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Literature and culture - Research Paper Example

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HISTORICAL AND CULTURAL THEMES IN LITERATURE: AN ANALYSIS OF KITE RUNNER & EXODUS Introduction This paper examines the historical and cultural themes in the works of Khaled Hosseini and Leon Uris in their books Kite Runner and Exodus respectively. Khaled Hosseini drove home a strong point on the history and politics of his home country, Afghanistan when the book was released…
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Download file to see previous pages The theme affects and is affected by the motive of the writer; thus one can say that the end a writer seeks to attain is what forms the theme of the literary work. One can imagine that there have been so many ends that have been achieved by writers throug literature. The theme therefore has an effect on the extent to which one can market his or her books to readers. Background of Authors Leon Uris was born in the United States and he moved to Israel after serving in the US Marine and in Israel, he worked as a journalist and reporter (Lambert 50). In a biography, Nadel (93) examined that Uris sought to revive his Jewish identity and that is what made him take on research into the founding of the State of Israel and most of those findings influenced his book, Exodus. Khaled Hosseini on the other hand was born in Afghanistan to an aristocratic Pusthun family around the time that the protagonist of his Kite Runner, Amir was born. Hosseini’s family had to leave Afghanistan for Europe during the Soviet invasion. They returned briefly and then went back to the United States where he has lived to this very day (Hosseini Personal Website) This therefore suggests that both writers had an inherent interest in the history of their nations and they were therefore influenced by the history and culture of their countries. Elements of History & Non-Fiction in Theme The narrations employed in the works of these authors make a person wonder if the work was actually non-fiction or fiction. Leon Uris states in the opening page that “Many events in The Exodus are a matter of history and public records. Many of the scenes were created around historical incidents and used as a backdrop for the purpose of fiction” (Uris 1). This shows evidence that Uris uses characters of fiction to portray elements of the founding of the nation of Israel, its culture and history through fiction and art. The hint that Hosseini gives in his book about the role of history in his narration is found in the opening statement he makes in Kite Runner saying “I became what I am today at the age of twelve on a frigid overcast day, in the Winter of 1975… that was a long time ago but it is wrong what they say about the past I’ve heard, about how you bury it because it claws its way out” (K. Hosseini 4). This suggests that Hosseini was using elements of narration to present a historical point of view of his people and community. Afghanistan & Israel through the Writers Khalid Hosseini & Leon Uris both bring out the historical injustices meted out to their peoples through the individual experiences of their characters to express the collective suffering and elements of their peoples’ history and culture. This is done through fast paced narrations and very rigourous and clear pictures presented by these writers. In Kite Runner, Hosseini presents Amir as a young member of the well-to-do Pushtun family who has all the privileges and luxuries and is seen to be righteous and innocent. Amir’s father, Baba is presented as a very rich aristocratic Pushtun merchant who was ready to face to advancing Soviets with courage. On the other hand, Hassan and his father, the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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