Power In The Kite Runner

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An Analysis of Power in Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner provides insight into how power affects people and what it can do to relationships. Humans, by nature, crave power and seek control over others. Power is addictive. Once someone has had a taste of power, they will do everything possible to hold onto it. Throughout Hosseini’s novel, characters gain and lose power. They also abuse power, whether through friendship or fear. They manipulate the powerless to stay in their position. In Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner, aggressors evoke guilt and shame in their victims in order to maintain their power, bespeaking the human need to be in control.
Characters understand the appeal of power at a young age. Even as a child, Amir manipulates Hassan’s loyalty in order to make himself feel superior. Amir has always felt inferior to Hassan, mainly due to his yearning for Baba’s love. Because of this, he enjoys using his opportunistic advantages to make Hassan think less of himself. As children, Amir and Hassan enjoy reading under their favorite tree, but Amir’s favorite part is when they come “across a big word that [Hassan does not] know” and he has the opportunity to “expose his ignorance” (Hosseini 28). Amir craves so badly to be superior that he
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Amir exploits Hassan’s loyalty in order to feel superior. Assef uses sexual abuse to give himself power over Hassan and Sohrab. The Taliban use religion and terror to enforce their rule over the people of Afghanistan. Although all of these people employ different means to maintain power, the root of their strength is the guilt and shame of their victims: Hassan’s need to be a good friend, Sohrab’s sinful feelings, and the people’s guilt of not adhering to their religion. The Kite Runner illustrates how power changes people and relationships, and exhibits the extremes a person will go to into order to keep a firm grasp on
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