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The Kite Runner

The Kite Runner

by Khaled Hosseini

The Kite Runner Themes

Little Words, Big Ideas

Friendship

There are two major relationships in The Kite Runner. One is between the protagonist and his father. The other is between the protagonist and his best friend. Because the protagonist's best friend...

Betrayal

The plot of The Kite Runner revolves around the protagonist's betrayal of his best friend. In a way, this betrayal drives the rest of the book and perhaps everything that precedes it. In his pre-be...

Warfare

In The Kite Runner, Hosseini directly compares the arrival of war to a loss of innocence. (Soon after an invading army shows up, the narrator watches his best friend get raped.) The book also explo...

Principles

It's one thing if your father is a principled man. That's all well and good. We mean, morality is kind of important, right? But what if your father isn't just any man? What if he's a legend, a myth...

Innocence

Here's a very basic reduction of The Kite Runner's main plot and sub-plots: people lose their innocence and try to regain it. In telling this story, Hosseini asks some major questions: Can we ever...

Race

Does racial intolerance bring about our worst moments as human beings? The Kite Runner examines the whole spectrum of racism: out-and-out hatred, religious justification of racism, nonviolent but s...

Men and Masculinity

There aren't a lot of women in The Kite Runner. In fact, Hosseini really only spends time with two women: the protagonist's wife and mother-in-law. Further, our protagonist grows up in a household...

Religion

Early on in The Kite Runner it seems like there are only two approaches to religion. Either you're an extremist like the protagonist's teacher, who considers drinking an offense punishable by hell,...

Admiration

We're not sure if admiration is actually a good thing in The Kite Runner. The protagonist's intense admiration for his father leads him to some fairly dastardly deeds. In this novel, the flip-side...

Literature and Writing

When the protagonist of a novel is a writer, there's a good chance the novel will have plenty of juicy commentary about writing. That's certainly the case with The Kite Runner. Some responsible and...

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