What are some examples of feminism in The Kite Runner?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The restricted rights of women in Afghanistan allow for little feminist activity, and the examples in The Kite Runner are few. Soraya's short stay with her boyfriend is one example. She leaves her family behind to run away with her lover, experimenting with drugs and sex in an American rite of passage that would have been scandalous in Afghanistan. Indeed, it is still a scandal in the local Afghan community, and Soraya's father, General Taheri, quickly tracks her down and brings her home. The family then leaves Virginia for California to escape the notoriety, and Soraya returns to a life of subserviance to her father. Only when she meets and marries Amir does she regain her independence, and she refuses to honor her father's request to become a doctor or lawyer, choosing the life of a teacher instead. Hassan's mother, Sanaubar, could be considered a feminist. She chooses a life of prostitution, becoming  unforgettable to more than one soldier. After her son's birth, she deserts her family, running away with a "clan of traveling singers and dancers." She eventually returns to Baba's home of her own accord, though mostly out of necessity, but also out of an independent desire to see her son and make amends for her past. Baba's wife, Sofia, can also be considered a feminist. Instead of becoming a housewife for her controlling husband, she teaches at the local university, and she must have maintained a powerful influence over him before her death.

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The Kite Runner

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