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Can someone explain why this is a social conflict?(man vs society)"But he's not my...

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jackiettnguyen | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 14, 2011 at 9:53 AM via web

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Can someone explain why this is a social conflict?(man vs society)

"But he's not my friend! I almost blurted. He's my servant! Had I really thought that? Of course I hadn't. I hadn't. I treated Hassan well, just like a friend, better even, more like a brother. But if so, they why, when Baba's friends came to visit with their kids, didnt I ever include Hassan in our games? Why did I play with Hassan only when no one else was around?" (41)

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ladyvols1 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted November 14, 2011 at 11:02 AM (Answer #1)

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The story of The Kite Runner, by  Khaled Hosseini is a story of love and redemption.  The quote that you have asked about addresses the social system of Afghanistan.  The quote is addressing conflict between man and society because Amir is from a ruling Pashtun  class and Hassan is from a servant class.   Hassan is a slave and a member of a minority ethnic group in Afghanistan known as the Hazara. This ethinic group is considered lower in stature than the Pashtun elite. 

Amir, in his mind treats Hassan as a brother most of the time, but freely admits that he encourages Hassan to do the risky behavior so that if they get caught he won't get into trouble.  When other children of Amir's status are around he is fully centered in the historical social structure of his country and pretends that Hassan is no more than a slave that his father pays to serve him.  However, when no one else is around he and Hassan are best friends. 

This relationship is a typical description of social conflict.  It is okay to play with Hassan and act as though they are best friends, unless someone from the Pashtun social class is around.  When that happens, Hassan is forgotten or belittled just the Hazara people have been for centuries in the Afghan culture.

The irony of the story is that later in life, after Amir betrayed Hassan and their lives took different paths, Amir learns that Hassan really was his half brother.

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