KR2. Khaled Hosseini vs. Shakespeare?

During this chapter we get a taste of what Hassan is like as a father. Farzana, his wife, gives birth to a baby girl and the reader learns that Hassan sounds like a terrific father. While talking about Hassan’s reaction to the death of Sanaubar, Rahim Kahn remarks that, “…it always hurts more to have and lose than to not have in the first place” (211).

This quote means a lot to me in terms of the development of Hassan as a person and a father. When Rahim Khan finds out Hassan has married, he also finds out Farzana is pregnant. Later, the book tells us that Hassan is hurt by the death of this baby girl and that, “the loss was hard on Hassan” (211). While under bad circumstances, it is valuable for me as a reader to see that Hassan is establishing feelings for a child and developing himself as a father and more as a caring character in this book. It is saying that it hurt Hassan very badly to see this child die when she was only 4, rather than to never have felt a loss like that if he hadn’t have had that child.

This quote reminds me a lot of Shakespeare’s, “’It is better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all” quote. It explores the idea that after you invest time and effort, and feelings in Hassan’s case, that you have to live with the feeling of regret and guilt once all that time and effort is wasted, or rather over and out of your control. It suggests to the reader that it is possible Hassan would have been better off without that loss and to not have experienced the pain of loss. But without the death of his little girl we would never get to grow with Hassan as a character in Kite Runner.

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3 thoughts on “KR2. Khaled Hosseini vs. Shakespeare?

  1. Hassan has lost on a number of fronts throughout the novel, and this loss you mention develops him as a person and us as readers. Personally, I feel some gratification in seeing him as a father. I am glad he has lived long enough to experience the birth and young life of a child, even with the accompanying pain. Thank you for your connection to Shakespeare. Can you tell us which of his plays or poems contains this statement?

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