In chapter seven of The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, the reader is faced with a crucial moment in the novel. This chapter presents an important scene, where Hassan chooses to be raped by Assef rather than handing him Amir’s kite. Hosseini brings the reader a critical moment in chapter seven when Hassan becomes Amir’s sacrifice for happiness, and all aspects of the boys’ childhoods change forever. Chapter seven presents a significant advancement in the plot, a development of the main characters, and the appearance of several important symbols used in the story. As indicated by the title, Kites play a very symbolic role in the novel and are used by Hosseini as a tool to explore a variety of issues. The kite itself is used by the writer in chapter 7 as a visual depiction of the spiritual journey that Amir is going to take in order to find redemption within himself. Also, the kite competition reinforces an issue that is prevalent throughout the novel- which is the treatment of Hazaras in Afghanistan during the time the novel is set and also the suggestion that Amir and Hassan can never be true friends because of their differing positions is society.
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Instead of having an equal relationship, due to the discrimination that existed in Afghanistan against the Hazaras, Amir and Hassan’s friendship seems to have strong aspects of a servant-master relationship. This is proven by the fact that Amir flies the kite in the competition every year and Hassan acts as his assistant. When Hassan celebrates Amir’s victory, ‘ You won Amir Agha’, Amir tries to hide from the obvious fact that he is the superior person in their relationship, ‘ We won! We won!’ By portraying their relationship in this way, Hosseini is aiming to create a mixture of emotions within readers as they try and contemplate the reasons for Amir’s decision later in the chapter. The friendship of Amir and Hassan is a key theme in “ The Kite Runner” and Hosseini uses it in chapter 7 to show how the decisions we make can have an impact on the rest of our lives. Hosseini shows how close the two boys are in order to strengthen the understanding in readers of the bond they share with each other, thus making the sense of betrayal even stronger later in the chapter.
‘ Hassan always understood about me’ portrays their relationship as almost brother-like and this is used to effect by Hosseini. The alleyway in which Hassan gets raped is estranged and dirty “ piles of scrap and rubble”, possibly being representational of the act that Assef performs as being dirty and dishonourable. Amir is shown describing the alleyway in massive detail as Hassan is being raped “ worn bicycle tires, bottles with peeled labels, ripped up magazines, yellow newspapers”, as if Amir wants to take his mind of what is happening to Hassan by using lists. Amir’s dream could also represent his guilty conscience, Hosseini using personification to reflect on the dream-like state Hassan is experiencing “ the wind wailing in my ears” and also forshadows the vivid imagery of when Hassans bottom starts bleeding in the snow “ tiny drops that fell from between his legs and stained the snow black” into “ blood dripping, staining the snow” red and white being contrasting colours representing death.
Amir also goes into a paradise type fantasy where he is “ standing in a field of apple green grass” and this could represent Amir escaping from his guilt of not stepping in. Amir’s description of the streets are as “ eight-foot walls” maybe depicting Amir’s entrapment as he is not close to his father Baba, and desperately wants to be or on the other hand his isolation as his best friend is an Hazara and Amir had social differences to him. The streets of Wazir Akbar Khan were numbered and set at right angles to each other like a grid furthers Amir’s entrapment, as Amir is very imaginative such as when he wrote and read Hassan his story he made up, so this mathematic like structure could represent the strangeness Amir feels from the street and foreshadows Hassan’s rape.