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Betrayal In Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner

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Khaled Hosseini had an abnormal childhood. He grew up in Afghanistan in the pre-soviet war era. Both of his parents where college educated. His father was a diplomat for the Foreign ministry and his mother a high school history teacher at an all-girls Highschool. In 1976, Hosseini and his family moved to Paris due to his father being assigned to a diplomatic post for 4 years. During that time period the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan and that created a refugee crisis, that caused Hosseini and his family not to be able to return home. Their home was no longer the place they once knew. Everything was different for them. They knew that if they couldn’t to return to the comfort of their home, their safety would be compromised. So his father applied to political asylum, and they move to San Jose California.

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In the novel, Hosseini implements a theme of betrayal. This betrayal stems back to his home being uprooted and turned around into something it was never meant to be. He continues on in the novel to show just how his homeland betrayed his family. Now when he finally arrives in the States, he and his family experience the struggle of poverty and new cultural norms. They are forced to go onto state funded programs and work in sweatshops with fellow Afghan citizens. Although things get easier for them, the betrayal of their land was the hardest lesson Hosseini had to learn. In the novel, he mentions how he ended up going back and seeing the destruction that the violence and new leadership had caused.

The place where his childhood take place, where memories were made, and impact was left, was now a place of complete and utter destruction and ruin. This betrayal only fueled the theme in the book and emphasized how much this land meant to him. He uses interactions with characters, family members and government officials to accurately show the differences in before and after. This allows him to show the readers that things were never going to go back and if they did change, it would never be a good change. This echoes throughout Khaled’s adult life and even spills over into the novel as a form of expression that releases the deep-rooted feelings of betrayal and pain.

Also, it is mentioned that although they sought political asylum they always held a high hope that they would be able to return to their safety net, to their home. In an article recalling the major life events of the Hosseini family, it states, “Although the new government was purging civil servants from the old regime, the Hosseini’s still hoped that they might be able to return to Afghanistan. ” This just reiterates the fact that their ultimate goal was never to stay in the United States, however, when this becomes home for them, it is noted that Khaled feels a sense of disappointment that he has to recon form to the ideas, cultures, beliefs and societies that come with being in a different country. Betrayal is not only seen in his first novel, it is also shown heavily in his whole life. There is never a time where he felt as if Kabul had given him anything besides false hopes, broken dreams and a broken land. There were multiple occurrences that assisted Hosseini in ensuring the theme of betrayal was present and the readers fully understood the disappointment and betrayal he felt through his home land of Afghanistan.

Overall, Hosseini uses The Kite Runner to process and express his ideas and frustration towards Afghanistan and the new rules, regulations and norms that have been set. Betrayal is omnipresent wherever Khaled Hosseini goes because he believes that the place he once called home had betrayed him.

10 October 2020

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