The Kite Runner, is portrayed as a work of fiction, yet one can argue it is largley autobiographical. Would this work as a thesis?
First time back to college in 25+ years and am finding it difficult to put together thesis statements, particularly when having to search through literary criticism. Any help would be appreciated.
Is your assignment a literary analysis, an argument, a review? Depending on your assignment, your thesis statement might need some tweaking. If you are simply writing an analysis, the thesis is on track. You might consider claiming something like: Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner earned its position on fiction bestseller lists, but its autobiographical elements and portrayal of Afghanistan offer readers a gritty reality.
When doing your research, look for interviews with Khaled Hosseini so that you can use the author's own words as proof that aspects of the novel are autobiographical. Just be careful because Hosseini has made it clear in interviews that the situation with Hassan and Assef are completely fictional. When discussing the real elements, consider Amir's relationship with Baba and Hosseini's with his own father (or what Hosseini doesn't say about his relationship with his father).
Keep in mind that the key to an effective thesis is that is must be provable, must be a statement, and it needs to give you enough to work with in your paper. That's why if you add the aspect of "a realistic portrayal of Afghanistan" to your thesis, you will have more to work with in your body paragraphs.
The links below are a good place to start. Good luck!
Yes, I think this is a great thesis, and certainly an essay on this topic could be driven with an end in mind. I see this concluding with something along the lines of how you feel about the main character (author) knowing many of the events in the book were likely true. *I personally had a hard time getting through the book because I knew it was largely autobiographical. I had a hard time looking at the main character as anything but a coward and therefore my respect for him on a literary level naturally dropped. (It was a similar feeling to reading James Frey's A Million Little Pieces but for the exact opposite problem!)
One thing you should be cautious of, however, with a thesis like this... you are going to have to seek reputable outside sources to prove it. You would not be able to rely on the text alone if you are showing that events in the text itself are true. Certainly the human emotions related to them could be proven with just textual evidence, but to prove autobiography you are going to want to seek evidence in the form of journal articles and interviews with the author.
Great idea though.