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Kite Runner Cultural Analysis Essay

The social and cultural contextual issues presented in Kite Runner include the significance of clothing, women, and facial features. As seen in Kite Runner, women were allowed to dress more freely until the Taliban gained rule of Afghanistan. Initially, women were allowed to interact with males and dress in colorful clothing of their choice. Their clothing accurately represented the traditional clothing of Afghanistan known for its vibrant colors. With the Taliban’s regime, women were required to fully cover themselves and wear a Burqa that shielded every part of their face except their eyes.

Through the drastic change hown in the film, Marc Forster displays the culture of Afghanistan prior to any invasions. In doing so, he erases the misconception that Afghan Muslims have always treated women poorly. Often times, countries outside of the Middle East view Muslims as violent and fanatical. As a result, many people ignore the sufferings that are existent throughout the Muslim world. For instance, women were forced to marry at a young age during the Taliban rule and died during pregnancy. As seen in Kite Runner, women were not allowed to leave their home without being accompanied by a male.

Although this rule only pplies to Shi’a Muslims today, it shows how worthless the rights of Muslim women are viewed to be. As seen by the way Soraya lives in contrast to the women in Muslim countries, Forester spreads more awareness of the conditions that Muslim women face. In doing so, he conveys that women have the same right to equality that men do. Essentially, it is only by changing current mindsets that issues such as these are slowly eliminated. Furthermore, males were required by the Taliban to grow and maintain a beard.

The Taliban believed that making males grow a beard was a major component in establishing a complete Islamic society. In the Qur’an, males were instructed to let their beards grow so that they can be distinguished from worshippers of other religions. According to the Taliban, a man who shaves his beard is committing a sin, and it is their job to punish any person caught sinning. Therefore, they believe that if a man shaves his beard, he is openly cutting ties with the Islamic culture. Although Amir had a beardless face, he still identified as a Muslim.

When he prayed in the Mosque, he showed that he was still a devout follower of Allah. Through Amir, Forster conveys that individuals do not have to openly display their eligion in order to prove how faithful they are to their god. Religious beliefs are part of an individual just like how a person’s race cannot be changed. The problems is not how the Taliban display their religious beliefs in public spaces, but rather how they impose their beliefs on other people. Similar to how religion cannot be forced, it is not right to discriminate someone due to their religion.

B. In which ways are these contextual issues easy or difficult to understand? Compared to women living in the Middle East, American females are granted more rights. In countries such as Afghanistan, women are married at a young age and do not ypically receive a proper education. Although customs have improved in recent years, one in twenty Muslims girls are still dropping out of school before reaching sixth grade. In 2009, the president of Afghanistan, Karzai, passed denying Shi’a women the right to leave their homes except for “legitimate” purposes.

Additionally, women are not allowed to work or receive an education without their husband’s permission. In comparison to women living in America, their conditions are worse by a large margin. The issue present in Afghanistan is difficult to understand because laws differ significantly in America. As seen by the emphasis America places on social equality, women are given a voice in society. Today, American women can have just as much influence as a male can. Although there are instances where males receive better treatment, such as higher wages, women are able make a living for themselves without male dominance.

However, the way American society functions today is different in comparison to decades before. This is due to feminism movements and the work of many educated women, such as Alice Paul. Through the major difference between Middle Eastern and American customs, Forster shows the mportance of having an education. It is only through education that women can be liberated from male domination because the educated do not have to depend solely on others for survival. The significance of beards are easy to understand because it is a common theme throughout Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.

Although beards are not required in Christianity, they are seen as honor and glory to God for creating males with the ability to grow facial hair. In Judaism, the Old Testament prohibits men from trimming their beards. In Islamic traditions, males are supposed to let their beards grow to distinguish hemselves from other men that are not Muslim. Through beards, Forster shows a common connection between the three major religions. Often times, people have the misconception that one religion is better than another. As seen by many religious protests, many do not agree with the religious practices of others.

Forster conveys that individuals have the right to choose what they believe in. What one person believes may not necessarily be what another individual believes. As seen with the many branches of Christianity that exist, different ideas on a religion can exist. Therefore, it is impossible to draw a istinction between which religion is better than the other. 2. What specific connections can you find between issues in Kite Runner and your own culture(s) and experience? In my culture, it is believed that men have the final word in a relationship.

In a marriage, males and females all have a specific role. Women are expected to perform duties that subjugate them to the limits of their home, such as cleaning and conceiving children. It is believed that if the man is not dominant in the relationship, then the marriage will not last. My culture is similar to how the Islamic culture emphasizes the importance of women living as her husband’s shadow. As seen in Kite Runner, women were not allowed to step beyond their house without being accompanied by men. In limiting women to their home, they are not given a chance to voice their opinions.

To an extent, this proves that men are prideful since they refuse to be influenced by women. This portrays how men act in patriarchal societies through their possessiveness and dominance over women. In Kite Runner, Amir viewed Soraya as his equal. As seen by how he calls her and tells her about his struggles in the form of a story, he relies heavily on her support. I believe that this was one of the primary reasons that Soraya and Amir have a happy marriage. Through their marriage, unity is shown as an essential component of happiness.

Although marriages can be forced upon, it is only through mutual respect that couples can reach a greater understanding of each other. 3. Identify aspects of literary technique (point of view, setting, characters, themes, etc. ). How are they used to develop plot development and interest in Kite Runner? When Amir and Hassan were children, they were connected although they came from different social statuses. Despite Amir eing higher in social status, he disregarded his status and made friends with a slave. He shared his allowances with Hassan and often watched movies with him.

When they carved their names onto the pomegranate tree, it bore fruit, which represented the blossoming of their friendship. However, it is because they are children that they remained ignorant to societal ideas. As Amir began to grow up, he was able to comprehend the difference between a master and a slave. He began to conform to society and saw the person he once thought of as a friend as lower than him. When Hassan was raped, Amir did not do anything and continued to remain gnorant. At that moment, he represented those that pretend to not notice conditions of the poor.

He was similar to the people that manipulate the poor in order to maintain their wealth. Although Amir wanted Hassan to hit him back with the pomegranate fruit in order to lessen his guilt, Hassan broke the fruit over his own head instead. Through this, he showed that no matter what Amir did, he could not retaliate because he was a slave. When Amir returns back to Afghanistan, he finds the tree still standing. However, the tree does not have any fruit and is dying. Through the tree, Forster conveys that true friendship is aintained through viewing each other as equals.

Similar to the branches of the tree, the connection between two people only forms the base of a friendship. In order for it to last, individuals must be willing to go through both good and bad times with each other. 4. Choose a symbol from the novel that is representative of: character, setting, time period, theme(s). How does the symbol contribute to the film? Kite Runner begins with children participating in a kite competition. The children are all portrayed as careless and light- hearted. In Afghanistan, kite running is portrayed as a form of religious expression.

The kites are all very colorful and a way of displaying the culture of Afghanistan. When the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, they forbade the flying of kites. In doing so, they stripped away a cultural identity that Afghans had. The history of kites in Afghanistan is similar to the friendship between Amir and Hassan. When Amir thought back to his childhood, the happiest moments he had contained kites. To Amir, the kites symbolized the past connections he had with his home country and a time when he and Hassan were friends. However, it was also during this time that the flaws in their friendship began to surface.

For instance, when Hassan went to retrieve Amir’s kite, he was raped by Assaf because he refused to give up Amir’s kite. Hassan’s defiance against Assaf shows how Afghans initially tried to fight against Russian invasion. Eventually, this defiance led him to being raped, similarly to Afghans falling into the hands of the Taliban. When Amir returned to Afghanistan, he was able to successfully rescue Hassan’s child and teaches him how to fly kites. The movie concluded with the kites once again flying in the air. In modern Afghanistan, kites are once again soaring in the air as the influence of the Taliban is decreasing.

Through the Kite Runner, Forster shows that although individuals may attempt to take things that are important to others, they can never strip someone of their identity. Although the Taliban can take away materialistic things that Muslims value, are never able to deprive them of their hope. Ultimately, those who try to obtain what they want by force will find that what does not belong to them will never belong to them. 5. Develop an interpretation – What is the purpose? How is the purpose developed in the film? Through the film, Baba attempts to educate his son into a respectful man.

He is strict in hopes that his son will not grow up to be a shameful man. Essentially, Baba represents the regrets and selfishness contained in the story. When Baba had an illicit affair with Hassan’s mother, he raised Hassan in his household and oversaw his growth. Although Hassan and Amir were both his sons, one lived better than the other. He constantly compared Amir and Hassan because he felt that he was the sole reason for all of Hassan’s sufferings. He was not able to openly proclaim Hassan as his son in fear of losing his honor. However, he is forced to lose his honor when he flees from his home country.

In the end, not only does he lose his son, but the status he had clung on to as well. However, his pride still prevents him from telling Amir the truth even on his own deathbed. Through Baba, Forster conveys that although individuals may have regrets, nothing will change if no action is done. The longer one waits, the harder it is to clear up regrets. Time does not stop and wait for those who are afraid to face their fears. No matter what an individual does, it is impossible for them to pause or stop the time. Therefore, they should use their time wisely and make it worthy so that they will not live in regret.

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