Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

Kite Runner

By , Kamuela, HI
In Khaled Hosseni's Kite Runner, the kite represents different meanings and situations as the story develops. The kite is an integral part of Afghan culture and Khaled Hosseni uses kites as a powerful symbol. The kites symbol is a thread that bind parts of the story together.

In the beginning of the novel, the kite represents a struggle for love, and in that it represents power. Amir wants to win the kite tournament because he wants a closer relationship to Baba. Amir feels he is deprived of Baba's attention. “And that right there was the single greatest moment of my twelve years of life, seeing Baba on that roof, proud of me at last”(p.66). The kite tournament represents Amir's struggle for Baba's love and affection. The kite also represents power, which is seen through out the book. Amir flies the kite and Hassan runs it. “Every kite fighter had an assistant-in my case, Hassan- who held the spool and fed the line”(p.51). This shows that Amir is in control, and in power, while Hassan is there as an assistant. Even after Hassan catches the kite and is in control, he gives the kite back to Amir because he loves him like a brother. Hassan accepts that he is not equal to Amir, but he is still rich in talents that Amir doesn't have.

Running and flying kites symbolize two levels of social status in Afghan society. Even though Hassan happens to be in the inferior status, he still has an enormous talent. One of Hassan's talents is running kites. He can sit down, and the kite will come to him. “But Hassan was by far the greatest kite runner I'd ever seen…He smiled, sit with me, Amir agha…Here it comes, He rose to his feet walked a few paces to his left, I looked up, saw the kite plummeting toward us”(p.54/55). This scene symbolizes a different type of power Hassan has. That power gives him happiness, which Amir is unsuccessful in achieving.

At the end of the novel, the kite symbolizes redemption. The love and peace Hassan seems to have is achievable by Amir, by doing what Hassan used to do: running kites for someone he loves and cares for. “ ‘Do you want me to run that kite for you?' ‘His Adam's apple rose and fell as he swallowed. The wind lifted his hair. I thought I saw him nod.' ‘For you, a thousand times over,' I heard myself say. Then I turned and ran”(p.371)

The kite symbolizes many different events, but at the end Khaled Hosseni brings the whole story in a complete circle. In the beginning the kite is a representation of social status; Amir is the one who flies the kite and Hassan runs the kite. At the end to gain Sohrab's trust, Amir reverses the roles that represented old social status in Afghanistan. Sohrab gets to fly the kite and Amir runs it for him. This is successful in gaining Sohrab's trust, and bringing the whole story to a point of redemption.





Join the Discussion

This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

blanchhed said...
Aug. 2, 2009 at 9:44 pm
moving book. so happy it was on ap english summer reading list. i have to write an essay review on it and i hope i can slightly touch the level this writer reveiled.
 
Miaoru said...
Jul. 5, 2009 at 12:19 am
I read this book and it was awesome. I like your insight on the symbolism in this book!
 
bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback