Writing a Kite Runner Essay

Table of contents

Quick synopsis of The Kite Runner

Basically, this book can be viewed as a modern historical novel – set in Afghanistan during the Russian invasion, exodus, and ultimate control of the country by the Taliban. Against this backdrop, there is Amir, a child of a well-to-do father, and Hassan, son of a household servant. A friendship has developed between the two boys, though Hassan is of a minority ethnic group that is seen as inferior.

Amir abandons his friendship with Hassan, following his (Amir’s) failure to come to Hassan’s aid when he is attacked by other boys. His guilt results in the need to get Hassan out of his home, so that he does not have to “live” with it every day.

Ultimately, against the background of the terrible conflict, Amir and his father lose everything and flee to the U.S. As an adult, Amir still lives with his guilt and determines to atone for his “sins” by locating Hassan’s son and bringing him to America. In this act, he achieves some redemption.

Themes of The Kite Runner

The themes are quite easy to see, as this plot unfolds. Of course, the author wants to preserve a period in Afghan history that was violent, devastating to so many, and ultimately turned the country into a Taliban stronghold. But the story itself has many major themes:

  • Betrayal: When a person (or group, or government) betrays its friends/allies, it is an issue of ethics and morality.
  • Guilt: When a normally good person betrays and abandons a friend, guilt will follow. How that person deals with his guilt may take many forms, and it is often to remove any contact with the betrayed individual so there will be no reminders.
  • Atonement: Betrayal and accompanying guilt can ultimately result in the strong desire to repair wrongs that have been done.
  • Redemption: Once a successful atonement has been made, the guilty one feels some sense of personal redemption.
  • Father-Son Relationships: They are complicated and the relationship between Amir and Bab is no exception.
  • Racism and Discrimination: It knows no boundaries or ages.

And there a minor themes that you may want to take up as well.

Sample Kite Runner Essay

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Possible Essay Topics

If you are assigned a Kite Runner essay, there is one important piece of advice here – read the book. Do not rely on those online summaries. You will not have the detail you need to fully develop any essay topic. 

With that said, there are any number of Kite Runner essay prompts and/or Kite Runner essay questions that will provide great topics for your essay.

Best Kite Runner essay topics

  1. How is Kite Runner a coming of age story?
  2. What struggles/conflict does Amir face as he grows from adolescence to adulthood?
  3. How is Kite Runner a story of redemption?
  4. Analyze the concept of racism and discrimination in the novel
  5. Pick one theme (betrayal, guilt, atonement, redemption) and develop it with specific examples from the story.
  6. Analyze the father-son relationship between Amir and Baba
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Writing Your Essay

Your essay will take the same format as other types of essays you have written – introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. 

You need an outline of sorts so that you have in your head exactly the points and the sequence of points you will be making to “prove” your thesis. Each of your body paragraphs should address a single point, followed by details from the book.

Develop your thesis statement first. For example, a Kite Runner redemption essay might have the thesis: “All of us have engaged in wrongdoing that we have then attempted to ‘make right’ in order to gain redemption – Amir is no exception.”

Each body paragraph will point to major events in the story that demonstrate your thesis. You must have at least three of these.
Your conclusion should restate your thesis in different words and perhaps include how the story impacted your desire to “make right” a wrong you have done.

Sample Kite Runner Essays

You will find sample essays all over the Internet, many on writing service websites. While these may serve the purpose of clarifying points and giving you ideas for your own essay, you are cautioned not to try to simply re-write a piece that someone else has created. Plagiarism detection software has become quite sophisticated today.

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