The politics and government are the backdrop and the context within which to understand the narrative. The government and the family are also posed as mirrors of one another; if the government is in disarray, the family is in disarray. The instability of political power/structure is reflected in the instability of the family unit. Paternity, just as leadership, cannot be determined or fixed during Afghanistan's turbulent history. This book is about people, and less about governments, but in order to understand those people, we need to understand how politics and government shape their identities and how they relate to each other.
[...] He does so by standing up to the Taliban, the perpetrator of his childhood trauma, and the past in general. Assef's attack of Hassan is fueled by politics. Assef admires Adolf Hitler. Assef resembles the Aryan dream that drove Hitler to perform countless crimes against humanity. Assef is an ethnic purist. Assef is a pervert, a sadist, a predator, a coward, and a closeted homosexual. In Kabul during the 1970's, there were many leftist groups. Many of those groups appealed to ethnic minorities, like the Shi'a; Hassan and Ali were Shi'a. [...]
[...] His kite, his story, is the only one left in the sky, sustained by Hassan and Sohrab, his devoted family of kite runners. Kite running can be both dazzling and graceful; it can also be harsh and competitive. Kite running is a sport. It is also a metaphor. Successful kite-running depends on teamwork. It depends on a strange intuition between the flyer and runner, and between the runner and the kite. Kite running is a metaphor for life. An individual cannot successfully navigate through life alone. [...]
[...] As a Taliban leader, Assef makes his sadism a spectacle and a tool of fear in the community. During halftime of a soccer game, Assef has a man and woman stoned to death for adultery. His politics condone and promote his behavior. The universal law of the novel gets Assef when Sohrab shoots his eye out with a slingshot. Assef becomes enraged when Amir laughs at the beating he inflicts upon him. As a sadist, Assef gets off on the pain of others. [...]
[...] Despite Hassan's poverty, despite his life as a servant, despite his illiteracy and disabled father, despite his beauty spoiled by a mark of the third world, Hassan has the fortitude to stand up for what he believes in, despite the size or power of his opponent. Thus, Baba treats Hassan with more love for having in abundance the quality Amir crucially lacks. Amir is painfully estranged from his father because Baba both irrationally blames and is disgusted by Amir's inability to defend himself, and how his birth resulted in the death of Amir's mother and Baba's wife. [...]
[...] After preaching how theft is the most heinous of sins, he forgives Hassan for allegedly stealing objects of great material and sentimental value from him. He blames Amir for his wife's death. He blames, if only unconsciously, Amir for Ali and Hassan's departure from their home. Baba is disappointed when Amir follows his dreams and majors in English in college. Baba continues to keep Amir from happiness when he interferes with Amir and Soraya's courtship. It is not until Baba is nearly on his deathbed with inoperable lung cancer, that he cooperates to see the two married. [...]
using our reader.