Family Systems In The Kite Runner

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On January 31st in Waverly, Tennessee, a man who would go on to change family therapy forever was born. He goes by the name of Murray Bowen. He developed The Bowen Family Systems, a theory that incorporates eight different concepts aimed at simplifying the complexity of family issues. Bowen Family Systems can be used to analyze many pieces of literature that place a strong importance on family, such as The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini. Hosseini is an Afghani writer who left Afghanistan with his family, escaping the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Family is an important motif in all of his writings. Through the elements of character development and conflict, the Bowen Family Systems is demonstrated by Hosseini through the use of the emotional…show more content…
There are leaders, and there are followers, and not much in between. Leaders have a strong stance, while followers live their life according to others. Followers crumble at the opinion of those surrounding them. A follower is, as Murray Bowen would define, undifferentiated, a conformist. They do not stand for what they believe in, they believe and do what others tell them they should. Differentiation is the process when someone becomes more themselves. They emit all of the anxiety from superficial pressures and just be who they are. In The Kite Runner differentiation is important because at the start of the book Amir is not himself. He has a very low differentiation level, as he concaves from the pressure of trying to impress Baba. He lies to impress Baba, he hurts his friend trying impress, and he loses himself in the process. He has no sense of morality, and makes his decision based on a reaction instead of making a rational decision. After walking down the alley and seeing his friend Hassan pinned down by Assef and two other boys, Amir decides to run, “I actually aspired to cowardice, because the alternative, the real reason I was running, was that Assef was right: Nothing was free in this world. Maybe Hassan was the price I had to pay, the lamb I had to slay, to win Baba” (Hosseini, 68). In this quote Amir reveals the real reason he ran from Assef instead of helping Hassan. It was not because he was scared, it was because he wanted the blue kite and he knew if he and Hassan fought back Assef would destroy the kite. Amir wanted to bring the kite to his father, seeking his approval. Amirs anxiety because of his lack of approval from his father causes him to run from this situation. He needed his fathers approval so badly that he sacrificed a friendship for it. He walked away as his friend got raped, all to conserve a blue kite. During this time of low differentiation Amir made a terrible choice in the face of
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