The Kite Runner Quotes: Race


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  • Created on: 08-05-18 10:16
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  • The Kite Runner Quotes: Race
  • "people called Hazaras mice-eating, flat-nosed, load-carrying donkeys. I had heard some of the kids in the neighborhood yell those names to Hassan."
    • Chapter 2. Amir is Pashtun and Hassan is Hazara (religious groups Sunni vs Shi'a, religion and race intertwine.) Hazaras have been eradicated from history books; genocide in 19th century
  • "But despite sharing ethnic heritage and family blood, Sanaubar joined the neighborhood kids in taunting Ali..."I have seen old donkeys better suited to be a husband."
    • Chapter 2. Sanaubar (Hassan'smother) was a Hazara but she suffered from self-loathing also; internalised hatred as a result of the racial conditioning
  • "I was a Pashtun and he was a Hazara, I was Sunni and he was Shi'a, and nothing was ever going to change that. Nothing."
    • Chapter 4. Importance of race and religion within Afghan society. Amir loves Hassan as a brother and almost a saviour, but history and ethnicity cannot seem to break the bonds of the family (paradox of novel)
  • "We are the true Afghans, the pure Afghans, not this Flat-Nose here. His people pollute our homeland, our watan. They dirty our blood."
    • Chapter 5. Assef's evil sentiments constitute his role as a Taliban leader. Ethnic cleansing links to Holocaust (Hosseini consciously references the German concentration camps: Assef's mother is German and Assef actually admires Hitler.)
  • "It was Homaira and me against the world. And I'll tell you this, Amir jan: In the end, the world always wins. That's just the way of things."
    • Chapter 8. Rahim Khan reveals the story of his love for his family's Hazara servant Homaira (parallels Baba's romance with Sanaubar).Demonstrates how the personal and political are always linked within strict religious and racially conscious societies.
    • Things of the heart and emotion have no chance against the history, custom and social etiquette of Afghan society and societies like it
  • "We may be hardheaded and I know we're far too proud, but, in the hour of need, believe me that there's no one you'd rather have at your side than a Pashtun."
    • Chapter 12. Further evidence of race relations/hierarchies within Afghan society; Pashtuns carry a lot of pride and significance within society
  • "You don't know the meaning of the word 'liberating' until you've done that, stood in a roomful of targets, let the bullets fly...Knowing you're doing God's work."
    • Chapter 22. Race and religion intertwine inextricably in the novel. Here, Assef justifies his racial prejudice and racial cleansing through religion
    • Although Hosseini paints Assef as an extreme character, in the end Hosseini sheds some light on the bizarre and false justifications of ethnic prejudices in Afghanistan.
  • "We left them in the streets for days. We left them for the dogs. Dog meat for dogs."
    • Chapter 22. Complete disregard for Hazara life within Afghan society
  • "Afghanistan is like a beautiful mansion littered with garbage, and someone has to take out the garbage."
    • Chapter 22. Racial prejudice against Hazaras here again
  • "...your father and I...we weren't supposed to be brothers."[Sohrab:] "Because he was a Hazara?"I willed my eyes to stay on him. "Yes."
    • Chapter 24. Sad that Sohrab already knows enough about his homeland to guess Amir and Hassan shouldn't have been brothers because of ethnicity.
      • Barometer of ethnic relations in Afghanistan: even a young boy knows it's somehow improper for a Hazara and Pashtun to have the same father.
  • "You will never again refer to him as 'Hazara boy' in my presence. He has a name and it's Sohrab."
    • Chapter 25. General Taheri is a fairly regular man. Through his character, Hosseini demonstrates to us the regularity of racial prejudice within that society
    • Here, Amir redeems himself as a character a little in standing up for Sohrab

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