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The Kite Runner - Referat

• Symbol of kite running:
Amir always tried to get Baba’s attention and love through kite running. – Something his father could be proud of.
But then kite running became something dangerous: Hassan did everything to get the kite for Amir – while Amir betrayed him. He didn’t help Hassan, when he was raped by Assef, just because he wanted the kite. At that time it stood for guilt.

At the end, it meant peace and hope for Amir and Hassan’s son Sohrab:
Kite running stands for childhood, happiness, freedom and a new beginning.
Only in this situation, the “gap” between Pashtuns and Hazaras doesn’t exist: Only in this situation there is teamwork between them. – They need each other.

• Background:
From 1933-1973 Afghanistan was a monarchy, under King Zahir Shah. Then, Mohammad Daoud Khan became President and Prime Minister. – There weren’t many victims, but there were shootings and the army was around, which scared the people.

1978 Mohammad was violently overthrown by the PDPA (People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan), then killed. The PDPA was a Communist party and had many contacts to the Soviet Union.

In 1979 the Soviet Army entered Afghanistan – At this time Amir and Baba fled to America. Throughout the ten years of Soviet occupation, internal Muslim forces put up a resistance (mujahedin). The United States supported them, because they also were against the Soviets. When the Soviet Troops finally withdrew in 1989, Afghanistan remained under PDPA rule for three more years.

In 1992 the mujahedin finally won Afghanistan and converted it to an Islamic State: In the years after 1992 there were many fightings, making everyday life in Afghanistan unsafe.

1996, the Taliban took control of Kabul. After so many years of violence, the people were happy about the change. Rahim Khan remembers "... We all celebrated in 1996 when the Taliban rolled in and put an end to the daily fighting." The Taliban were a group of Pashtuns who took almost complete control of the country. They soon made life in Afghanistan dangerous again: They systematically massacred Shiites including the Hazaras. They also defined new laws, like banning music and dance, and restricting women's rights. In The Kite Runner, we see how the Taliban used fear and violence to control the people of Afghanistan (like in the Stadium).

After the events of September 11, 2001, the United States invaded Afghanistan and overthrew the Taliban - regime. The end of The Kite Runner occurs in 2002, when a provisional government was in place. It was not until 2004 that the current president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, was elected.

Today the situation in Afghanistan is better, but living there is still dangerous.
• Turning points:
o The rape:
When Hassan got the kite for Amir, he stood in an empty street and Assef with his friends, Kamal and Wali, had followed him. Amir saw them (Hassan and Assef with his group), but kept distance. Hassan defended the blue kite – only for Amir – even when Assef raped him. Amir just watched the scene
and walked away. Later, he pretended to look after Hassan and ignored the blood on Hassan’s clothes and took the kite – they never talked about what happened.
Starting on that day, everything changed!

o The telephone-call:
Years after Amir and Baba had fled to America, Rahim Khan called Amir. Rahim Khan was one of the first (older) people that Amir saw as a friend. The old and ill man told him about Pakistan and then made an important statement “There is a way to be good again”. – Only now Amir realized, that Rahim knew about everything and the old scenes came again to his mind, all the bad things he had done. With this sentence by Rahim Khan, Amir hoped a lot that he could find a way to make everything “good”.

• Sin and redemption
From the beginning, this book deals with the themes sin and redemption.
Amir always feels guilty because his father gives him the feeling, that he is the reason, why his mother doesn’t live anymore. He never talks about it, but Amir can feel it. The boy tries to get Baba’s love. – When he gains love from him, he is jealous of Hassan and although he is his loyal friend, he looks away, when Hassan gets raped and then Amir does everything to get him out of the house. He betrays his friend and that’s his greatest sin. Many years later he searches for redemption by adopting Hassan’s son.

• The (main) message
The main message is about forgiveness. But not only the forgiveness by others, but the forgiveness by yourself. Only if you can forgive yourself, you can hope to be the forgive by others.

It’s hard for Amir to forgive himself and even when he finds Hassan’s letter – where he forgives him – he can’t take that. A very important sentence in this book is “There’s a way to be good again.” – Amir tries to find his redemption – tries to forgive himself, or even reduce his guilty feelings a little bit – by adopting the son of his best friend and brother.

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