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Kite Runner Essay

Kite Runner Essay

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Published by Chris Seifert
An essay for Foothill College; Outlines the universal sin "Stealing"
An essay for Foothill College; Outlines the universal sin "Stealing"

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Published by: Chris Seifert on Jun 05, 2009
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Christopher Seifert1English 1BKite Runner Essay2/21/07
The Universal Sin
The dictionary defines sin as a transgression of theological principles; one can thenassume that sins of a society are based on their own theology. In essence, sins are not sins unlessyour society believes they are. Because each culture or society in the world revolves around itsown theological structure, a universal definition of sin is difficult to formulate. In T he KiteRunner, Baba, the main character’s father introduces the idea that there is a universal definitionof sin when he warns his son, Amir, that “there is only one sin, only one. And that is theft, everyother sin is a variation of theft.” (Hosseini 17). To help display this concept, author KhaledHosseini utilizes three sins: murder, lust and greed to convey the correlation between all sins andthe universal sin of theft.Considering that the definition of theft is the stealing of ones property, and you believekilling someone is stealing their life; murder would then be characterized as a form theft. To better understand the correlation, Baba explains to Amir “When you kill a man, you steal a life,you steal his wife’s right to a husband, rob his children of a father.”(Hosseini 18). Here, Babamakes his point clear that murder can be described as a derivative of theft. The effects of or theoutcome of a murder is what defines it as theft. Hosseini represents murder with the character Assef, a violent predator the author introduces early in the book. Assef admits, through Amir’sdepiction, that his mission is “Stoning adulterers? Raping children? Flogging women for wearinghigh heels? Massacring Hazaras? All in the name of Islam?”(Hosseini 284). Assef is admittingthat in his culture it is alright to murder if it is in the name of Islam. After all the incidents between Amir and Assef we really understand that Assef is the most atrocious villain in thenovel; he has no problem committing the universal sin of theft, that of stealing a life. Themindless killing of thousands that Assef commits represents the pure insanity of a person’s
 
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culture or society, because they believe it is okay to kill for a greater cause or theology. Thisexample proves that because something is thought to be acceptable in one culture,it is not at allaccepted universally. Assef’s ethnic cleansing attempts are direct attempts to steal an entirerace’s right to life, displaying how murder is a variation of theft.To further understand the concept of theft we must understand what the concept of  property is. Property is defined as not only something owned, but the right of ownership. Babaexplains this when he says “When you tell a lie, you steal someone’s right to the truth”(Hosseini18). When Amir finds out that Hassan was his half brother, it is proven that Baba had stolenAmir’s right to the truth throughout his entire youth. Baba’s lust for another man’s wife leads to alifetime of committing the universal sin of theft, because his shameful actions had to be hiddenfrom Afghan society. Lust may be considered a sin in Afghan culture; however in many culturesand societies all around the world, lust is something considered to be normal and healthy. It isnot until Baba acted on his lust that his actions led to the sin of lying. Hiding the truth or denyingthe right to know the truth is the universal sin of theft that is Baba commits. It can not be a sin tothink of something sinful, because a thought is not an action. Until thoughts become actions theyare still feelings and in no way can be considered sin. It is only after the act takes place that theuniversal sin of theft is violated. This portrayal of the process in which Baba commits theuniversal sin of theft, shows that throughout many cultures and societies thoughts considered to be sins are not necessarily so bad, but the repercussions of those sins become a variation of theftin some way.The first time Amir commits the universal sin is after he makes a greedy decision becausehe has become desperate for a relationship with his father. As he witnesses Hassan’s rape anddoes nothing about it, he is in turn stealing Hassan’s innocence. Not directly, like Assef, butindirectly the way someone owns the right to the truth. Amir’s greed is an example of a sin in his

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