Symbolism In The Kite Runner

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A soaring kite, deep blue and barely distinguishable from the sky, danced at the mercy of the young boy below holding its string in scarred, bloody hands. The juxtaposition between this jubilant activity and the scars hidden in the palms of the participants accurately parallels the situation in Afghanistan. To most Americans, talk of the war in Afghanistan is commonplace, just like kite flying. However, comparable to the scars that each kite flyer holds within his hands, Afghanistan’s true miseries are hidden from the world, overlooked and “a testament to the Western-backed government's failure to assert authority and curtail rogue strongmen” (Rasmussen). Though the Western government sends troops, the government of Afghanistan remains too feeble to rebuild and revert the country back to its almost forgotten state of comfort and security. Recognizing the muted cry for help in war-torn Afghanistan, Khaled Hosseini develops kite flying as a major symbol throughout his book, The Kite Runner, to further his point that Afghan society has the potential to change, and the choices we all make now will decide its fate, for better or for worse.
From a cultural standpoint, kite running documents key elements of ingrained values and Afghan custom. A testament to Persian and Islamic values, the story of Rustam and Suhrab in the Shah-nama conveys a culture of strong family values and obligations to maintain honor (Firdawsi). This culture has been in practice since the 1000s when the
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