Theme Of Betrayal In Kite Runner And The Awakening

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A person’s history influences and follows an individual throughout one’s lifetime. Expectations, feelings of happiness, perceived self-worth all stem from religious and cultural circumstance. Khaled Hosseini writes about Kabul, Afghanistan in the 1970’s and early 1980’s and how living up to his father’s religious and cultural code of behavior, affects the main character Amir’s life no matter how long and far he is removed from Afghanistan and its traditions. In The Awakening, Kate Chopin writes about the late 1800’s in the Southern United States and how women’s traditions, limitations of the law, domestic expectation and duties while also following social convention affect a young woman who becomes ahead of her time. The main character Edna …show more content…
While both characters experience many conflicts from their traditional family and religious expectations they encounter different outcomes from their ultimate response and actions of betrayal, guilt and to their feelings of individual fulfillment.
The Kite Runner and the Awakening both have elements of betrayal throughout each book from characters Amir and Edna. The Kite Runner’s Amir often betrays his companion and servant to win the attentions of his father, Baba, or because he is afraid to react. Amir spends his lifetime trying to make amends to the acts of betrayal he did as a youth to his servant and companion Hassan. As children, Amir and Hassan got along well although Amir never missed a chance to remind Hassan how he was better than him according to the Afghan culture. Despite this bullying Hassan still looked up to Amir. Amir often had trouble defending himself and Hassan would stand up for him. When Hassan is in a desperate situation and Amir has a chance to help he is unable to respond. He
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In the Kite Runner after betraying Hassan in the alley and not standing up for him as he was assaulted and raped, Amir can barely look at Hassan. He feels guilty about abandoning his friend. He no longer met up to play with Hassan and avoided him at all costs to “[make] sure [their] paths crossed as little as possible” (Hosseini 88). He wants Hassan to seek revenge, even hurt him, but Hassan remains true and loyal to Amir and cannot be provoked. The guilt was eating Amir alive. He would shut himself out to the world and use distractions to try and not think about it but he didn’t want to “…live with this lie anymore” (Hosseini 86). Hassan repeatedly tries to mend the friendship by asking what he has done wrong but to no avail. Even though Amir kept pushing Hassan away “…he saw signs of his loyalty, his goddamn unwavering loyalty” everywhere. (Hosseini 89). As the years passed and even after Amir moved out of Afghanistan the guilt stayed with him. In the Awakening, Edna Pontellier was part of a Creole community where women were expected and assumed to be chaste and obedient. Leonce, her husband “…was not dreaming of scandal…” (Chopin108) in fact it hadn’t even occurred to him to be worried. A lack of guilt on Edna’s part over ignoring her social responsibilities rapidly changes from a difference in attitude toward marriage and to the disobedience to her husband. Women of this time generally

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