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Bennett, Tony. Formalism and Marxism. Routledge, 2003.
In the United States, Marxist literary criticism was most important during the Great Depression in the 1930s, especially during the era of the Popular Front up to the Hitler-Stalin Pact of 1939. Unlike formalists, Marxists were less concerned about the formal devices, construction style and structure of art and literature as opposed to its social and economic context and political relevance (3). Many of the major writers of the 1930s had a strong affinity for Marxism, socialism and Communism, including Lillian Hellman, Richard Wright, Langston Hughes, John Steinbeck and John Dos Passos. This was the heyday of Socialist Realism, proletarian literature and glorification of the lower classes in their struggles against capitalism and fascism. Marxist did not regard art and literature as abstract, neutral or purely autonomous, but as a reflection of the social and economic system in which…… [Read More]
Kite Runner Lord
Loyalty and Coming of Age in the Kite Runner and Lord of the Flies
Coming of age is as difficult a challenge as one will ever face. The challenges of growing up and of taking on the responsibilities incumbent upon an adult are considerable. This is even more so when one grows up before a backdrop of violence, chaos or disorder. In such a context, honor, integrity and loyalty are either forged or bypassed. This is the reality at the center of both Khaled Hosseini's massively successful The Kite Runner (2003) and illiam Golding's groundbreaking Cold ar parable, Lord of the Flies (1959). In both texts, young boys find themselves faced with matters of life and death; civility and violence; friendship and hatred. And in both texts, young boys are forced to make the kinds of decisions typically reserved for men. In particular, the struggles of Hosseini's…… [Read More]
Despite the fact that readers can identify the theme of the absence of women in both the first and second halves of the novel, it is much more pronounced in the first half. In the second half of the novel, women are characters with much more regularity. The two primary female characters in the second half of the novel are Soraya, Amir's wife, and his mother-in-law Kahanum Taheri. During this part of the novel, Hosseini emphasizes the theme of women's understanding, using primarily Sonyora, although Kahanum Taheri is supportive of their marriage. Just prior to the engagement, she says, "You're barely in the house and I'm crying already," (Hosseini 167), showing her support of the engagement that is about to take place. After their wedding, Amir acknowledges that the absence of women that had characterized his childhood is now over. He says, "All of my life, I'd been around men.…… [Read More]
"People sipping lattes at Starbucks were talking about the battle for Kunduz, the Taliban's last stronghold in the north," but not in a way that encouraged them to feel compassion for Amir and his father Baba. (Hosseini, 2003, 316) the author noted that this was an ironic consequence that many exiles from nations hostile to the United States experienced, not just Afghanis.
Unlike his father Baba, Amir, because he remained haunted by his cowardly actions and the disloyalty of his childhood, bore the slings of fortunes and insults of the American land of his refuge and torment far better than his father. Amir saw these difficulties as deserved punishments for his past crimes, rather than undeserved suffering. Amir could not escape the negative parts of his past in his own mind, even in America. "Swimming classes. Soccer.... And the Taliban scurried like rats into the caves." (Hosseini, 2003, 316) as…… [Read More]
Time passes, Hassan's family leaves Kabul and Amir's family also have to escape to Pakistan and then to unite States. Hassan however never feels hatred for Amir. Something unusual for a child, Hassan names his child Sohrab after the character in story told by Amir.
There are two very contradicting personalities shown in the movie. One of Hassan and the other of Assef. The children are fragile and sensitive. Also the children are fearful and tend to avoid danger (Lereya, Samara, and Wolke, 2013). In the movie however, Assef is totally insensitive. He could not just rely on verbal show of his prejudice and hatred. Assef grows up with these traits and to have a 'better future' in Afghanistan, he joins Taliban. ather than adopting the extremist religion philosophy of the group, he continues to have his evil inner self satisfied by abusing children (Lereya, Samara, and Wolke, 2013).…… [Read More]
In Khaled Hosseini's novel The Kite Runner, the protagonist Amir is haunted by his childhood memories of Hassan. The memory of Hassan's rape in the deserted alleyway resurfaces throughout the novel. This persistence of the past is one of the main themes of The Kite Runner. Recollections of his personal past, and also the history of his native Afghanistan cause Amir emotional anguish and guilt. The persistence of the past creates a crisis of identity for Amir, too. Memories of the past also motivate Amir to create positive change for the future. The persistence of the past is a central theme in Hosseini's The Kite Runner, affecting Amir's sense of self, Amir's sense of place, and Amir's sense of the future.
The persistence of the past affects Amir's sense of self and personal identity. Amir is rarely able to forgive himself, understanding that when Hassan was raped that…… [Read More]
Amir, on the other hand, attends high school, and even though he is already twenty by the time he graduates he becomes largely Americanized through the process of receiving his education. He views America both as a land of new opportunity and as a means fo escaping the darker past he left behind in Afghanistan. Of course, this past continues to haunt Amir, and this also colors his perception of America. While thinking of Hassan, the friend that Amir first failed to protect and then directly betrayed, Amir reflects that, "The first time I saw the Pacific, I almost cried. It was as vast and blue as the oceans on the movie screens of my childhood" (136). This statement illustrates the bittersweet nature of Amir's perception of America and the way that it has changed his life -- and the way that his presence in the country itself indicates the…… [Read More]
This explains why Baba loved Hassan so much -- Hassan was the more beloved brother, in Baba's eyes, even though he could not lay claim to him publically.
Finally, the novel reinforces blood ties perhaps most explicitly in the longing for a homeland that both Baba and Hassan experience. Neither of them can give up the past, no matter how much they try to move forward. After all, the novel begins with the words that Amir is who he is, not because of his location in the United States during the present moment of the book, or even his status as an author but of what happened back in pre-Taliban Kabul in 1975, "at the age of twelve, on a frigid and overcast day," remembering the events as if they still lived within him (Hosseini 1).
I had on last chance to make a decision. One final opportunity to decide…… [Read More]
Kite unner by Khaled Hosseini
Throughout history, armies have marched through the mountains of Afghanistan, sometimes pausing to wage war while other times simply passing through on their way to grander prizes. Most of the stories written about the Khyber Pass portray this region of the world as being hostile and untamed, and for good reason. For modern readers in the West, the manner in which young Afghanis come of age may seem completely alien in many ways, but Khaled Hosseini's novel, The Kite unner, makes it clear that people are just people all over the world. To achieve this outcome, the author positions the reader in the midst of Afghan culture by examining the threats as well as the hospitableness that define tribal society, and structures the novel to be a description of what is required to become a man in Afghani society today using various literary tools and…… [Read More]
Thus, it is plain to see that Amir's lack of reaction in front of his friend's sufferance is not determined solely by cowardice. Hassan is raped by Assef and his friend while trying to recuperate the kite flown by Amir in the tournament. Thus, Amir allows this tragic scene to happen before his eyes, while fixing the kite that will bring him closer to Baba's affection: "Hassan was standing at the blind end of the alley in defiant stance.... Behind him, sitting on piles of scrap and rubble, was the blue kite. My key to Baba's heart."(Hosseini, 83) Amir thus deserts his friend and unconsciously thinks that he has the right to use him for his personal interest since he is his social inferior. Amir's mixed feelings for Hassan are also influenced by the sense that somehow his father prefers his friend to him. It is obvious that he does…… [Read More]
He'd just stood there, doing nothing, red juice soaking through his shirt like blood. Then he'd taken the pomegranate from my hand, crushed it against his forehead. Are you satisfied now? He'd hissed. Do you feel better? I hadn't been happy and I hadn't felt better, not at all. But I did now. My body was broken-just how badly I wouldn't find out until later-but I felt healed. Healed at last. I laughed." (p. 252-53)
The fact that Hassan had always been enamored by Amir is something that Amir acknowledged. He knew that Hassan had always loved him immensely. "Hassan and I fed from the same breasts. We took our first steps on the same lawn in the same year. And under the same roof, we spoke our first word.
Mine was Baba. His was Amir, my name." (p. 10)
The more Amir recalls the events of his past, the…… [Read More]
hy does Amir constantly test Hassan's loyalty? Boys will be boys, and they are always testing the loyalty of their friends. They challenge friends to do things for them and follow their lead. In this case, Amir needed to know that his friend was loyal because his own dad wasn't loyal. He wanted Hassan to treat him like family. He sent many kites up in the air and it was Hassan's duty as a friend to fetch the kites. That is also a test of loyalty.
But the point here also is, in the absence of a nurturing, loving mother (which Amir suffered through), when one's father doesn't seem totally committed and loyal to the son, that son needs to find another male who is loyal and who will be loyal.
How bad was the relationship between Amir and his dad? In Chapter 3 Amir, the narrator, talks about his…… [Read More]
It begins with Amir learning not only that Hassan is dead, but that Hassan was in fact his half brother (Hosseini, 2004). With the knowledge that Amir and his dad escaped to America and Hassan was "cut out" by Taliban makes Amir the winner again by being the last "kite" still standing in the family.
We see the metaphoric symbolism once again when Amir goes to rescue Hassan's son, Sohrab. At that time Amir must go through many channels and much red tape, as if dancing the kite in the sky once again and in the end he is once again facing Assef on the playing field of life.
When they agree to fight to death it is metaphorically linking their fight for the boy to the same principle as kite competitions. In addition, it symbolically represents what happened to Hassan years ago and Amir now has a chance to…… [Read More]
Her natural involvement in raising Sohrab, however, serves as a completion of Soraya's own personal redemption -- she is saving one of the many lost children of Afghanistan -- as it does for Amir, making redemption not only achievable but the natural result of its earnest pursuit.
The sins that are committed by the various individuals in the book are largely defined and described by the characters themselves. Their various paths to redemption are equally personal. As the central character and narrator of the novel, this is most visible in Amir; his understanding of his own and of his father's sins is what drives many of his decisions and attitudes in life, and what causes him to seek redemption in the first place. ithout this drive and the clarity of his perception, redemption might have proved impossible after all.
Calliouet, Ruth. "The Other Side of Terrorism and…… [Read More]
Could his death be tied to his traumatized past? We cannot really tell. But we can assume that since he was the actual victim of the incident, he might have had to suffer too. Not only was he a victim at the hand of a bunch of rowdy street kids, he was also abandoned by his father and his best friend. That was something very cruel for a young boy to handle. That must have taken its toll on him and he finally gave up on life. When Rahim Khan tells Amir, "There is a way to be good again" (p. 1) we realize that redemption is the most important theme of this book. Childhood and what happened during that period have had a powerful impact on Amir's adult life; he is unable to forget anything about that incident and where that happened: "I have been peeking into that deserted…… [Read More]
This allowed the contrast in their personalities to be even more prominent and their characteristics became even more obvious. Some good examples from Shakespearean plays would Brutus and Cassius, Iago and Othello and Macbeth and his wife. If we look closely Iago and Othello's relationship was such that whenever they came together in one scene, we could immediately spot the differences in their personalities and their qualities. While Iago was cunning, scheming and manipulative, Othello was noble, simple and trusting.
Exactly this is how Amir and Hassan's relationship worked in Kite unner too. While Amir wanted to get his way each time and was not even very loyal, Hassan could give his life for Amir. Amir escaped from a horrifying incident in which Hassan was directly involved while Hassan would have risked his life to save Amir. This was a contrast in their personalities. And it was because of Amir…… [Read More]
Fo Ami, this is the only way to edemption.
The boy, he leans, is living in an ophanage in the Taliban afflicted
Afghanistan. In esolution, Ami detemines to tavel to Kabul to bing
the boy back to Ameica and adopt him. Anothe chaacte of impotance is
Ami's wife Soaya, who seves as a souce of suppot and comfot to the
The stoy evolves pimaily on Ami's esponse to his actions both
duing a childhood in Afghanistan and an adulthood in Ameica. In both
contexts, he is afflicted by a sense of his own shotcomings. Thee is no
small degee of jealousy on his pat fo the gifted and vituous Hassan.
Though he had loved his fiend like a bothe, he had also sensed some
degee of competition to which he could neve live up to. This is an
undecuent in the plot which takes place acoss counties ae…… [Read More]
Relationship and Meaning in the Kite Runner
America acts as a place for Amir to bury his memories and a place for Baba to mourn his. In America, there are "homes that made Baba's house in azir Akbar Khan look like a servant's hut." hat is ironic about this statement? hat is the function of irony in this novel?
The Kite Runner is a novel of irony, the irony about a particular kind of immigrant experience in America, the experience of Afghani Muslim-Americans. On one hand, immigrants usually come to America to better their economic lot. Traditionally, the images of America are those of streets paved with gold, boulevards crammed to the brim with opportunities for new immigrants. However, the only reason the Afghani natives of Khaled Hosseini's novel flee to the United States is to escape the new regime in their country, the theocratic, anti-estern, and anti-capitalist Taliban leadership.…… [Read More]
Moves on for Baba & Amir
In the novel, the Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, a strained relationship between father and son spans nearly a lifetime from Afghanistan to America. From the beginning, their interactions are sown with seeds of guilt, regret, inadequacy, and hopes for redemption that carries to the end of this reinvigorating and life-affirming story. Baba and Amir's attitudes toward religion plays a major role in how they deal with their moral dilemmas and ultimately how they overcome them. As Amir struggles to gain his father's love, he comes to find that they are more similar than he though both in their betrayals, and actions for salvation.
Baba, Amir's father, is the constant star of berating religion and all its failings. Very early in the novel he unloads his perspective that nothing of any value can be learned from idiot Mullahs:
Piss on the beards of all…… [Read More]
Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com are two of the most popular American-based online book vendors. While Amazon.com is by far more entrenched in the international book selling market, within North America, these two huge online retailers offer competitive prices and similar services. A direct comparison of ten best sellers can illustrate how these two major vendors: The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini; The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon; I Am Charlotte Simmons by Tom Wolfe; The Plot Against America by Phillip Roth; The Broker by John Grisham; Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides; Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata; French Women Don't Get Fat by Mireille Guiliano; Blink by Malcolm Gladwell; and God's Politics by Jim Wallace. These books are not based on the New York Times best seller list. Therefore, Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.com list different titles as being best sellers. The reason for different books selling faster…… [Read More]
Please describe a daily routine or tradition of yours that may seem ordinary to others but holds special meaning for you. Why is this practice significant to you?
Every Saturday, my parents and I have always met for brunch after my piano lessons. It is a Chinese tradition called "Yum-cha," meaning to drink tea. We drink tea and eat traditional Chinese food called "Dim sum" at a restaurant near my music school. To others in my culture, Yum-cha may seem to be nothing more than an ordinary ritual of daily brunch with the family. However, to me, it has always been something very special; now that I am preparing to leave my family to pursue my education, it has become even more cherished. Besides its significance as a cultural tradition that has been passed down from my ancestors, it is one of the primary ways that we have managed to…… [Read More]
Mel Gibson's The Passion Of The Christ
For most of its duration, Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ lingers horrifyingly on a mostly-naked male body in pain; as a result, the rest of the film seems exceptionally anxious otherwise about the issue of homoeroticism. Gibson claimed in interviews that the principal source for the film's screenplay (credited to Gibson and Benedict Fitzgerald) besides the New Testament came in the recorded vision of a Roman Catholic mystic, the Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich. Yet The Passion of the Christ offers inadvertent proof of the auteur theory of cinema, because Gibson's role as director entails a host of interpretive decisions. I hope by examining the ways in which The Passion of the Christ variously depicts Judas, Satan and Herod in ways that seem to nervously invoke issues of homoeroticism or androgyny, suggesting that the film's original source material may be the Gospels,…… [Read More]