The Kite Runner Critical Lens Essay

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The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini is a novel centered around an Afghan boy named Amir and his coming of age during the end of Afghanistan’s monarchy and the invasion of the Soviet Union’s troops. Although there are major political events essential to the story, The Kite Runner is not about politics, it is about Amir and his challenges with love, violence, and family. While reading, the use of literary theory and its six different critical lenses is a helpful way to analyze and understand the novel better. Literary theory is, essentially, the views or opinions about what a text means, as well as the description, analysis, and interpretation of a literary work. Readers can also use critical lenses to find different ways to view or interpret …show more content…

An archetype is a recurring symbol, motif, situation, or character throughout literature that represents patterns of human nature. For example, the Loyal Retainer archetype, whose duty is to protect the hero and reflect the nobility of the hero is prominent throughout the novel. In The Kite Runner, Hassan is a true example of a Loyal Retainer. He is a faithful friend and servant to Amir, who is considered the “hero” in this case, and consistently protects Amir’s reputation. When Amir gets teased by the other neighborhood boys, Hassan is always there to step in and he “fends them off”(22). Also, when Amir plants his watch in Hassan’s room, Hassan protects Amir’s honor by agreeing that he did “steal Amir’s watch” instead of telling Baba the truth. Amir refers to this as Hassan’s “final sacrifice” for him(105). Amir’s relationship with Hassan is important for readers to analyze in order to understand Amir’s decisions throughout the book, and the whole plot, which is basically how Amir is repaying Hassan for his loyalty in their childhood and Hassan’s affect on Amir’s life. The idea of a Mentor is also a key archetype throughout The Kite Runner. The Mentor works as a role model and often serves as a parental figure. Rahim Khan is seen as a mentor throughout The Kite Runner, all throughout Amir’s childhood and into his adulthood. …show more content…

One of the most notable conflicts throughout The Kite Runner would be the long history between Pashtuns and the Hazaras. While Pashtuns were Sunni Muslims, Hazaras were Shi’a, and that was “part of the reason” Pashtuns had oppressed the Hazaras(9). In the beginning of the novel, while readers are walked through Amir’s childhood, the cultural ideology that Hazaras are beneath Pashtuns is clear. Amir, on multiple occasions, would tease or make fun of Hassan and justify it with the fact that he was “just a Hazara”(77) and it didn’t matter that he was being teased. Along with the cultural differences, Amir and Hassan are in opposite social classes. While Amir is a part of the upper class, Hassan and his father are members of the lower class and are servants to Amir and his father. While Amir’s father does not treat them any differently for this, Amir does. Amir sees himself as above Hassan and his father repeatedly. Although, when Amir immigrated to America with his father, he was immediately knocked down a few pegs. Amir and his father were no longer a part of the upper class, and they had to build themselves back up. This ability to see both wealth and poverty shaped Amir into who he became as an adult. Although he still has some ideas from the elitist mindset he was brought up with, he has also learned to be

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