The theme of friendship in “The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini
In "The Kite Runner" by Khaled Hosseini, the theme of friendship is explored through the story of Amir and Hassan, two boys growing up in Afghanistan during the 1970s. The novel follows their complicated relationship and the ways in which it is tested by various external forces, such as social class and the tumultuous political climate of the country. Throughout the novel, Hosseini uses artistic details and images to emphasize the importance of this theme and to highlight the complexities of friendship.
From the beginning of the novel, the friendship between Amir and Hassan is depicted as something special and rare. They are from different social classes, with Amir being the privileged son of a wealthy businessman and Hassan the son of the family servant. However, they are close friends, with Amir often referring to Hassan as his "best friend." This bond is symbolized by their shared love of kite fighting, a popular pastime in Afghanistan that involves flying and battling kites. Together, they form an unbeatable team, with Amir controlling the kite and Hassan running down the fallen kites. This imagery of the two boys working together to defeat their opponents serves as a metaphor for their close friendship.
However, their friendship is soon tested when they are confronted by a group of bullies. In an effort to impress his father, Amir betrays Hassan by not intervening when he is assaulted. This betrayal is a turning point in their relationship, and the guilt and shame that Amir feels for his actions cause him to distance himself from Hassan. As a result, their once strong friendship becomes strained and eventually falls apart.
Despite the breakdown of their relationship, the theme of friendship remains central to the novel. Through the character of Rahim Khan, an older family friend, Hosseini shows the redemptive power of friendship. Rahim Khan recognizes the importance of Amir's relationship with Hassan and encourages him to make amends. He also offers Amir a chance at redemption by asking him to return to Afghanistan to help Hassan's son, Sohrab. This task is difficult and dangerous, but Amir sees it as an opportunity to make things right with his old friend and to fulfill his duty as a loyal friend.
Throughout the novel, Hosseini uses the imagery of kites to represent the idea of friendship. The kite serves as a symbol of childhood innocence and happiness, and the act of flying a kite together becomes a powerful metaphor for the bonds of friendship. The image of Amir and Hassan flying kites together is repeated throughout the novel, serving as a reminder of the strength and beauty of their friendship. The image is particularly poignant at the end of the novel, when Amir and Sohrab finally fly a kite together. This moment symbolizes Amir's redemption and the restoration of the friendship that was lost so many years ago.
In conclusion, "The Kite Runner" by Khaled Hosseini is a powerful exploration of the theme of friendship. Through the story of Amir and Hassan, Hosseini shows the complexities of this relationship and the ways in which it can be tested and ultimately redeemed. Through artistic details and images, such as the imagery of kite fighting and the repeated image of flying kites, Hosseini emphasizes the importance of this theme and highlights the power of friendship to overcome even the most difficult obstacles.