Symbols In The Kite Runner

Words: 502
Pages: 3


Kites were first invented over two thousand years ago in China and have since spread across the world, being used for everything from surveillance to science to entertainment. In The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini uses kites and their associated activities as a recurring motif, tying the book together. Kites themselves are full of symbolism and meaning: ideas of youth and childhood, brought about by the idea of kites as a child’s toy in modern times; freedom, as kites float high above and seemingly free from earthly cares; and dreams, or hopes. The author uses all of these when involving kites. Though heavily utilized in the novel’s beginning, kites all but disappears from the story as Amir grows older, only returning with Sohrab (who represents youth more than any other character). Freedom manifests as kites offer a sense of freedom to Amir, and kites also appear as a physical manifestation of dreams, especially when being chased down. The choice of kites as a central motif helps to solidify these ideas of youth, freedom, and dreams being lost and regained by the main characters - something as central to the story as the themes of betrayal and redemption. Additionally, kite flying and kite fighting are major activities in Afghanistan. Kite flying is a popular
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Hassan is an obvious kite runner, chasing down fallen kites with extraordinary skill for Amir, and it is while he is chasing after Amir’s fallen kites and dreams that he encounters Assef. By the end of the story, however, Amir is running after kites for Sohrab, signifying his change in character and portraying him as a kite runner beyond that scene, chasing after the falling Hassan and Sohrab. He is also running after the idea of freedom, something that he can only gain through the quest of redemption that drives the