Reading over this semester has made me realize that life is not always as it seems to be, especially since it can be perceived so many different ways by so many different people. It is important to consider someone’s point of view and their past history, because that will make it easier to understand why they see something in the way that they do. Understanding someone’s motives will make their actions more clear. In other words, I have learned that ignorance is never something to strive for, even though some people like to use it to drown out the things they would rather not think about.
In The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, it is especially important to know about Christopher’s history with his disability in order to better understand the way in which he tells his story. It affects how you perceive the things he says, and how much of it you think is reliable based on your own personal opinion. In The Kite Runner, understanding Amir’s desire to be validated by Baba, his father, is key to understanding the reason behind many of Amir’s actions, such as betraying Hassan.
Being able to be inside the minds of these characters, as both books were told in the first person, was essential in knowing why they acted in the way that they did. It made me consider that that kind of knowledge and ability to have an open mind is important in life, as well as literature. Society can often be ignorant, which does not allow them to understand people and life to its fullest extent. Mark Haddon, the writer of The Curious Incident, never gives Christopher a chance to stray from his exceptional understanding of his general surroundings, which is the thing that permits the perusers to feel they are inside his psyche.
Haddon instructs experimental writing in England, however as a young fellow he worked with extremely introverted people. He obviously shows his commonality with an “extremely introverted world view” in The Curious Incident. At a few instances, the mentally unbalanced world view can become particularly perplexing because people looking from the outside generally expect considerably more feeling in a decent story. Be that as it may, this reality does not bring down the story, it improves it.
The reader is compelled to look into Christopher’s consistent and solid method for experiencing everything around him. The book’s tone helps one to remember Temple Grandin’s personal record of what it means to see the world as an extremely introverted person. As seen with the policeman in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime not knowing how to communicate with Christopher Christophe, we are provided insight into his behavior when he begins to press his forehead on the ground, ignoring the policeman (Haddon 7).
However, the policeman does not have the vantage point that we have. If we were ignorant as the policeman was, we would probably think that Christopher were “crazy” or lacked social etiquette. We would probably be a bit frightened, not knowing how to respond. If the policeman had the insight that we have now about Christopher, he probably would not have pressed him with questions as much. He would have understood that Christopher did not want to be pestered and that constant questions make him anxious and upset, to the point where has to completely ignore the situation to deal with it.
Another example of how society overlooks people and many other things to their fullest potential is when Christopher relates a quote he likes from The Hound of the Baskervilles: “The world is full of obvious things which nobody by chance ever observes” (Haddon 73) to the rest of the book and our own lives. In reading this book, one notices things about the world they never would have noticed for. This is because we are seeing the world through a different lens, through Christopher’s perspective.
We are drawn to the things that he notices, rather than perceiving things through our own narrow-minded view. Certain details may be obvious to one person, but not to another, until pointed out by that other person. We should feel lucky to be able to see the world for more than what we notice at first glance. Often times in life, not being able to see a situation from someone’s perspective makes it more difficult to understand why they do the things that they do. In The Kite Runner, Amir betrays Hassan when he is being raped, rather than helping him like the friend that he was supposed to be.
All his life, Amir struggled to acquire affection from his father, Baba, but he never felt like he truly lived up to Baba’s expectations. Although Amir’s decision to not come to Hassan’s aid when he was being raped was undoubtedly wrong, it makes more sense when you understand the history between Amir and Baba. Amir subconsciously felt that if he allowed Hassan to get raped, he would be out of the way so Amir could finally gain Baba’s love and affection. Hassan and Amir were never truly friends, because Amir was not as dedicated as Amir.
Amir considers the consequences of his actions, saying, “Nothing was free in this world. Maybe Hassan was the price I had to pay, the lamb I had to slay, to win Baba. Was it a fair price? ” (Hosseini 78). He admits that he would have to sacrifice Hassan and he would have to feel some sort of pain in order to win Baba. Of course, he is not completely sure if losing a friend is the right price to pay in order to gain the affection of someone who does not really want to give that affection, but he did it anyway.
Amir and Hassan also could never truly connect because of their past history as Muslims. Amir was Sunni and Hassan was Shi’a, and due to past history it was difficult for them to overcome this divide. Amir admits that he does not feel truly loyal to Hassan, saying, “The curious thing was, I never thought of Hassan and me as friends either… Never mind that we spent entire winters flying kites, running kites. Never mind that to me, the face of Afghanistan is that of a boy with a thin-boned frame… a boy with Chinese doll face perpetually lit by a harelipped smile.
Never mind any of these things. Because history isn’t easy to overcome. Neither is religion. In the end, I was a Pashtun and he was a Hazara, I was Sunni and he was Shi’a, and nothing was ever going to change that” (Hosseini 25). This divide between types of Islam furthered Amir’s justification for betraying Hassan. He thought it just to do so because he never really felt that loyal to him anyway. Due to this and the fact that Amir so badly craved Baba’s affection and validation, he chose to betray Hassan.
Although this was not the right decision to make, it is important to know the motives behind it so we can better understand his actions. Perusing the arts through reading this semester has changed my points of view and society in light of the fact that these books have pointed me in an alternate bearing, or taught me various life lessons. Being able to be inside the minds of Amir and Christopher Boone, and many other worldly characters from the rest of our reading lists, were essential in knowing why they acted in the way that they did.
It made me consider that that kind of knowledge and ability to have an open mind is important in life, as well as literature. There are likewise many books that have helped me explain my own particular feelings or considerations, helped me discover a voice. If I had not read the books that were assigned this semester, I’d be an altogether different man today. Reading literature have a certain kind of force. In the event that you let them, they can change your life, fill in as another compass or guide, or boost your spirits when you need it most.