Beliefs The novel The Kite Runner portrays the

Beliefs are often mistaken as the truth by many people in
societies which results into false arguments or misconceptions of knowledge. The
novel The Kite Runner, written by
Khaled Hosseini, illustrates many
important messages, one of them being, beliefs and reality. This novel takes
place in Afghanistan, where class is distinguished by culture. The two classes,
the Hazaras, who are looked down upon by society and mistreated, and the
Pashtuns, who are wealthy and well respected in the community. The novel explicitly
elaborates on the message that “Beliefs can act as a light for one to see
clearly, but it is always mistaken for what should be seen.” In the novel, Amir, the protagonist, takes his eyes
off what society portrays about the Pashtuns and the Hazaras, and rather
remains optimistic by looking at the entire picture. This is when he realizes
that what he was told and believed was not fully correct. Amir realizes the way
he treated Hassan and acts wisely to redeem himself from the guilt. The novel The Kite Runner portrays the implicit
message that in order for society to end discrimination, they must distinguish
between belief and reality.

“When I was in fifth grade, we had a mullah who taught us about Islam.” …
“He told us one day that Islam considered drinking a terrible sin; those who
drank would answer for their sin on the day of Qiyamat, Judgment Day.” – Amir

“Now, no matter what the mullah teaches, there is only one sin, only one. And
that is theft. Every other sin is a variation to theft.”
– Baba (Hosseini, 2003, 13)

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In this quote, Baba tells Amir about how not everything the
mullah (the teacher) says about religion is correct. Earlier this chapter, when
Amir learns about sins and what they are in his religion, he goes and questions
Baba about his habit of drinking. This is when Baba lets Amir know that the
only sin is the sin of theft. By this, Baba means to say that anything taken
away from someone is a sin, he later gives the example “When you kill a man,
you steal his life.” Baba sees Amir being influenced by the society and is
learning what is not correct and can be confused in what he should believe and
what he shouldn’t. Baba lets Amir know the reality,
and how what everyone believes is not always right.

“That night, we were lying on our beds, watching a
talk show on TV. Two clerics with pepper gray long beards and white turbans
were taking calls from the faithful all over the world. One caller from
Finland, a guy named Ayub, asked if his teenaged son could go to hell for
wearing his baggy pants so low the seam of his underwear showed.” (Hosseini,
2003, 281) …

“The mullahs decided that Ayub’s son would go to hell
after all for wearing his pants as he did. They claimed it was in the Haddith.”
(Hosseini, 2003, 282)

In these quotes, Amir is now old and is currently in an hotel
room with Sohrab. This is when Amir sees the argument on television if a boy
would be going to hell or not for his actions. This scene emphasizes on how
there are critics in religion and, are able to alter decisions as if they are a
big part of that culture, these decisions are later believed by society. Later,
Amir does not pay attention because he sees “people” judging if Ayub would go
to hell, however the reality being Ayub not committing any sort of crime or
illegal activities, but perhaps being wrongfully accused for the actions. Ayub
is being the main topic of a conversation constantly debating if he would go to
hell, solely for the fact of himself portraying individuality. Of choosing to
wear the clothes he likes in different manner. This scene shows that beliefs
are often hard to not accept because the number of individuals already
believing in the topic can be more than the ones disagreeing. This puts
individuals in an ethical dilemma whether to believe what is told or not to.

“Earlier, at the gravesite in the small Muslim section
of the cemetery, I had watched them lower Baba into the hole. The mullah and
another man got into an argument over which was the correct ayat of the Koran
to recite at the gravesite. It might have turned ugly had General Taheri not
intervened. The mullah chose an ayat and recited it, casting the other fellow
nasty glances. I watched them toss the first shovelful of dirt into the grave.
Then I left. Walked to the other side of the cemetery.” – Amir (Hosseini, 2003,

In this quote, Amir talks about Baba’s funeral and how the
mullah and another person got into an argument about one of the phrases in the
holy book – Koran. This quote is another example of how beliefs are created by
society and differs greatly from reality. Instead of providing peace and
respect to Amir’s father’s death, they decide to argue which disturbs Amir
since he is already upset about the situation. The two people did not see the
current situation, the funeral of Baba, and argued about what they believed the
phrase was. Once the argument was over because of General Taheri, the mullah
gave disgusting looks to the other person. This shows beliefs are an outcome of
someone’s argument about religion and can be different than reality.


Beliefs can often be confused from reality because of the
society’s perspective on each other. When a lot of individuals believe the same
thing, it makes that topic difficult to distinguish whether it should be
accepted, or it is just a story made by society. The novel Kite runner
demonstrates this in many scenes, an example would be when Baba tries to
explain to Amir about how the reality is different than what other people may
believe and spread. The fact that beliefs are not always true is shown when two
teachers of different religions argue on television about if Ayub would go to
hell after his death because of him wearing his pants low. This event shows
that the beliefs are mainly made by society and blinds the individual from
reality. It is also demonstrated at Baba’s funeral when two individuals argue
on what is the correct phrase to recite from the Koran. Beliefs act as a light
in a dark room for one to see but is not what
you see.