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Writers around
the world impact millions of people by their works. Many different elements
work together in plays, poems, novels, etcetera, to create a memorable piece. A
popular novelist, Khaled Hosseini, is known by people all around the world for
his novels. Two of his well-known novels are The Kite Runner and A
Thousand Splendid Suns. In these two novels, Hosseini uses rhetorical
devices, figurative language, past events, and many other strategies to shape
them into masterpieces. Furthermore, in these two books, families face many
struggles, both internally and externally. For example, in The Kite Runner
,Amir’s story shows how people fight for what they believe in and that despite
the horrible events that are happening, people must remain strong. Also, in A
Thousand Splendid Suns, Rasheed is very abusive towards Miriam and Laila
and this causes several conflicts when they try to escape his power. Khaled
Hosseini’s A Thousand Splendid Suns and The Kite Runner both
revolve around life under the rule of the Taliban and the struggles these
families face as a result of this oppression.

One element
Khaled Hosseini uses in his novels is his memories and past experiences. Khaled
was born in Kabul, Afghanistan to a father who was a diplomat and a mother who taught
both history and Farsi (Khaled). However, in 1976, Hosseini and his family were
forced to move out of Kabul and move into Paris. Little did Khaled know that he
would not return to Kabul for another twenty-seven years. By 1980, the Soviet
Union had completely taken over Kabul. After several years, Hosseini and his
family moved once again, however, this time they moved to the United States.
Furthermore, while living in the United States, he began attending college, received
a few degrees, graduated college, and then began writing for the first time in
March of 2001. His writing career took off and began to become his new passion.
By 2003, his first novel, The Kite Runner, was published. Then, in May
of 2007, his second novel, A Thousand Splendid Suns, was completed and
sold. His first novel spent over one hundred weeks on the New York Times best seller list. Hosseini’s novels quickly became “an
international bestseller and beloved classic” (Khaled). Both of these books
became increasingly popular as time went on. Together, more than ten million
copies were sold in the United States and over thirty-eight million copies were
sold worldwide. In 2006, Khaled was named a Goodwill Envoy to the United
Nations Refugee Agency, more commonly known as the UNHCR. Also, Hosseini
established ‘The Khaled Hosseini Foundation’ which is a nonprofit organization
made to provide humanitarian assistance to the Afghanistan residents. Today,
Khaled Hosseini lives in Northern California with his wife and children and he continues
to write.

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Khaled’s first
novel, The Kite Runner, was written in response to a decision made by
the Taliban in 1999. After seeing a story on the news regarding the banishment
of an Afghan sport called kite running,  Khaled began writing what he thought would
just be a short story. As a child, Hosseini, his brother, and his cousins all
participated in kite running, so after seeing the recent news, he began to
express his frustrations through his writing. After some time, this short story
became his very famous novel, The Kite Runner. In this novel, Hosseini
included symbolism and imagery to create an unforgettable story. For example, the
kite symbolized his happiness as a child and the betrayal of Hassan for Amir.
Amir tries to think of something uplifting while he rides in his truck and then
immediately remembers his time flying kites with his brother. However, after
Hassan was raped, kites began to bring back memories of guilt. “The kites make
Amir think of his past in Afghanistan, and especially a boy named Hassan, a “kite
runner” with a cleft lip” (The Kite Runner 256). This quote shows that
kites show a symbol of hope and cause Amir to begin remembering his past.

Furthermore, in
Hosseini’s second novel, A Thousand Splendid Suns, he uses many kinds of
figurative language to shape the story. For example, he uses imagery (Hosseini
275) to make the reader feel the emotion Hosseini felt when writing it. The
characters in A Thousand Splendid Suns were in abusive relationships and
tough situations where they were longing for love.

includes several different themes including the themes of love, power, and
visions of Afghanistan. The theme of love is present in many situations throughout
the novel. For example, in the beginning of the novel, Mariam longs to be shown
love by her father. After her mother committed suicide, Mariam was forced into
an arranged marriage with Rasheed and was later abused by him because he wanted
to have a baby boy, but she was unable to have any children. Also, Laila and
Tariq fell in love, leading to Laila becoming pregnant, only to be separated
from each other for years. During this time, Laila believed Tariq to be dead
and, after becoming Rasheed’s second wife, she longed to have a relationship
like the one she had with Tariq. In the end, Laila is nearly strangled to death
by Rasheed, but Mariam fights back and kills him tin order to save Laila. Mariam
eventually gives her life so that Laila and Tariq could have a better life. The
love Mariam showed is out of her desire to allow Laila and Tariq to have the
life and happy ending she had always wanted. In addition, Hosseini’s second
novel highlighted the theme of power. Rasheed was a very abusive character
towards both Mariam and Laila. He believed that he had more power over women
and that he was able to control women. Due to this, he attempted to harm Laila,
but ends up dead (A Thousand Splendid Suns).

            In comparison to Hosseini’s
background, Laila and Tariq’s families have to leave Afghanistan for a period
of time and the Taliban rise to power. These two things are both very similar to
the experiences of Hosseini. He includes parts of his life in his novels to
allow the reader to feel the emotion and understand what events some Afghans
endure. In A Thousand Splendid Suns, Khaled divides the chapters into sections
about a specific character and their life. In doing so, the readers are able to
see the point of view from all of the characters and are able to become more
emotionally attached to the events that are taking place as the novel

            In both The Kite Runner and A
Thousand Splendid Suns, the character’s go through many changes and
struggles. Although The Kite Runner was more focused on the life of two
women and A Thousand Splendid Suns was centered around to men, similarities
can still be found among the differences. A Thousand Splendid Suns tells
about the struggles of two Afghan women, Mariam and Laila, who experience
tragedy, heartbreaks, and abuse. The Kite Runner, Hassan and Amir
struggle due to lying, loyalty to family, and the effects of rape. The two of
these novels give great detail about the characters and include great amounts
of information that keep the reader on the edge of their seat. Hosseini used
the setting for both novels as Afghanistan. In doing so, he is able to bring
forth memories of his past and use his previous experiences and memories of his
life in Afghanistan to shape his works.

            A cultural issue addressed in these
two novels pertains to the treatment of Afghans. Hosseini wants people,
Americans specifically, to be able to understand who the Afghan people really
are, what they have been through, and what some currently are going through. In
addition, he wants others to be able to see the “wishes and aspirations” of these
people (Charney). Khaled’s works became so well-known and reached so many
people all over the world, which allowed many to hear and be educated upon
Afghan struggles. Also, it allows the struggles of these Afghan people to be
addressed and shows that they are truly only human. Using Afghanistan in his
books enables Hosseini to write passionately because of his experiences as a
child and his family life growing up.

            In conclusion, Khaled Hosseini’s two
novels, A Thousand Splendid Suns and The Kite Runner, bring forth
the struggle of Afghan people and use rhetorical devices as well as other strategies
to shape them into incredible works of literature. Hosseini’s background and
family life influenced these two books and continues to be a major influence in
the writing he continues to do today. Both of his books contain similarities,
however, also contain differences that shape the novels into unique and
individual pieces.

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