In Khaled Hosseini's novel The Kite Runner, the slingshot is a recurring symbol. An important factor in considering the slingshot's figurative or symbolic significance is the context in which the slingshot appears over the course of the novel.
The slingshot is first used by Hassan, and then later by his son Sohrab. In each case, the boy using the slingshot is working to protect Amir, the narrator of the novel, from Assef, the antagonist of the novel.
With this knowledge, the reader can interpret several important meanings of the slingshot:
- It insinuates strong similarities between Hassan and Sohrab, indicating that not only are they father and son, but that they have similar personality traits.
- The slingshot could be associated with loyalty and protection, as in each case it is used to protect a character whose relationship with the user is not ideal, but a character for whom the user feels strongly protective of nevertheless.