wife during the birth of his son, Amir which is easily bullied by the other children of the neighborhood, because he is too afraid to stand up to the other children. Baba worries that if Amir cannot handle himself as a child, he would not be able to handle himself as an adult. Baba is a very strong and powerful character, while Amir is often seen as cowardly and weak; so their relationships is not very strong because they…show more content…
Amir being coward and weak shows that he is the opposite of the characteristics of his father. Unlike his father, Amir is very weak because he does not face the problems that come upon him. This reflects on his relationship with his father because his father believes that he will not be able to take care of himself as he grows up if he cannot face his problems. Baba’s character is portrayed as powerful and brave through the comparison of the bear, but Amir is portrayed to have no connection on the bear which reflects on his character.
The death of Baba from cancer, symbolizes how he is still strong even in his death. After the death of Baba, Amir reflects about Baba, “Baba had wrestled bears his whole life . . . In the end, a bear had come that he could not best” (174). Here the bear symbolizes the cancer and illness Baba had to struggle through. This shows that the bear did not just symbolize the power and success of Baba but the struggles he had to face. Baba had to struggle with losing his wife, raising a son on his own and leaving his home country, but he still manage remained strong. The symbolism of the bear demonstrate that power and success do not show how strong Baba is but the things he had to endure shows his mentality and strength as a person not as a business man. Hosseini wrote, “…but even then he lost on his own terms.”(174) this shows that Baba still died with strong character. Even though he died he was still