Symbolism in “The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini

Essay Topic:

The depth of the symbolism of Khaled Hosseini’s “The Kite Runner”.

Essay Questions:

In what way does the kite unites the past and the future within the novel?

Why does the cleft lip reveal the tragedy of a broken friendship?

What is used as a sacrifice that is being made in order to get something good?

Thesis Statement:

The symbolism of the kite, the cleft lip and the lamb has a great importance for the depth of the novel.


Introduction: Khaled Hosseini’s “The Kite Runner” is a complex novel that is full of symbolism. The symbols shown by the author are very strong and correspond to the depth of the story and the context of the book. Among all the symbols of the book there are three major ones that should be analyzed in details.

The first symbol of the novel is the symbol of the kite. This symbol has several interpretations and meanings for within the novel. The kite that is taken by the wind in any direction it takes symbolizes the life of the and fatal character of everything that occurs in the lives of the characters. The first symbolic meaning of the kites in the novel is related to the relationship between Amir and Hassan. The two kite fights presented in the book are the actual reflection of their conflict and their lives: Amir’s betrayal and further redemption. The symbol of the kite in the novel also becomes the representation of the remorse that is experienced by Amir, as a reminder of his failure to be a decent son. When Amir was a child running kites was the only way to communicated with Baba, who once was a champion among the kite runners. This is also the way he is planning to connect with his son. So at the same time it represents the hope that the life of his son will be different from his own life.

Another important symbol is the cleft clip that Hassan had. This lip always reminds Amir that Hassan belong to a different social group. This cleft lip was very easy to fix with the help of a tiny operation but Hassan’s parents could not afford to pay for this operation as they were very poor. It is Baba who pays for the operation of the boy as a gift for hi birthday and in such a way almost shares the secret that Hassan is his son, a son that meets his expectations better than Amir. Later, when Amir also gets a scar on his lip – it becomes a symbol of the fact that they are half-brothers and are alike.

The third symbol is the symbol of the lamb which represents the sacrifice that is being made in order to get something good. Hassan is Amir’s sacrifice and later on he saves an innocent Sohrab by preventing him from becoming a sacrifice himself.

Conclusion: All the symbols presented in “The Kite Runner” deal with the friendship of Amir and Hassan. It shows that within a friendship one is always a master and the other is always a servant. One is always permitting and the other is always patient. After Hassan’s rape one fells remorse and the other suffers from the awful memories. But as time passes one get the opportunity to atone for what has been done and the other one get the chance to forgive.


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