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.” (Hosseini, 2003, 13)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. (Chapter 22, Pg 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 the boy would be going to hell or not. 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. 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 he never did. 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. 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.” (Hosseini, 2003, 150)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.