What issues are raised in The Kite Runner?

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Khaled Hosseini raises numerous issues throughout The Kite Runner regarding ethnicity, prejudice, religion, political unrest, friendship, guilt, violence, and redemption. Hosseini examines the social disparity between the majority Sunni Pashtuns and the minority Shiite Hazaras in Afghan society by contrasting the lives of Ali and Hassan to Baba and Amir's privileged lives. Hosseini also depicts the harmful effects of prejudice against Hazaras, which prevents both Baba and Amir from openly expressing their love and affinity for Ali and Hassan. Baba also refuses to acknowledge Hassan as his son because of social pressure and Amir does not discover that he is Hassan's half-brother until later on in life. Afghanistan's constant political unrest is emphasized by the initial Russian invasion, followed by the brutal Taliban rule several decades later. The story also focuses on Amir's inner turmoil and guilt as a child after he refuses to intervene while Hassan is being raped. As an adult, Amir continues to suffer from the overwhelming guilt of not helping Hassan and ends up seeking redemption by agreeing to save Sohrab from a life of abuse. Amir ends up atoning for his sins after risking his life and surviving a brutal fight with Assef. Hosseini's ability to highlight and explore various difficult topics is one reason why The Kite Runner is such a celebrated work of literature.

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Kite Runner is the unforgettable, beautifully told story of the friendship between two boys growing up in Kabul. They are reared in the same household and share the same wet nurse, but Amir and Hassan grow up in different worlds.

Amir is the son of a prominent and wealthy man, while Hassan, the son of Amir's father's servant, is a Hazara, member of a shunned ethnic minority. When the Soviets invade and Amir and his father flee the country for a new life in California, Amir thinks that he has escaped his past. Amir can't forget Hassan, however.

The Kite Runner is a novel about friendship, betrayal, and the price of loyalty. It is about class structure and culture.  It is about father/son relationships, and the power of politics. The novel also describes the rich culture and beauty of a land in the process of being destroyed. It is also about faith in education and learning about differences so tolerance can be achieved, as well as redemption.

Though the novel is full of violent and awful events, the author leaves us with a sense of hope for the future and also with a completely turned around opinion from the preconceived ideas we westerners might have about the middle eastern culture and their ideologies and belief system.

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