The Kite Runner is about human relations and about societies in the throes of transition. How does your understanding of social theory help you read this?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Social theory lies at the heart of fully understanding the implications of The Kite Runner.

The question is asking you for your own thoughts.  What I provide can be integrated into your own experience.  At the same time, there are many different social theories that can fit into this, and so you might have to determine which one best fits.  However, I think that seeing how social theory operates in The Kite Runner is a very interesting idea.  It is important because it plays a critical role in the novel.

The very idea of Amir needing to "be good again" is an example of how social theory frames the narrative.  It is clear that Amir embraces a theoretical perspective which stresses how individuals play a vital role in the formation of the world around them.  When confronted with a "way to be good again," Amir does not embrace a philosophy like Marxism that might devalue the role of the individual. He does not respond by saying that the individual is meaningless in the face of social or economic conditions. Rather, he recognizes that there can be an empowering role for human beings in the construction of their world.  The social challenges of transition as well as the relations between human beings can be addressed through individual action. This emerges as Amir is able to challenge Taliban authority and find a path for both he and others to be "good again." This is an example of how social theory plays a role in the novel.  It shows the role individuals play in impacting their world.

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