Kites in The Kite Runner

We have started to revise The Kite Runner, and one thing I would like you to do, is to think about the importance of kites. How important are they? Well, a hint is in the title – you can tell kites are central to the novel because …  it’s called “The Kite Runner.” But that’s not all there is to kites, here’s what Gradesaver has to say about them:

On a plot level, the grand kite tournament of 1975 sets a circle of betrayal and redemption into motion, around which the story revolves. After Hassan gets raped while running his kite, Amir cannot separate kite fighting and running from his own betrayal and cowardice. Therefore, even after all of his injuries and trials on Sohrab’s behalf, it is the act of kite running that finally makes him feel redeemed. Beyond their significance to the plot, kites have multiple layers of symbolism in the story. One of these layers involves the class difference between Amir and Hassan, which largely dictates and limits their relationship. In kite fighting, one boy controls the kite while the other assists by feeding the string. Just as Hassan makes Amir’s breakfast, folds his clothes, and cleans his room, so does he cater to Amir in kite tournaments. Even though Hassan shares in the excitement of kite fighting, he does not actually have control over the kite. Hassan may help the kite “lift-and-dive,” but Amir is the one who claims a victory. Hassan may catch a cherished rival kite and hold it in his arms, but always to bring it back to Amir, to whom it then belongs. His joy is vicarious, just like his experience of wealth and privilege while living in Baba’s household. In order to free himself of selfishness and cowardice, Amir must go from being merely a kite fighter-someone who seeks glory-to a kite runner, someone who genuinely does things for others.

Not enough? Well, Gradesaver has more to say about kites and you will find this out if you go here.

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