Why is The Kite Runner relevant to teenagers?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One reason why The Kite Runner is relevant to teenagers is because of its themes. 

Adolescence is a very confusing time.  As a teenager, choices are made that have a profound impact on the direction of one's life.  Sometimes these choices are not always for the best.  The Kite Runner addresses how the confusion of adolescence can be the backdrop for choices that we would like to have back.  The opening of the novel contains the idea of being "good again." As an older man, Amir travels back to Afghanistan and confronts some of the decisions he made when he was a teenager.  He must accept that he did not act righteously when he failed to stand up for Hassan.  In the process, Amir discovers the way to "be good again."  The novel shows how choices we make as teenagers play a formative role in our identities.  In this way, The Kite Runner  is relevant to teens all over the world.

I think that another reason why teenagers would find The Kite Runner relevant would be due to its affirmation of friendship.  The issue of friendship confronts the lives of many teenagers.  The need to find good friends is an essential part of a teenager's identity.  Amir recognizes that Hassan is a good friend. While there was jealousy for a while, Amir ends up acknowledging that the friendship that he and Hassan shared when they were teenagers represented some of the strongest emotions he had experienced in his life.  Teenagers who have a friendship like that of Hassan and Amir can recognize the important role it will play in their lives.  Those who lack such a friendship can read The Kite Runner to understand what defines the contours of true friendship.  Sacrifice, emotional acknowledgement, and loyalty are the components of real camaraderie.  Teenagers who struggle with whether their friendships are real and valid can use Hosseini's novel as a reference point to gauge the value of their own associations.  The universality of themes such as the power of friendship and the role that choices play in one's identity is a reason why The Kite Runner is relevant to teenagers all over the world. 

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The Kite Runner

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