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By Maheep, Alexis, Aidan, Jipreet and Siera

Maheep Mannette

on 29 October 2014

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Social Class
Social Class

Amir and Hassan’s friendship is constantly being put to the test through social class differences

Amir uses Hassan’s social status as an excuse to make his own cowardly actions acceptable.

Amir values social class and duty more than his loyalty to his friend.
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Vol XCIII, No. 311
Marxism in the Kite Runner
Marxist Literature, a reflection of
political setting.

Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner,
set in 20th century Afghanistan
shows progression of oppression.

In The Kite Runner this oppression is evident through the divide seen within
social class,
Marxism in the Kite Runner
Divisions within social class, religion, ideology, nationality, and education best exemplify the inequalities that lead to oppression within the novel.

This is an essential theme within The Kite Runner, when analyzed through a Marxist perspective, one can conclude that oppression is evident in all societies including our own.
“He was just a Hazara, wasn’t he?” (Hosseini, 77).
“The tall Talib with the black sunglasses walked to the pile of stones they had unloaded from the third truck. He picked up a rock and showed it to the crowd. The noise fell, replaced by a buzzing sound that rippled through the stadium. I looked around me and saw that everyone was tsk'ing. The Talib, looking absurdly like a baseball pitcher on the mound, hurled the stone at the blindfolded man in the hole. It struck the side of his head.” (Hosseini, 271).
“Brothers and sisters!’ he called, speaking in Farsi, his voice booming through the stadium. ‘We are here today to carry out Shari’a. We are here today to carry out justice. We are here today because the will of Allah and the word of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, are alive and well here in Afghanistan, our beloved homeland. We listen to what God says and we obey because we are nothing but humble, powerless creatures before Gods greatness. And what does God say? I ask you! WHAT DOES GOD SAY? God says that every sinner must be punished in a manner befitting his sin. Those are not my words, nor the words of my brothers. Those are the words of GOD!’ He pointed with his free hand to the sky. My head was pounding and the sun felt much too hot.” (Hosseini, 270)


God wants them to punish sinners

God was created by the upper class (Sunni) to keep the lower class (Shia) enslaved.

Shia (lower class) are seen as sinners and are the only people for their sins

Shia are the working class (servants)

Shia’s are oppressed

Society is grown up with the concept that Sunni’s are above Shias

"Amir Agha?’ Farid said, startling me from near sleep. ‘Yes’ ‘Why are you here? I mean, why are you really here?’ ‘I told you.’ ‘For the boy?’ ‘For the boy.’ Farid shifted on the ground. ‘It’s hard to believe.’ ‘Sometimes I myself can hardly believe I’m here.’ ‘No… What I mean to ask is why that boy? You come all the way from America for… a Shi’a.’ That killed all the laughter in me.” (Hosseini, 266)

[The body of doctrine, myth, belief, etc., that guides an individual, social movement, institution, class, or large group]
“Afghanistan is the land of Pashtuns. It has always been, it will always be. We are the true Afghans, the pure Afghans, not this flat-nose here, his people pollute our homeland, our watan. They dirty our blood” He made a sweeping grandiose gesture with his hands. “Afghanistan for Pashtuns, I say. That’s my vision.” (Hosseini, 40)
Said by Assef, a Pashtun Ethnic-Supremacist, future Taliban leader

Demonstrates oppression through ideology

He believes that Pashtuns are inherently superior to Hazaras

Believes Hazaras are vermin in Afghanistan that need to be exterminated

Encourages the oppression of Hazaras due to his Ethnic Superiority Complex

Observation by Amir, following his Exodus to Pakistan (Fleeing Soviet Rule)

Afghan Society under Soviet (Communist) rule

Totalitarian government takes away freedom of speech, oppressing the masses

Rafiqs; Soviet Sympathizers in Afghanistan who voluntarily helped the Soviets

Used Communist ideology to keep everyone in line.

“You couldn’t trust anyone in Kabul anymore - for a fee or under threat, people told on each other, neighbor on neighbor, child on parent, brother on brother, servant on master, friend on friend... the Rafiqs, the comrades, were everywhere and they’d split Kabul into two groups; those who eavesdropped and those who didn’t.” (Hosseini, 113)

[One's Identity based on their country of origin, Nationalism is the belief that one country is superior to another]
December 1979 the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan

Soviet Union viewed themselves as better and more powerful than Afghanistan

Baba and Amir decided to leave Afghanistan as the conditions were only getting worse.

Russian Soldier at the Checkpoint shows the oppression of the Afghans

Russian soldiers have power and authority, through the use of a weapon.

When Amir is trying to adopt Sohrab
Americans experience difficulty, when trying to adopt Afghans,
The ambassador tells Amir that he should give up adoption
Displays the idea of America over Afghanistan
Shows that America believes that Afghans are less important and Afghan children are not worth adoption by Americans.
He tells Amir that he should just donate money or volunteer in a refugee camp
“December 1979, when the Russian tanks would roll into the very same streets where Hassan and I played, bringing the death of Afghanistan I knew and marking the start of a still ongoing era of bloodletting” (Hosseini, 36).

“We strongly discourage U.S Citizens from adopting Afghan children” (Hosseini, 331).

[Education, and more specifically Literacy are key tools in the balance of power, those who are educated in society have an advantage over the uneducated ]
“My favourite part of reading to Hassan was when we came across a big word that he didn’t know. I’d tease him, expose his ignorance.” (Hosseini, 28)


We see Amir using his literacy as a privileged, educated Pashtun to belittle Hassan/express his dominance.

Displays the inequalities of the divide between Pashtun and Hazara education and uses his formal education as a method of cruel oppression.
“Hassan absently plucked blades of grass from the ground as I read him stories he couldn’t read for himself. That Hassan would grow up illiterate like Ali and most Hazaras had been decided the minute he had been born, perhaps even the moment he had been conceived in Sanaubar’s unwelcoming womb- after all, what use did a servant have for the written word?” (Hosseini, 28).

[Significance of Kites]
Media Component

Amir is displaying how he the Pashtun has been formally educated whereas Hassan the Hazara has never been given the opportunity

Hazaras can never be more than servants

By withholding education from the Hazaras the Pashtun are able to assure that they will always remain superior in intelligence, keep the status quo

Social justice/injustice is based off of your social status.
Conflict between the two boys is a result of the oppression forced upon the Hazaras.
The Taliban uses religion as justification for their violence.
Both sects are not considered equal, Sunnis feel superior to Shias
Marxist Oppression is seen through the ideology of Ethnic Supremacy
Oppression through nationality is seen when the Soviet Union invades Afghanistan.
Oppression through Nationality is seen when Amir is attempting to adopt Sohrab.
The Pashtun right to education helps maintain privileged status over the Hazaras
Presents them with an opportunity to have a better life while oppressing the Hazaras.
Abuse of power by the Pashtuns on the Hazaras through the alienation of Hazaras from literacy.
Marxist Oppression is seen through the ideology of Communism
[The hierarchy of social groupings within a society, in relation to socio-economic status]
[An organized set of beliefs and values held in common by a group of people, Fundamentalism is the extreme version of this]
Kites signify Conflict

Oppression in the Novel

Oppression Today
The class you are born in determines how well you live or whether you even live at all.

Due to their lower class status, the Hazaras are constantly discriminated.

They were isolated, abused and would often be tortured as a means of punishment.

The punishments given to the Hazaras would often result in death.

Hazaras will always be at risk, because of their social class.
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