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Women in the Kite Runner
Transcript of Women in the Kite Runner
Soraya; Both Afghan and Western
"Their sons go out to nightclubs looking for meat and get their girlfriends pregnant, they have kids out of wedlock and no one says a goddamn thing. Oh, they're just men having fun! I make one mistake and suddenly everyone is talking nang and namoos, and I have to have my face rubbed in it for the rest of my life."
"My father wants me to go to law school,my mother's always throwing hints about medical school, but I'm going to be a teacher. Doesn't pay much here, but its what I want"
"Liberal" Afghan Woman
- Assef's Mother
- Woman in Truck
By: Mayra Salazar
Women in the Kite Runner
THEME OF 'SILENCING' WOMEN:
- Cultural + Religious Silencing
(Afghan vs. Western expectations of women)
- Silencing in terms of presence/role in novel (are they present? or just mentioned?)
- Rebelling as a method by which women un-silence themselves
- Women can be silenced physically (not mentioned) within the novel, or culturally silenced. Amir believes that his mother wasn't present, although he does have feminine qualities, and with his literature, he finds methods by which to make his mother, Sofia, present. Sofia herself was a very prominent lady within Aghanistan, as a scholar and descendant of royalty. She has a lot of respect among the people, even a beggar describing her as a virtuous and lovely woman. Similar to Soraya, she shows independence in marrying Baba, a man of 'unroyal' blood. She is very present metaphorically, as her death represents the initial wedge between Baba and Amir, and perhaps the lack of moral actions in Amir that 'only a mother' could have taught him
- Soraya's Independence is partially silenced, as when she is in Virginia, her 'cultural shame' produced after running away with the drug dealer causes 'no suitors' to knock on her door; her value as a virtuous bride has been silenced. However,
she makes her own decisions (e.g. wanting to be a teacher), making her a more 'western' woman, but still needs her fathers permission and support (e.g. his approval of Amir and financial aid). Her scholar nature could be why Amir was interested; she reminds him of his mother and Hassan, therefore she herself is a method by which he un-silences his past.
- Sanaubar is silenced physically, however she is mentioned in her attempt to re-connect with Hassan. She was 'silent' in his childhood, but plays a prominent role in Sohrab's early years. Represents how a bad reputation can silence a womans value/virtues within the Kite Runner.
- Women are seen as objects; the woman in the truck with Baba and Amir during the escape from Afghanistan was going to be used as 'payment' for the Russian soldier to allow for them to pass; Baba (as a man) prevented this; Her opinion didn't matter/Couldn't stand up for herself (Sacrifice and obedience; Are women "lambs" too within the Kite Runner? Having to accept discrimination, abuse and rape?)
- Jamila plays an important role in Soraya's life, encouraging her to be a doctor, however she is not mentioned a lot within the novel; her husband, General Taheri, makes the decisions and actions within the family and the novel
- Assefs mother, who is German, herself is silenced. Assef doesn't respect her, and at Amir's birthday party, she doesn't say a word but expresses her discomfort at Assef's love for Nazism. She most likely doesn't have a voice within the family, as an immigrant and foreigner, and as a woman. Lack of female dominance/independence in Assef's life could have motivated his supremacist and violent nature.
"Old donkeys are better suited as husbands" Sanaubar to Ali
"Now you have your own idiot child to do all your smiling for you"
"Someone had taken a knife to it and... Amir jan, the slashes cut this way and that. One of the cuts went from cheekbone to hairline and it had not spared her left eye on the way. It was grotesque"
"He became the center of her existence... The two of them were inseparable."; Sohrab + Sanaubar
"She looked calm, at peace, like she did not mind dying now."; Post-Redemption
FOCUS OF REVISION:
THE DIFFERENT 'MOTHERS':
Sofia: (Biological mother of Amir)
Dies at childbirth (Abandonment accidental); Drives wedge between Amir + Baba
- Isn't present as physical mother; does leave literature as a way for Amir to connect to her
- Rahim Khan stimulates this connection by giving Amir his notebook
Sanaubar: (Biological mother of Hassan)
Leaves at childbirth (Abandonment purposeful); Yet Hassan is a more moral character than Amir (Makes Hassan and Ali closer)
- Returns when Hassan is older
- Acts as another maternal figure to Sohrab
Soraya: (Adoptive mother of Sohrab)
- not present at childbirth; however accepts Sohrab
-is unable to have children of her own