‘The Kite Runner explores the consequences of attempting to rebel against unjust leadership.’ To what extent do you agree with this view? Remember to include in your answer relevant detailed exploration of Hosseini’s authorial methods.
The Kite Runner explores key ideas of political and social protest writing, one of which is fighting oppression. The main characters come into contact and experience oppression in the form of unjust leadership throughout the novel and often feel the consequences of attempting to rebel against it. However it could be argued that in many cases the characters fail to truly rebel due to their own personal flaws and attributes, for example Amir held back by his own cowardice and fear and Hassan is held back by his kind and gentle nature.
Both Hassan and Sohrab rebel against Assef in a David and Goliath moment. Both acts of rebellion have positive and negative consequences for the character. First of all, Assef is a Pashtun, a member of the ruling racial class in Afghanistan, not only that he comes from a very rich and successful family and is supposedly among a political elite to some extent: “The King is gone. Good riddance. Long live the president! My father knows Daoud Khan, did you know that, Amir?” Assef has a large amount of power over Hassan, and is potentially a symbol for the worst side of Afghani culture and beliefs. Despite this however Hassan, a Hazara is able to take control in order to save Amir with his slingshot. Calmly and slowly Hassan commands Assef: “Please leave us alone, Agha… Please leave us be Agha”. This is an extremely powerful image, of Hassan rising up and humiliating Assef in front of his friends. The direct consequence of this action was saving Amir from a brutal violent attack and the satisfaction of defeating Assef and his friends. However it also led to the horrific rape of Hassan, as the reader however we have ultimate sympathy and respect for Hassan, he goes through hell to save Amir and his son Sohrab carries on his threat of “one-eyed Assef”. In the final fight while Amir is yet again the target of Assef’s attack, Sohrab saves his life with his slingshot, in an extremely similar way to Hassan he aims the slingshot at Assef saying: “No more, Agha. Please… stop hurting him… Please stop” this time however Assef doesn’t stop and Sohrab is forced to fire the slingshot, taking out his eye in the process. This saves Amir’s life and gives Assef what he deserves for what he did to both Hassan and Sohrab. Sohrab however is still a young child, and the consequences for committing such an act must be mentally damaging, both Sohrab and Hassan experience a complete loss of childhood as a result of attempting to rebel.