What exactly does The Kite Runner say about issues of social class, and how does this relate to us in society today?
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The contrast between social classes is seen in Amir and his friend Hassan. Amir is the son of Baba, a wealthy businessman and a Sunni Muslim. They live a life of privilege and comfort in a fine home and enjoy every social advantage. Amir goes to school, owns books, and reads well. Hassan, however, is a member of Hazara, an ethnic minority in Afghanistan who can be recognized by their distinct ethnic features. The Hazara make up the lowest class in Afghan society; individually and as a group, they are reviled, rejected, and dismissed as human beings. They live lives of abject poverty and discrimination.
Ali, Hassan's father, is a servant to Baba. Hassan acts as Amir's personal servant. They live on Baba's property, but not in Baba's house. Their home is a small, crude dwelling. They live in poverty, although Baba treats them well in other ways. Amir and Hassan grow up as close childhood friends, but Amir never forgets--and never lets Hassan forget--the difference in their social classes. Neither boy questions why Amir is Hassan's social superior.
Racial and ethnic discrimination still exist in our society, but it is no longer accepted as the social norm. Furthermore, many laws have been enacted to protect members of minority groups. In our society, a person is not labeled by his heritage and forced to remain in poverty as a member of a predetermined "lower class." Being able to get an education (free public education is available to all) and improve one's life is the foundation of the American Dream.
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