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Race And Religion In The Kite Runner English Literature Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Literature
Wordcount: 1647 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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After reading the two novels I figured out how people lived with racism all around them in all forms and it only hurts more to know that such people still exist around us. To Kill a Mocking Bird covers various themes which are unified into the moral landscape of a small town. As we go through it slowly and gradually we find out about the good and bad times spent by the people living the era, its hypocrisies, its prejudices and racial discrimination amongst the people of their own kind. A more diversified look is further unified when we take a deeper look into the other novel The Kite Runner also based on the discrepancies in race and religion and the level of thinking between the two, though not blood related but brothers brought up under a same father. Race and religion being the only differences between both beings, apart from that nothing could pull them apart except for God. “Racism is a result of human ignorance, social injustice, class differences, love and tension and lack of self education.” The evidences in both the novels are carefully placed noticing not to hinder the originality of the theme.

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The novels broaden the readers mind, forcing them to analyze their own racial orthodoxies’ towards are own fellow beings. Racial discrimination is always considered to be a result of personal upbringing but this is definitely not the case when we look into the deeper side of the novels. In both the novels the author highlights the topic of racism together keeping in mind the basic theory of inhumanity against each other. Race has always been a big issue in all eras’. Forming perceptions of one’s self against people with different color is not too hard; going through differences and disputes at every stage of life is how people mainly develop racism not because they can inherit it from their parents. By the quote “Did you know Hassan and you fed from the same breast? Did you know that, Amir agha? Sakina, her name was. She was fair, blue-eyed Hazara woman from Bhamiyan and she sang you old wedding songs. They say there is a brother hood between people who’ve fed from the same breast. Did you know that?” Baba expresses his inner feelings about the two boys living their lives together, telling them that nothing should pull them apart (Hosseini, 64-65). As they have been fed from the same breasts and they share a special brotherhood bond, and brothers have nothing different from each other, no color, no religion, no race, no cast should divide them apart. Racial discrimination and prejudices is highlighted boldly in the novel as well as the quotes, in the novel it definitely does not idealize the black community. It defines the virtues of the Black community which the Whites lack, free from hypocrisies, they are shown to be caring, upright people and humble. Though the blacks are not found to be immoral, but still in certain conditions blacks are the only race which come in limelight of the masses,

“If a white woman sees two black men walking towards her and turns the other way, she’s a racist. Well I got scared and didn’t’ say anything, and the next thing I knew, I had a gun shoved in my head!”(Crash,2004). Evidence is incorporated over here where it shows that race is still what matters in most conditions. People have this perception that black or of other ethnic minorities are bad and evil, whatever they do is bad, is against them, in some societies blacks and browns are considered to be thugs and criminals since the day they are born, while on the other side whites are considered to be the most well educated, civilized and morally suited people in the society. The society itself has made it hard for young men/adults of ethnic minority and casts to break free of this stereotype.

Class status which had built up to make much of the adults world at that time also involved the young children in both the novels critiquing the moral perplexity of the young children giving evidence to the fact that, even though they were young they still had knew what was going on all around them. Scout being a girl in the novel To Kill a Mocking Bird also understood the scene and had an idea about what was going all around her, in school and in her small town. Social Inequality was practiced with great dedication in both the novels, for example Aunt Alexandra refusing Scout to consort with Walter Cunningham just because the Cunningham’s belong at the bottom of the white social scale. The white community in general the Cunninghams’ are racially prejudiced who leads the angry mob to the jail where Tom Robinson who was accused of raping a girl was kept before his trial. After realizing that he was the one who helped him and his family, he calls off the mob. After that, it is one of the Cunninghams’ in the jury who supports Atticus delaying the verdict and the Cunninghams’ were proved to be prejudice, ignorant and violent but there is something about them which makes them deserve respect. A similar contrast is made when the Negroes are shown as a warm close knit community Scout refers to them as ‘a solid mass of colored people.’

“We as a society have gotten so emotionally complicated that we have developed a prevalent selfishness and laziness towards understanding others. It is easier to label someone as a gang-banger, because it dehumanizes them” (Crash, 2004). The quote over here from the movie says how easy we have made to racially discriminate someone just to make ourselves feel better. The feeling of degrading someone who is not from the same race as us is overwhelming; the concept of labelling a black person or a person from a different indigenous group has been continued from an era where maybe not even our fathers were born in. Similar to the quotes from the movie, there is a good number of evidences from the novel out of which a few are mentioned here. Hassan is emotionally attached to Amir as a friend and considering him his brother. Hassan puts his life on the line for Amir, winning the kite fight competition was not until Amir returns with the losing kite to Baba in order to do so Hassan puts his life on the line not thinking about the consequences he has to face to redeem the kite for Amir. In the process he has to face Assef who physically and mentally abuses him, racially tortures him calling him a flat nosed Hazara. Hassan never did let go of his love and affection for Amir and Baba though Baba and Amir both mistreated him for being a Hazara boy and a low cast boy. Though Baba wanted to show his affection for him, he could only do it indirectly by either taking Hassan out with Amir for drives or paying for his cleft lip surgery. “The time has come/to say fair’s fair/to pay the rent/to pay our share” (Midnight Oil, 1987). These lines taken from the song Beds are Burning, provides us with evidences that try to think from a different perspective of not judging people only by how they look or what’s their color is. It says try getting into other people’s skin and pay for the sins that we have made being racists Amir and Baba had committed sins that they tried to redeem being in love with each other.

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“The ink is black, the page is white/Together we learn to read and write/A child is black, a child is white/The whole world looks upon the sight, a beautiful sight/And now a child can understand/That this is the law of all the land, all the land”(Three Dog Night,1957). The verses describes prejudice discrimination amongst black and white which have now been surely cleaned off, it says that now black and white will work together no one can be on its own, we all have to work in collaboration with each other. The perception of racial discrimination no longer exists is what the verses portray but in the novel To Kill a Mocking Bird Tom Robinson who is accused of raping a white girl. He represents the ‘mocking bird’, innocent, loving and caring trying to make everyone happy just like the mocking bird itself which does not harm anyone but sings beautiful songs makes them happy and heals their wounds. Tom Robinson was just accused for a crime which he did not commit but because he was black and from the minorities the prejudice still continued.

Finally racism not only appeals the greater audience but also gives a broader aspect in our current times, but it should not be the way it is. To a great extent lack of self education, ignorance and personal issues all lead to prejudices and racial discrimination. Even though more and more people are being educated every day, more connections are being made all over the world in all walks of life, still discrimination and racism prevails. Ignorant human beings amongst us roam around freely, still practicing the cruel act of racism. Who in my opinion should be punished for the sins they are committing, sins which are definitely their deeds and non-redeemable. Being prejudice or a racist is no one man’s job and it is definitely not inherited but the concept is what matter, teachings and ideas from our ancestors about black being bad and white being the good is what is still killing our future generations which are indeed getting ready for this difficult race and fight. To accomplish this task our generation and the one coming ahead of us will certainly have to erase the stereotype of being and living in a racist society. All men are same, be they be white, black, brown or yellow all our of one bred, we all have the same rights and we for sure have the same mind, the only difference is the way one thinks and judges the other. If only people could start erasing the differences that are created by lack of self education, ignorance and social injustice.


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