‘the Kite Runner Shows That Cultural Values Have the Power to Overcome the Values Held by the Individual.’ Discuss. Essay

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Khaled Hosseini’s bildungsroman tale ‘The Kite Runner’ evidently shows the overwhelming powers which cultural values may have, and their strength to overcome the individual values held by a person. With the fictional memoir centred on Amir’s “past of unatoned sins”, ‘The Kite Runner’ demonstrates how cultural views may sway the true nature of an individual’s values. From recounting Hassan’s horrific rape and Amir’s ensuing guilt to the subsequent exile of Hassan and Ali, the vast influence of cultural values clearly shows its preferential social status to that of an individual’s values. The key patriarchal figure of the story, Baba, also illustrates how cultural values are often overwhelming in comparison to individual morals. Overall, the novel demonstrates how through its tumultuous time Afghanistan had succumbed to the evil status where cultural values overrode the importance of an individual’s beliefs. The protagonist characters of Amir and Hassan, brothers with whom “a kinship exists that not even time could break”, allow the overall whelming power of cultural values over individual values to be seen. The defining event of ‘The Kite Runner’, Hassan’s merciless rape by Assef, gives rise to sequential scenarios in which the true power of cultural Afghan values surpasses that of an individual. The subservient attitude of those to their elders, “maybe Hassan was the price I had to pay, the lamb I had to slay, to win Baba”, clearly illustrates the damaging power of cultural values surpassing that of an individual’s. Amir’s relentless search for gratification from Baba leads him to sacrifice his childhood friend and in doing so destroy a part of his childhood. Springing forth from this conflict arises the self-imposed banishment of Ali and Hassan from Baba’s household. By adhering to the social standards of the time, both Ali and Hassan kept their servant status

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