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Comparison Between Novels The Kite Runner and Still Alice

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The kite runner is a novel written by Hossein Khaled, an Afghan-American author. The book informs readers about a story of a young boy, Amir from the Kabul district. This story is set from a backdrop of events such as the Soviet military’s intervention in the fall of Afghanistan monarchy and the removal of refugees from Pakistan as well as the rise of Taliban rule. The novel is seen as a story based on the father-son relationship. The narrative involves family relationships where themes of guilt and redemption are prominent in the novel. For example, there is a pivotal scene showing an act of violence that Amir fails to prevent against Hassan however, as the book approaches its last half, Amir tries to agree his wrongdoing by saving Hassan’s son after two decades. On the other hand, Still Alice novel was written by Lisa Genova and it tells a tale concerning a woman Alice, suffering from the Alzheimer’s disease. The 50-year old Alice is a professor at Harvard and a well known linguistic expert in the world. She starts showing the early-onset symptoms of Alzheimer disease. For example, during a presentation at Stanford, she forgets certain words and after going for a run in her usual Harvard square neighborhood, Alice can’t find her way home. Alice is married to a successful man and they have 3 grown children. However, the development of Alzheimer disease has changed her relationship with the world and her family. The ambitious and professional Alice had to deal with the physical progression of the disease as well as the emotional component of the disease. The development of this degenerative and incurable disease influences his relationship with her family. Nevertheless, the kite runner and still Alice novels centers of issues of family relationships with both similar themes and different themes at the same time. The characters vary and the writing styles used by the authors vary. The similarities and differences in the setting up of the novels help us to compare the themes, characters and other similarities in the kite runner and still Alice novels.

For instance, in the novels The Kite Runner and Still Alice, they both express the development of character through themes. For example, in The Kite Runner, Amir is haunted by his past actions which make him regret his past actions and decisions’. Amir tries not to remember that he had left Hassan, his best friend to lead an awful fate. When Amir wins the local kite-fighting tournament, he earns Baba’s praise, and Hassan runs the last kite to find it for his friend Amir, however, after seeing the kite, Hassan encounters Assef in the alleyway who refuses to give the kite. Assef then goes on to beat and rape Hassan while Amir witnessed the act but could not intervene due to his cowardice. Amir then betrays Hassan to his father, and after he left, Amir frees from the daily reminder of betrayal and his fear when Hassan was beaten, and he could not help, still living in his shadow. In Still Alice, Alice is haunted by her past career, and she can’t come to terms that she is going to lose her job through an incurable disease during her prime years. For instance, she forgot a word and an event with her organizer in a restaurant which worried her. Alice was saddened further by learning that her daughter Anna had also inherited the disease and she could not put up with it that her grandchildren might also be infected. She had to end her career at Harvard due to poor performance and low grades to her students after 25 years of teaching.

Also, another difference between The Kite Runner and Still Alice novels is the betrayal theme as evident from the books. For instance, in The Kite Runner, when Assef attacks Hassan, Amir watches from a distance out of fear that Assef will beat them. He feels guilty, but he understands that his cowardice will dent any hopes of Baba’s liking and keeps quiet about the occurrence. Afterward, the feelings of guilt toward Hassan prevent Amir from interacting with him, always keeping a distance from him. He then plants a watch and money under Hassan’s mattress hoping that Baba would chase Hassan away and make life more comfortable if he is not around. Baba forgives Hassan, but they decide to leave with, Ali. Amir feels freed from the daily reminder of his fearfulness and betrayal towards Hassan, yet he lives in his own shadow. In Still Alice novel, Alice is betrayed by his husband, John. His reaction towards his wife’s disease where he first denies it and then John proceeds to research on the cause and cure for the disease. On realizing that the condition has no cure, John desperately clings to his thriving career and accepts a job offer in New York despite furious objections from the children. He loves his wife but betrays all the promises he made during marriage and leaves for the new job.

Also, the rivalry has been expressed in both novels by the authors. However, the rivalry is different and unique in the books. For example, in The Kite Runner, the competition is between friends Hassan, Amir, and Assef. In the book, Amir could not accept his misfortunes and be inferior to Hassan in kite running. In the story Still Alice, there is sibling rivalry where Lydia is the source of conflict among the children. For instance, Anna is disappointed that her bright youngest sister decided not to go to college and study acting and at the same time angry that John supports Lydia’s decision.

Additionally, there is a corollary relationship between the parents and their children in the two novels. For example in The Kite Runner, the relationship between Baba and his son Amir manifests itself in a complex and contradictory manner. Baba loves Amir, but he favors Hassan while Amir craves for his father’s affection. Elsewhere, in Still Alice, Anna is angry that his father supports Lydia’s decision to study acting instead of going to class as she and his brother Tom did. Nevertheless, in both novels, the parents and children love and disappoints and in the long last they honor one another.

In conclusion, The Kite Runner and Still Alice novels feature distinguishing themes, characters and other similarities. Both books revolve around family issues showing conflicts between siblings and the relationship between the parents and their children. Topics such as betrayal, redemption, and rivalry are used by the authors to define the character traits of different characters in the books. However, the authors have used different styles and personalities to reach their audiences. For example, in Still Alice, the author tries to educate the audience on the symptoms and the effects of Alzheimer disease. Elsewhere, in The Kite Runner, the author informs the audience of the social functioning of the society by use of themes such as betrayal, guilt, redemption, and reconciliation among the characters. Nonetheless, both authors send explicit messages to the audience.

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Comparison Between Novels The Kite Runner And Still Alice. (2018, October 02). GradesFixer. Retrieved March 21, 2023, from
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