The consequences of Denial
Throughout the novel The Kite Runner and the play Oedipus Rex many themes can be linked back to the text, some of these themes can even be seen shared through both. It is important to show that even through the vast difference in time periods of when this novel and play were created that some acts never changed and still pollute us to this day. Two themes that can be shown throughout both text are running from fate and denying or hiding the truth.
In both of these texts running from fate happens throughout each story. For Oedipus it came as prophecies, as a young boy he was told he would one day kill his father and sleep with his mother. In order to try and keep these horrific acts from happening he leaves his home to try and escape them. Even Jocasta tells of a prophecy that was given to Lauis’s son that he would have to kill his father, so they sent his boy away. Even through all the precaution that Oedipus took in the end his fate caught up with him. For Amir, his fate came upon Hassan. Not only does this include Amir freezing in the alleyway which let Assef beat and rape Hassan it is also Amir’s actions after these events and how he deals with them. Amir tries to bury these thoughts to escape them, he even sets up a scheme to try and get Hassan out of his house so he would not have deal with any of it upfront. Though in the end of these to writings these themes take different tolls on the characters. In Oedipus’s case fate catching up to him seems to tear him apart, so much so that he gouges his own eyes and demands to be exiled. Sophocles writes “Oedipus: What, then, could be worth seeing to me, or lovable, what word addressed to me could i hear gladly, friends? Lead me into exile quickly, lead me away friends, completely destroyed, the most accursed and to the gods the most hated of men!” (58, 1367-1373) After what he has just learned he still tries to escape it. By blinding himself Oedipus can’t see the pain which he caused even if it is just his own. On the other hand Amir, after much time embraces his fate and tries to make amends by following Rahim khan’s instructions. Throughout the whole novel Khaled Hosseini how beat up Amir is by Hassan, even when speaking his name it can bring him pain. By bringing Sohrab with him he finally laid to rest the conflict in himself over his half brother.
When it comes to denying and hiding the truth both stories have a plethora to choose from. For the kite runner it is Baba who says that “There is only one sin. And that is theft… When you tell a lie, you steal someone’s right to the truth” (225) Saying that by keeping the truth from someone you hurt them more than any lie ever could and it is a sin to do so. Yet he is the one that keeps considerably the largest truth of anyone, who Hassan’s true family is. His fear of what others would think and how it would affect everyone kept it from ever being known. If this information would have been told before Hassan left the house this whole novel could’ve been drastically changed. By Baba telling the truth he might have been able to keep his family together. However, Baba wasn’t the only person in his family to hold the truth from others. After the incident in the alleyway Amir not telling anyone what happened was part of the reason the family was torn apart. He feared by telling about the incident he would destroy his already in pieces relationship with his father. Because of this it tore his family apart even farther. In Oedipus Rex denying the truth can be seen after it is revealed that Oedipus himself might have been the former king’s killer and when the shepard tells the story of the child he was supposed to kill. With the knowledge of both of these events Oedipus and Jocasta come closer and closer to the truth, but it is a truth that they don’t want, so they act as if it is untrue. Almost like if they were to deny it it would not harm them.
All in all between both the novel The Kite Runner and the Play Oedipus Rex it can be seen in substantial amounts that both running from fate and withholding the truth play important themes to the characters and overall plot of the two stories. These two themes helped form who the characters are and their actions across both stories. It shows that through all time periods fate and truth became problems in many lives and could either hurt or help you with your life. These two narratives shows what can truly happen when you deny certain things to yourself and others around you.
Hosseini, Khaled. The Kite Runner. Riverhead Books, 2003. 225
Sophocles. Oedipus Rex. Cambridge University Press, 2003. 58