History In Khaled Hosseini's Kite Runner

Good Essays
History is fundamental in shaping literature. Thus, it is important to realize the background influence of the author in expanding one’s knowledge on a particular text or novel. According to Roland Barthes, in The Death of the Author, “The author still reigns in histories of literature, biographies of writers, interviews, magazines…The image of literature to be found in ordinary culture is tyrannically centered on the author, his life…” (Bathers, 1967). Moreover, “A historical novel is likely to be more meaningful when either its milieu or that of its author is understood” (Guerin, 1966). Khaled Hosseini’s Kite Runner allows its’ readers to understand significant events in Afghan history. Through the life of the narrator, Amir, Hosseini portrayed…show more content…
Then in 1980, when their family is about to return to Kabul, the Soviet Union initiates an invasion and war in Afghanistan. Although he is not present in his country during the time, he gives an illustration of what his fellow Afghans had suffered. “The shootings and explosions had lasted less than an hour... it was the beginning of the end. The end, the official end, would come first in April 1978 with the communist coup d 'état, and then in December 1979, when Russian tanks would roll into the very same streets where Hassan and I played, bringing the death of the Afghanistan I knew and marking the start of a still ongoing era of bloodletting.” (p.39) Aside from the bombings and killings, Russian soldiers tend to abuse alcohol and drugs, which leads them to become violent and abusive to women. This is evident when Baba and Amir tries to cross to Pakistan and had an encounter with a Russian soldier “…the Russian soldier…wanted a half hour with the lady in the back of the truck.” (p.125) “Baba stood up…The Russian soldier…clicked the safety pin on the gun. Pointed the barrel to Baba’s chest” (p.125-127) With the Soviet Invasion, Afghanistan is left with a great number of 1.5 million refugees that fled to Pakistan for safe…show more content…
Though they are miles away from the war of Afghanistan, their family encounters a battle of their own. He portrayed this similar struggle in the character of Baba, as he adjusts his lifestyle in America. “For Baba, [America is] a place to mourn his [memory]” (p.140) This line depicts the struggle Amir’s father experience as he leaves his wealth behind Kabul and start a new beginning in San Francisco. Similar with Hosseini’s parents “…it was an even more difficult adjustment for my parents to be uprooted and to have lost everything they had worked their lives for, and to have to restart their lives essentially from scratch and to try to restart a life in an environment that was dramatically different from the one they were accustomed to.” (Hosseini, 2012) The other emigrant characters in the novel experience the same struggle. They serve as a microcosm of other Afghan emigrants who seek refuge in other countries. Hosseini’s The Kite Runner is not a history book to consider. The characters and plot are fictional; however, the significant events and notable characters are influenced and derived from real events in Afghanistan history and experiences of the author himself. Through his novel, the Western community is able to have a picture of what Afghanistan is based from Hosseini’s young memories in Kabul, the struggles his people have suffered from its invaders (Soviet
Get Access