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The life and death of politics in The Kite Runner

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  1. Introduction
  2. The character's politics and ethics
  3. Amir's treatment of Hassan
  4. Hassan's rape
  5. Amir's self loathing
  6. Baba
  7. Assef's attack of Hassan
  8. The Taliban leader
  9. Governments and political parties
  10. The universal law of the novel
  11. Conclusion
  12. Works cited

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. [...]

[...] The good guys do not often win. Horrific things often happen to the innocent. No character in the narrative is wholly innocent, though. Hassan's fatal flaw was his undying loyalty to Amir. His first word was Hassan won't even fight back when Amir tries to start a pomegranate fight with him. Hassan assaults himself with the fruit in support of Amir. He chooses to participate in his own defeat! Again Hassan demonstrates how he cares more for Amir than for himself. [...]

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