What are the differences and similarities between Chronicle of a Death Foretold and The Kite Runner? 

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teachsuccess | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Hello! You asked what differences and similarities there are between 'Chronicle Of A Death Foretold' and 'The Kite Runner.' I list two similarities and two differences below. You will likely find more, but I hope these will be a start for you.

Similarities

1)A tragedy occurs and no one intervenes to stop it.

In The Kite Runner, Amir has just won the kite-fighting tournament, and Hassan has gone to retrieve the kite. Hassan is Amir's servant and does whatever Amir tells him. When Hassan does not appear, Amir goes looking for him. In the process, he comes across Hassan being raped by the neighborhood bully, Assef. Although he sees what happens from beginning to end, he does nothing to help Hassan. In Chronicle Of A Death Foretold, many people in Santiago Nasar's village know that the Vicario brothers are looking to kill Santiago, but all give varied reasons or excuses for doing nothing substantial to prevent the killing.

2)The divide between rich and poor leads to dysfunction.

In Chronicle Of A Death Foretold, we are told that Angela is not initially thrilled to be marrying Bayardo San Roman. She thinks him conceited and is horrified that he might be a Jew. However, her family is poor, and Angela must submit to marrying a rich man: to 'disdain that prize of destiny' is to be a disloyal and ungrateful daughter. Angela lives in a society where all young women are expected to fulfill all that society expects of them: to be the wife of a good man and to bear his children is the height of female accomplishment in Angela's culture. In a society where survival is crucial, love is a luxury not be entertained before questions of welfare are addressed. In The Kite Runner, we find a similar instance of dysfunction. Hassan and Ali are Hazara: being Shiites, they are shunned and persecuted by the Pashtun Sunnis. Amir rationalizes his cowardice by reasoning that Hassan is only a Hazara: why should he put himself out to save an outcast?

Differences

1)The crime and its aftermath are dealt with differently in the two novels.

In The Kite Runner, Amir tries to atone for his sins by adopting Sohrab, Hassan's son. To do so, he has to face the evil Assef again. The adult Assef is now a Taliban official and is Sohrab's master. It is also implied that Sohrab suffers the same sexual abuse his own father had to endure at Assef's hands. Amir literally goes into the bowels of Hell to retrieve and finally adopt Sohrab. In Chronicle Of A Death Foretold, the Vicario brothers serve a few short years in prison for their crime and then carry on with their lives. Pablo marries and becomes an 'elegant goldsmith' and Pedro enlists in the army. Neither express any particular sorrow or regret for killing Santiago Nasar. They are not necessarily concerned whether Santiago actually took their sister's virginity: their only concern is the family's supposed honor in the eyes of society.

"We killed him openly," Pedro Vicario said, "but we're innocent."

"Perhaps before God," said Father Amador.

"Before God and before men," Pablo Vicario said. "It was a matter of honour."

2)A terrible secret is kept from a character in both Chronicle Of A Death Foretold and The Kite Runner; only one character is lucky enough to find out what the secret is.

In The Kite Runner, Amir eventually finds out that Hassan is also his brother. However, in Chronicle Of A Death Foretold, Santiago Nasar never fully understands why the Vicario brothers want to kill him. When Nahir Miguel tries to warn him that he should either hide or to borrow his rifle for protection, Santiago Nasar exclaims:

I don't understand a God-damned thing," Santiago Nasar said.

This is an interesting response: is Santiago really guilty?

Thanks for the question. Hope this helps.

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