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The Kite Runner: Through the Archetypal Perspective

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Samuel Serrano

on 16 December 2012

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Transcript of The Kite Runner: Through the Archetypal Perspective

By: Toyo, Samuel, Zaira, Colin, Romina & Jake The Kite Runner: Through the Archetypal Perspective Archetypes are initially used to analyze and describe literature. This theory was created by Carl Jung. Archetypes are present in all literature, some more obvious than others. In The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, numerous archetypes such as the quest, the mentor, hero as scapegoat, the devil figure, and unhealable wound are prevalent in this story. - The first quest Amir is challenged with is rehabilitation of his sins.

- Rahim Khan gives Amir the opportunity to receive redemption by fulfilling his last wish, “There’s a way to be good again” (2).

- Amir goes to find Sohrab as a way to be good again, and to also create inner peace within himself and his past. The Quest - The second quest Amir endures is to find Baba’s affections for him.

- In the beginning of the book, it is evident that Amir struggles with attaining Baba’s affections and looks for many opportunities to obtain it.

- Amir finally wins the pride he’s been looking for in Baba when he wins the kite tournament, “And that right there was the single greatest moment of my twelve years of life, seeing Baba on that roof, proud of me at last” (66).

- Amir was so happy to see the expression of pride on Baba’s face. - Throughout Amir’s life, Baba has taught him many valuable lessons.

- The most important lesson he was taught was that the only sin that existed was the act of stealing, “‘When you kill a man, you steal a life,’ Baba said. ‘You steal his wife’s right to a husband, rob his children of a father. When you tell a lie, you steal someone’s right to the truth. When you cheat, you steal the right to fairness’” (18).

- Amir understands this lesson.

-Amir utilizes this teaching as his guide to comprehend more in depth about the concept of sin. The Mentor - Rahim Khan can be seen as a role model figure in Amir’s life.

- For his birthday, Rahim Khan gifted Amir a leather notebook for his stories which Amir treasured dearly, “The only gift I didn’t toss on that mound was Rahim Khan’s leather-bound notebook. That was the only one that didn’t feel like blood money” (102).

- Due to Rahim Khan’s encouragement, Amir believes he can be a great writer and create a successful career for himself. - Amir endures his first crossroad when he debates on whether or not to save Hassan from Assef.

- Amir experiences difficulty with deciding if his safety is more important than his best friends, this is evident in the following quote: “I opened my mouth, almost said something. Almost. The rest of my life might have turned out differently if I had. But I didn’t. I just watched” (73).

- In the end, Amir’s selfishness overcomes him as he decides to run away proving that he believes his own security is more essential than his friend’s innocence.

- Amir is given the chance to be good again by finding Sohrab, which is a piece of Hassan that is left behind in Kabul. The Crossroads - When Rahim Khan first proposes this idea to Amir he is very resistant to go, but he also understands why he should go. “I can’t go to Kabul, I had said to Rahim Khan. I have a wife in America, a home, a career, and a family. But how could I pack up and go back home when my actions may have cost Hassan a chance at those very same things?” (226).

- Amir is stuck between choosing whether or not he should go home or to Afghanistan, where he knows it is in a very dangerous state and he may not come back.

- Coming to realization, Amir knows that after his past sins he owes it to Hassan to bring his son to a home of peace. - Ever since they were kids, Hassan would always take the blame for the mischief and plans that Amir created.

- “But he never told on me. Never told that the mirror, like shooting walnuts at the neighbor’s dog, was always my idea” (4).

- It is evident that Hassan has a much stronger level of respect and admiration for Amir as a person than Amir has for Hassan.

- He also feels like it is his obligation to be a scapegoat, because he is Amir’s servant. Hero as Scapegoat - Hassan is created as a scapegoat again, when Amir puts the money and the watch underneath Hassan’s mattress.

- Hassan’s loyalty as a friend is proved when he admits to the false accusation put against him, “This was Hassan’s final sacrifice for me. If he said no, Baba would have believed him because we all knew Hassan never lied. And if Baba believed him, then I’d be the accused; I would have to explain and I would be revealed for what I really was. Baba would never ever forgive me” (105).

- Amir’s insecurities about Baba loving Hassan more than him caused him to sacrifice his own best friend for his own benefit.

- Even until the final day when he was framed, Hassan still sacrificed himself for Amir. - Assef is portrayed as a threat and a bully in the novel.

- Amir’s major obstacle from saving Hassan from getting raped was Assef, “In the end, I ran. I ran because I was a coward. I was afraid of Assef and what he would do to me” (77).

- Assef as a devil figure brings evil both directly and indirectly to those that come in contact with him.

- Due to Assef’s devil effects, it has forced Amir to leave Hassan and allow him to be stripped of his innocence The Devil Figure - Assef posses’ similar characteristic traits as Hitler once did, regarding discrimination.

- He not only acts as Amir’s devil figure, but enacts evil on the world around him, “Afghanistan is like a beautiful mansion littered with garbage, and someone has to take out the garbage” (285).

- Assef refers to the Hazaras as garbage.

- It is evident that Assef admires the idea of an ethnic cleansing in Afghanistan to get rid of all the Hazaras. - When Amir steps back into Afghanistan after many years, he’s shocked by the state that Afghanistan is in.

- Amir has never seen Afghanistan this way which is proven in the following quote: “I feel like a tourist in my own country” (231).

- Amir’s driver responds by saying that he has always been a tourist in his own country.

- He feels like an outcast because he has been blindsided to a whole other side of Afghanistan he never knew existed. The Outcast - The Hazaras have never been looked at as a true part of Afghanistan.

- “…Have you ever wondered why he never includes you in games when he has guests? Why he only plays with you when no one else is around? ... Because to him you’re nothing but an ugly pet” (72).

-This quote proves that Hassan is an outcast because he is a Hazara, and is not considered equal to Amir and his other friends.

- Although Amir always saw the difference between Hassan and himself, Hassan has never viewed Amir in a different perspective. Hassan only thought of Amir as a good friend. THE END
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