Theme Of Cruelty In The Kite Runner

Decent Essays

Cruelty is a topic that can function as a major plot point in stories and connect to several different literary elements. An author may use cruelty to express a theme, or a message about the real world, exemplified through a story. Cruelty could also be used as a device in order to progress plot. Even as a character trait, cruelty can give the reader more insight into a story’s plot, setting, or even the characters themselves. In Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner, cruelty helps to communicate different themes, progress the plot, and give insight into characters. Cruelty is an important factor in two themes in The Kite Runner. One of those themes involves experiencing pain and how that pain shapes who character will become in the future. This theme is exemplified in the alley scene when Amir witnesses his servant and friend, Hassan, being sexually assaulted by the neighborhood bully, Assef. The horrendous acts of cruelty Amir experiences that day are completely paradoxical to anything he has encountered previously in his life. Up until this point, the only cruelty Amir has had to experience is that of his relationship, or lack thereof, with his father. As the story continues, Amir considers himself to be cruel for not even attempting to help Hassan in his time of need. He even references this experience in the first paragraph of the book by saying “I became what I am today at the age of twelve… crouching behind a crumbling mud wall, peeking into the alley near the

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