The Kite Runner: A Literary Analysis

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Willa Cather, a famous author, once said about life that there are only really two or three human stories. Not only is there a very meager amount of stories to be told, but they have been repeated over and over again as if they were new each and every time. Cather’s remarks can be interpreted many different ways with different variations of the meaning being possible. However, when you break down most types of stories they can fall into the same categories of stories. There is really only two possible types of stories; that of person victory and that of personal failure. Every possible iteration of a story ever conceived can fall into one of these two categories. Either the hero succeeds or fails, there are no other outcomes. This is most evident…show more content…
Whether it be the protagonist finding true love or overcoming nearly impossible circumstances, a story of victory is always a staple. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini, depicts a classic coming of age tale, a perfect example of personal triumph. Though things are rough at times in his life, in the end, he accomplishes his goals of living a good and happy life. He grows up in Afghanistan and after the situation in the region deteriorates he needs to flee to America. There he finds love but has roadblocks in his way that he must overcome. Finally, he returns to Afghanistan to find his half-nephew. After fighting all that Kabul has to throw at him, he returns home with his son who eventually assimilates and runs kites with him as he did as a child. Much like the coming of age story, the overcoming the monster story is another version of a victorious tale. Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption, by Stephen King, pits Andy Dufresne against the justice system and prison life as he lives behind bars after being wrongly convicted. In the end, he is able to escape to a free life outside the confines of prison. In film, this type of plot is the most common as well. Whether it be the rebels defeating the empire in Star Wars, or even a young man winning a game show in Slumdog Millionaire, the iconic story of overcoming something and coming out better in the end is as classic as it gets. There are always small…show more content…
In this version of a story, the hero doesn’t prevail and either things go on the way they were before or everything comes crashing down. Unlike with the story of personal triumph which has many small losses before total victory, there are many small victories before total defeat in this type of story. In 1984, by George Orwell, for example, Winston seems as if he will be able to topple the government at many different points and enlighten the people. However, in the end, he falls short as he is captured and everything he thought was changing stays the same. The protagonist is unable to accomplish his goal and subsequently dies, ending the story on a rather grim note. An unbeatable dystopian society like the one shown in 1984 is one of the ways in which a story ends in defeat. In Romeo and Juliet, written by Shakespeare, the two forbidden lovers cannot manage to overcome the societal shackles on them and Romeo kills himself leading to Juliet following suit. The story, while happy at points ends with love succeeding, though, not in this life. In film, the story occurs in a very likewise way. In Titanic, Jack and Rose fall in love even though they are not meant to be together. They also go down with the ship and only Rose is able to survive, making it yet another love story ending in failure and tragedy. Even stories that seem to have happy endings in some cases still

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