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With close reference to language form and structure, show how far Khaled Hosseini uses symbolism to show the social divide between the characters in the extract on pages 3-6 of The Kite Runner?

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Introduction

With close reference to language form and structure, show how far Khaled Hosseini uses symbolism to show the social divide between the characters in the extract on pages 3-6 of The Kite Runner? There is distinctive evidence of a hierarchal class system in this extract from The Kite Runner, and Hosseini uses symbolism to highlight and explore the divide between characters within the social hierarchy. Hosseini uses Hassan's cleft lip deformity as a symbolic reference towards his social class. It is immediately recognisable in his face, which tells anyone who sees him that he's of low status, because his family are too poor to afford corrective surgery. Amir uses the analogy of a "Chinese doll maker" who grew "tired and careless", suggesting the doll maker, pragmatically referring to God, didn't value Hassan enough to take his time making him. This reflects the same way society doesn't value him as a person. The houses of Amir and Hassan are a prime example where drastic social differences can be seen between the two classes. A long, detailed description of Amir's "sprawling house" completely contrasts with the short, bland description of Hassan's "mud shack", shocking the reader. ...read more.

Middle

Amir's table is made of expensive, luxurious "mahogany" compared to simple "wooden" and Amir's tapestries are "Gold stitched" while Hassan's is not as rich, with only "sewn in beads" compared to "gold-stitched". Amir also describes his father's "black leather chairs" and Hassan's "three legged stool". All of these, including the "worn rug" in comparison to Amir's "marble floors" and "mosaic tiles", emphasize just how different the two boy's houses are. The different furnishings Amir describes gives the reader a clear picture of just how different the two boys are, and Hosseini does this deliberately to create completely contrasting houses to widen the social gap between the boys As well as the houses themselves, the loquat tree which shadows Hassan's house can be interpreted as symbolism. Here the tree is representing the upper classes of society while the house itself represents the lower class. The house is "in the shadows of the loquat tree", much like how the members of lower classes, specifically servants, are left in the "shadows" of their upper class masters. It is clear the difference in height between the house and the tree metaphorically represents the social hierarchy. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is also evident when Amir tells the reader about how they "parted ways" at the end of each day, after spending the whole day together playing as best friends and equals rather than servant and master, which is what their social classes dictated they were. We see that no matter what, the social differences are always evident between the two boys, so they can never be truly equal. The "wall of ailing corn", planted by Baba and Ali, is a good example of symbolic reference towards social class. For a short moment, we are lead to believe that despite the class divide two people of different social status can work together. However, the corn "never really took" and from this we can see the difference between Baba and Ali through the fact that they cannot successfully build something together. The wall can also be seen as a metaphorical wall, dividing the characters socially. To conclude, I believe Hosseini successfully uses many forms of symbolism in this extract to show class divide between the characters and it is clearly shown that there is inevitably always a divide between characters in the background, even if they act like equals and sit in trees at the same height together or try to plant corn. Erica Wilson Word Count: 959 ...read more.

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