The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns explore the themes of exile, displacement, immigration, and a person’s relationship to one’s nation, themes commonly associated with postcolonial literature. Many nations, such as India, Jamaica, and Afghanistan, were once colonies of more powerful countries, including Great Britain, the Netherlands, France, and the United States, seeking to expand their wealth and territories. As the once colonized areas gained independence, they created new national identities, most visibly through art and literature. Theorists have categorized as postcolonial the literature and art that explores the relationships between colonized and colonizer.
Afghanistan has struggled for independence from various invading nations throughout its history; in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries alone, England, the former Soviet Union, and United Nations peacekeeping forces, primarily consisting of U.S. soldiers, have occupied the country. As a result, many Afghans have migrated either by force or by choice to different countries. Both The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns describe the lives of characters who have left their homelands—either to another country or a safer part of their own country—as a result of war.
While far from a direct representation of his childhood in Kabul and young adulthood in California, to which Hosseini’s family migrated, the characters in...
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