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Symbolism in The Kite Runner

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Life is about love, and love is about you. Love is a major theme in The Kite Runner. Throughout the novel, Khaled Hosseini, the author, demonstrates the complexity of various types of love and the vastness of the emotion. The relationship between Hassan and Amir demonstrates the nature of brotherly love; moreover, Amir and Baba's relationship demonstrates the paternal love and expectations of the father for his child providing physical and emotional support. In the novel, many symbols present these different types of love. Symbolism is the practice of representing things by means of symbols or of attributing symbolic meanings or significance to objects, events, or relationships (Answer). First of all, the kite is a major symbol in the novel; it symbolizes the friendship between the two boys and also the intricate relationship between Baba and Amir. Furthermore, the slingshot, the scar and Hassan's son-Sohrab- are symbolic of Amir and Hassan's brotherhood. Beside the kite, the pomegranate tree is a significant symbol of the friendship between the two boys. Finally, the car and the wedding represent the greatness of paternal love. The author, Khaled Hosseini successfully uses the symbolism to reveal the theme of love in the novel, The Kite Runner The Kite Runner is a story about a young boy, Amir, the son of a wealthy and well-known man in the northern area of Kabul. ...read more.


Kites were the one paper-thin slice of intersection between those spheres"(6,52). The kite is a major symbol of love throughout the novel. The three symbols that represent Amir and Hassan's brotherhood are the slingshot, the scar and Hassan's son, Sohrab. In Afghanistan, the slingshot is the common weapon of every kid. Hassan uses the slingshot to defend Amir in an alley when they are attacked by Amir's friends: "I turned came face to face with Hassan's slingshot... Hassan held the slingshot pointed directly at Assef's face"(5,45). It shows Hassan's selfless love and his devotion towards his master, Amir. Before the tournament, on Hassan's birthday, Baba arranges a plastic surgeon, whose job is: "to fix things on people's bodies. Sometimes their faces"(5,49), for Hassan to fix his harelip. The following winter, Hassan's harelip turns out to be a faint scar; that was the time he stops smiling. In the end, after a fight Amir has with Assef in his journey finding Sohrab, Amir now has a scar on his upper lip which looks like his half brother, thus it represents their brotherhood. Sohrab symbolizes redemption of a betraying love. By saving Hassan's son Amir can alleviate his guilt and pays the debt he owns his half-brother, who loves him selflessly. ...read more.


Throughout the novel, Hosseini uses many items to symbolize the main theme of the novel, love. The kite is symbolic of the relationships between Amir and Hassan, Amir and his father. The scar, the slingshot, Sohrab and the significant symbol, the pomegranate tree, symbolize Hassan and Amir's friendship as well as their brotherhood. Finally, the old ford car and Amir's wedding are symbolic of paternal love. All the symbolical concepts throughout the book have great meaning in everyone's life. When you truly love someone, you can be either selfless or selfish. Although, Hassan is betrayed by Amir, he still loves Amir selflessly. On the other hand, Amir loves his father selfishly. He wants Baba all to himself. And most of them realize that both forgiveness and love of self are necessary before you are able to love another (Cliffsnotes). Secondary sources ANSER.COM. <http://www.answers.com/symbolism>, 19 January 2009 The Berkley Publishing Group. "The Kite Runner-Amir/Hassan's relationship". Paper Analysis. <http://essay001.blogspot.com/2007/11/kite-runner-amirhassans-relationship.html>, 18 January 2009 "Critical essay-theme in The Kite Runner." Cliffsnotes. < http://www.cliffsnotes.com/WileyCDA/LitNote/The-Kite-Runner-Critical-Essays-Themes-in-The-Kite-Runner.id-199,pageNum-79.html>, 19 January 2009 (1) Pashtuns are an Eastern Iranian ethno-linguistic group with populations primarily in Afghanistan. The Pashtuns are typically characterized by their usage of the Pashto language and practice of Pashtunwali, which is a traditional code of conduct and honor.[ (2) Hazara are people who descended from Mongolia. They are servants and manual labourers in Kabul. ...read more.

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There are some good points made in this essay but sometimes further exploration in depth is needed. Language isn't really analysed at word level which it needs to be and structure isn't really considered at all which is necessary when considering how the narrative portrays certain ideas.

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Marked by teacher Laura Gater 10/06/2013

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