What is missing in The Kite Runner? : Replacing motherhood with fatherhood through the absence of mothers and the presence of fathers

Detta är en Uppsats för yrkesexamina på avancerad nivå från Södertörns högskola/Lärarutbildningen

Författare: Patricia Said; [2019]

Nyckelord: gender roles ; neopatriarchy; exclusion;

Sammanfattning: This essay uses The Kite Runner, a well-known novel written by Khaled Hosseini in 2003, to analyse what is missing in the novel. Much of the previous research has discussed Hosseini and the main characters' roles as well as the important part of the settings to discover unseen messages. However, only one has analysed the novel through a gender perspective. This essay analyses the meaning behind the absent mothers and the present fathers through the use of Hélène Cixous’ view of women in literature and Hisham Sharabi’s theory of neopatriarchy. This paper argues that The Kite Runner intends to replace motherhood with fatherhood through the absence of mothers (and women) and the presence of fathers (and men), to strengthen patriarchy. The novel shows that women are unnecessary through their absence, which the characters of Soraya (who is infertile), Sanaubar (who is absent but returns and dies “again”) and Sofia (who is dead) demonstrates. In order for the woman to be present, she must be imperfect and if she is absent, the man claims both fatherhood and motherhood. Also, the novel uses male characters such as Hassan and Sohrab to make them feminised in order to need salvation and form the idea that those in need of rescue (in this case they are rape victims) can only occur to women or feminised men. Thus, this novel not only excludes women but also strengthen patriarchy and male dominance. This essay intends to contribute within the field of English literature, but further research is needed to demonstrate and make visible of gender inequality and (male) dominance. 

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