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An Analysis of "The Kite Runner"'s Propaganda Qualities

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Zelkin The Kite Runner Analysis On September 11th of 2001, the Twin Towers were destroyed and America's view of the Middle East was changed forever. It went from an admittedly war-torn, but exotic part of the world, to the birthplace of the greatest threat the United Since has faced since the fall of the USSR. Because of 9/11, many people in this nation have developed preconceived notions about the countries of the Middle East; their customs, their ideologies, but most of all their religion. But many Middle Eastern novels are helping to break down these stereotypes. These books may not be written for the express purpose of challenging people?s preconceived beliefs; this is merely a coincidence that the author didn?t intend. However, that was the primary goal of in The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini. To accomplish this, Hosseini associated various characters, such as Hassan and Assef with different groups in the country. To further underscore this comparison, he also used several techniques to change people?s opinions of his home country. ...read more.


Hassan seems to have no faults, and Amir acknowledges that he is one of those "people who mean every word they say" (54). Hosseini truly makes one feel for Hassan, and in turn, for Afghanistan. Another way in which The Kite Runner influences opinions about Afghanistan is by demonizing the enemy; in this case the Taliban. Many Americans falsely believe that all Muslims are as strict in their religion as the Taliban. However, Hosseini makes a clear distinction between the average Afghan and their extremist rulers, and emphasizes their brutality in contrast with the more prevalent, more liberal Muslim practices in Afghanistan. He does this by creating an image of the Taliban that is almost evil in nature. Assef, the face of the Taliban in the novel, is a bloodthirsty sociopath. Amir recalls that, "I will never forget how Assef's blue eyes glinted with a light not entirely sane" (38). Assef is also the one who rapes Hassan, the kind, sensitive boy who is associated with Afghanistan as a whole. ...read more.


It's these small details Hosseini includes that make the Afghans seem human and accessible to the reader. Amir fondly relates how the Afghans would socialize at the flea market. He recalls, "Tea, Politics, and Scandal, the ingredients of an Afghan Sunday at the flea market" (138). Substitute coffee for tea, and I'm sure many Americans would find a striking similarity in the same experiences of socializing with friends and discussing the latest news. The Kite Runner turns Afghans from "the other" into human beings to whom Americans can relate. Throughout his novel, Khaled Hosseini uses potent psychological techniques a tool to influence opinions about Afghanistan and the people who live there. His portrayal of Afghanistan is mixed at times, yet it takes steps to positively break down stereotypes that pervade American beliefs about Muslims and the Middle East. It is far from offering a solution to race conflicts, but if everyone read it, perhaps there would be more positive dialogue between Americans who are of Afghan origin, and those who are not. And that would be a good thing. ...read more.

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