Afghanistan and Multiculturalism in Khaled Hosseini's Novels Essay

Paper Type:  Research paper
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1547 Words
Date:  2022-12-04

Author Khaled Hosseini

Khaled Hosseini, born in Kabul (Afghanistan) on March 4, 1965, is a writer in English language and Afghan-American doctor. His father worked in the ministry of foreign affairs as a diplomat while his mother was a teacher of Farsi and History in an institute of Kabul. Due to the nature of his father's job, his family was forced to move to Tehran Iraq when he was five years old. They went back to Kabul in 1973 when Afghanistan became a Republic. Later, his father was transferred to Paris in 1976, the city in which they resided in until 1978 when the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) took control of the government, followed by the communist revolution and the Soviet intervention in December of the following year. The Hosseini's family requested political asylum in the United States arriving in San Jose (California) in 1980. Khaled graduated in Biology in 1988 and five years later he graduated as a doctor working as a resident in the Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles between 1996 and 2004. This paper explores the literature work of Khaled Hosseini, the styles and the themes he applies in his novels, which makes his work influential to many people around the world.

Is your time best spent reading someone else’s essay? Get a 100% original essay FROM A CERTIFIED WRITER!

Hosseini's Literature Work

Between 2001 and 2003 Hosseini wrote his novel Kites in the sky, which attracted many audiences due to the intense emotional core of the story. The themes of the novel, guilt, friendship, forgiveness, loss, desire for expiation, self-improvement are issues not limited to Afghanistan, they are human experiences that do not take into consideration the ethnic, cultural or religious origin. In 2004, Hosseini left medicine to devote himself to his passion since he was eight years old: telling stories; a passion that the writer inherited from the "Great tradition of storytellers" that was in his family and trying to move their children. With Thousand Splendid Suns (2007) he repeated the success of the previous one and his last work: And the mountains talked (2013), was in second place in sales in bookstores in the US to the few days of its appearance. Hosseini returned to Afghanistan for the first time in 2003. In 2006 he was appointed an ambassador of goodwill of the High Commissioner of the United Nations for Refugees (UNHCR), an organization with which he made a second trip to his native country the following year.

Hosseini's work has given direction to the modern literature and he has expressed himself in a revolutionary voice, representing the Afghan nation. Hosseini uses his memories of the peaceful pre-Soviet regime; combined with the experience he had with the Hazara people in Afghanistan to compose his work. He also uses his experience while in exile to create interesting stories of love as a family. In his work, he uses an empathetic tone which triggers the readers' emotions, cutting to the core of the human heart. His stories try to dig deep into the fine line separating what is right and wrong. Powerful and exceptional themes have dominated Hosseini's work in three novels, The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns and And the Mountains Echoed.

Literature Techniques

Having mastered essentials of storytelling while in the East combined with the acquired masterly in English, Hosseini writes his novels in novels with expertise in double cultural and discursive approach. The multilingualism in his work gives him a unique linguistic personality, as it increases the potential for creativity (Agnello et al. 60). Hosseini's work especially The Kite Runner, and A Thousand Splendid Suns display how bilinguals process figurative language, with their expressions representing the interaction between the languages.

Through the novels, Hosseini has asserted both his individual and cultural selves. His cultural and individual skills combined with rational impressions in humanity give the reader a wide comprehension of Hosseini's work. The Author uses some literary techniques that make understanding easier. Use of metaphors is common in Hosseini's novels. Authors use symbols or images which provide pictures or visions of their perception or feelings. In the novel The Kite Runner, the author uses the term "lamb" to represent the innocent when he says that the only people in Kabul who get to eat the lamb is the Taliban. The Taliban are viewed as a dangerous animal like a leopard, which a big threat to a lamb. Author Hosseini also uses some foreign terms to give his work a metaphoric touch. He uses the word harami an Arabic word in Eastern languages for illegitimate. Readers from outside the East keeps guessing its connotations and meaning. Through repetition, the words are understood as it is applied severally in similar contexts (Agnello et al. 60).

Author Hosseini applies the method of switching from one code to another, which brings a significant change in the modes of expression (Garcia et al. 70). In his novels, the author applies code-switching between multiple languages. Using indigenous language in the novel indicates the author's cultural assertion, depicting his culture and society. Through his work, some themes are evident, which the building blocks of his work.

Themes in Hosseini's Novels

One of the main themes across Hosseini's work is love and relationships. Hosseini uses the art of relationship to show human love which results in care, compassion, and sacrifice. He explores the shortcomings of love and the risk that people engage in protecting their loved ones. Love is multifaceted and Hosseini through his work explores the different types of love. He explores paternal/maternal, friendship and romantic types of love with a good understanding of the human psyche (Stuhr 100). Throughout his novels, he uses describes love as a force a critical element in pursuing freedom better lives and forgiveness among humans. Through the unity that that comes from love and friendship, the characters seem to keep pressing on despite the challenges they go through.

The theme of war and the value of life is another main theme. Hosseini novels are set in Afghanistan, and therefore give the audience a glimpse of how life is in a war-torn nation. People live in dangerous times, with their lives threatened to live in fear. As stories in the novels unfold, lessons about the value of life and having the right priorities are learned.

The element of Loss is also felt in the novels written by the author. The characters in the Hosseini novels face loss throughout the set. The loss is seen in many dimensions including loss of property, loss of loved ones, dignity and loss of innocence. Some give up when overwhelmed by the struggles and choose while others refuse to surrender to hopelessness and keep fighting. They persevere over grief, pain, and unfairness to change their circumstances and move on with life. Though some of the characters are permanently wounded, their human spirits push them to recover all they can from the broken shells o their lives.

Also, gender oppression and patriarchy are issues that the author focuses on. In his second novel, A thousand splendid suns, Hosseini exposes the harsh and unfair laws against women. Women face discrimination due to gender and injustices in Afghanistan. Through the novel, Hosseini gives the voiceless women an opportunity to air their grievances, an opportunity they haven't had in many years. He brings awareness to women, educating them on their rights. He addresses them in respect and honors them as mothers, sisters, daughters, wives and above all, as human beings. Some of the serious issues affecting women are addressed in Hosseini's novels including patriarchal marriage laws, corruption, and abusive marriages. Women in patriarchal societies are oppressed while being considered to be possessions and properties to the husbands (Stuhr 100). Through the work of Khaled Hosseini, readers gain insight into the lives of the oppressed women. The reader gets to know the challenges that women face major ones being dominated and treated as inferior sex. The themes of unfairness and injustice also dominate Hosseini's work. Characters get mistreated through war and bullying. The novels give the reader the formulae to overcome emotions that result from unfairness and injustice. People get emotions due to rejection, low self-esteem pain, and anger. The novels capture the readers' hearts and the ties that bind souls together during trying moments.


Author Khaled Hosseini hails from a community which defines a personal identity by the family he belongs. All his work revolves around family and how people in a family related. The stories involve the activities in a family, relative or friendship relationship amongst the characters (Agnello et al 60). In The Kite Runner for instance, the relationship between a father and his son is narrated while in the And the Mountains Echoed the relationship between a mother and a daughter is depicted. All his novels represent joyful spirits of a happy Afghan family either in Diaspora or in their motherland. Through the novels, it is clear that it is love that raises characters from levels of isolation, giving them the strength to overcome the challenges they face in life.

Works Cited

Agnello, Mary F., et al. "Afghanistan and multiculturalism in Khaled Hosseini's novels: study of place and diversity." Multicultural Education & Technology Journal 3.2 (2009): 96-111.

Garcia, Ofelia, and Li Wei. "Translanguaging and education." Translanguaging: Language, bilingualism and education. Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2014. 63-77.

Hosseini, Khaled. A thousand splendid suns. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2009.

Hosseini, Khaled. And the mountains echoed. A&C Black, 2013.

Hosseini, Khaled. The kite runner. Penguin, 2003.

Stuhr, Rebecca. Reading Khaled Hosseini. Macmillan, 2009.

Cite this page

Afghanistan and Multiculturalism in Khaled Hosseini's Novels Essay. (2022, Dec 04). Retrieved from

Free essays can be submitted by anyone,

so we do not vouch for their quality

Want a quality guarantee?
Order from one of our vetted writers instead

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the ProEssays website, please click below to request its removal:

didn't find image

Liked this essay sample but need an original one?

Hire a professional with VAST experience!

24/7 online support

NO plagiarism