The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

The Kite Runner

Summary

 

 The Kite Runner, written by Khaled Hosseini, follows the narrator, Amir, and his memories from when he was a boy in Kabul, Afghanistan. The time of the novel is placed around the fall of the monarchy and ends around 2001 when the Taliban Regime collapsed. The story begins in 2001 with the narrator recalling an impactful, unnamed event that occurred in 1975. Amir living with his father he calls “Baba”, and his two servants Ali and Hassan, Ali’s son. The King of Afghanistan is recently overthrown causing polarization throughout the country as the monarchy falls and no stable government exists any longer. Amir remembers playing with Hassan, who was discriminated against for belonging to the Hazan ethnic minority and lives with his father Ali as Amir and Baba’s servants. Growing up, the two boys used to play a kite game where to win, players had to cut the strin of another’s kite. One of the boys would run after the kites that have been cut after each round; n this case it was Hassan. Amir’s friends Wali, Assef, and Kamel would constantly bully Amir for living with Hassan during these kite games. Amir did defend Hassan and ignored Assef’s insults but one day the kite escapes and Hassan runs after it. After chasing it, Amir witnesses Hassan, held by Kamel and Wali, being raped by Assef while the kite is on the ground. Amir, in shock, runs away and Hassan returns to the game with the kite and the two act as if nothing had happened. After some time Amir tries to get Hassan to leave the house and frames him by stealing Baba’s money and putting it in Hassan/s bed. Hassan admitted to stealing the money and that winter Ali and Hassan moved out of the house. The book then time skips to Amir finishing high school as WW2 is expected to start. The Soviets invade his home, and Baba and Amir migrate to Pakistan. Baba passes due to lung cancer after Amir meets the daughter of one of Baba’s friends, Soraya, and marries her. Amir gets a call from his old friend stating that the Soviets have left and an insurgent group known as the Taliban has taken over his hometown.

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 Amir decides to return to Kabul to look for Hassan and upon finding Hassan and his wife, Farzana, he found out they had a son named Sohrab. After Amir went home to Pakistan, he received a call from Sanubar, Sohrab’s grandmother, a year later saying that Hassan and Farzana had been killed and Sohrab would be sent to an orphanage. Amir wanted to bring Sohrab back to Pakistan with him and thus began searching for him. Arriving in Kabul, Amir discovered that Sohrab would be in a soccer stadium during a game. When Amir meets with the official he had set up an appointment with previously asking for Sohrab, the soldier bringing Sohrab was Assef. Sohrab is dressed like a woman with makeup and traditional clothing implying that Sohrab was sexually assaulted. Assef tells Amir that they have unfinished business and Assef begin to beat Amir with brass knuckles breaking his ribs. Sohrab interferes by shooting Assef in the eye with his slingshot to save Amir. In the hospital, Amir  asks Sohrab to come to the U.S with him. And Sohrab seems to agree by remaining silent. Afterward, Amir takes Sohrab to the U.S Embassy where they reject the application as Amir has no solid evidence proving Sohrab’s parents to be dead. They called Sharif, Soraya’s Uncle, and Amir goes back to Pakistan with Sohrab to figure out a way to get Sohrab to the U.S through means of a petition.  During this time Sohrab attempts to commit suicide by slitting his wrists in a bathtub when Amir comes home and finds him. After recovering, Sohrab stops speaking and Amir succeeds at bringing him to the U.S by petition. When Amir gets back to America, he reunites with his wife who is solemn about Sohrab’s chosen muteness. One day, they bring Sohrab to a park where kites were being flown, and Amir asks Sohrab if he’d like to play. Receiving no response, Amir goes on with flying the kite and Sohrab follows. The two are soon drawn into a game that Amir used to play as a child. They bond over this game, Sohrab smiles, and after winning Amir runs after the kite for Sohrab.

2.  Character List

Amir is the protagonist of the story. He undergoes the most development in the book becoming more mature. He is very independent and treats others with dignity.

Baba is the father of Amir who is very responsible for Amir but believes in his own morality and trusts himself only.

Soraya is the wife of Amir. Her father is General Taheri who is a friend of Baba’s. She trusts and supports Amir committing herself to him.

Assef is Amir’s old friend while growing up. He presents himself as a rude and ignorant individual acting violently in the book.

Hassan was secretly Amir’s brother who looked after Amir and protected him. He was very mature and responsible at a young age.

Ali is Hassan’s supposed father and one of Amir and Baba’s servants.

Sohrab is Hassan’s son, who predominantly acts isolated and is fairly shy.

Sharif is Soraya’s uncle and has a short role throughout the book. He is helpful towards Amir and Soraya for getting Sohrab to the U.S.

3. Foils

 Amir and Baba

Assef and Wali

4. Meaningful Quotes

“It hurts to say that. But better to get hurt by the truth than comforted with a lie” (Hosseini 58).

-This quote represents how Amir, and others in his family, are constantly lied to throughout the book.

“I loved him because he was my friend, but also because he was a good man, maybe even a great man. And this is what I want you to understand, that good, real good, was born out of your father’s remorse. Sometimes, I think everything he did, feeding the poor on the streets, building the orphanage, giving money to friends in need, it was all his way of redeeming himself. And that, I believe, is what true redemption is, Amir jan, when guilt leads to good” (Hosseini 302).

-At this point in the novel, Amir reaches the climax where he realizes he is a good man who has matured and realizes the political destruction and structural violence from his own point of view.

Book Review

 

Khaled Hosseini paints a picture of common life living in Pakistan and Afghanistan as he experienced it. The Kite runner is a very harsh and real novel that presents the structural violence within Pakistan and Afghanistan. Throughout the book we see Amir, the protagonist, face the terrors of war as the book explores unique themes of sin and redemption, family ties, and homeland and nationality. The Kite Runner itself is a bildungsroman that depicts similarities between two countries and cultures. The novel regularly deals with themes of morality as it focuses on the relationship between fathers, sons, and brothers. As stated by Amardeep Singh, an associate professor of English at Lehigh University,

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“Ah yes, fathers, sons, and a scene of primeval violence. It’s the kind of thing that only really happens in heartbreaking medieval epics and melodramatic Hindi films, but it gets me every time. It’s important at the beginning of the novel — as the protagonist feels neglected by his father — and it becomes important again at the end, in an interesting way. If you don’t stop to notice the connection, you might miss it.”

The novel addresses the bullying of Amir’s friend, Hassan, as a representation of ethnic tensions and discrimination as he is a Hazara, an ethnic group discriminated against in Afghanistan. He is constantly bullied for his ethnicity by the antagonists and this is used as a method to represent how racism sparked by war and poverty directly affecting the lifestyles of groups. Akram Sadat Hosseini corroborates by stating in their publication “The Kite Runner and the Problems of Racism and Ethnicity,”

“The novel The Kite Runner depicts the two major Afghan ethnical populations, Pashtun and Hazara, and their social, cultural, and religious conflicts.” (Hosseini 33).

Assef, the novel’s main antagonist, is the representation of perpetuated racism in the novel by joining the Taliban, in adulthood, which targets the Hazara group. Often this perspective is not presented or thought of as our point of view on world news is often limited to the effect events have no us; in this case, how the war on terror affected Americans, when throughout the Middle East there is constant dehumanization ethnic groups, families, and citizens.

 As readers, we evidently see Amir mature as he ages and begins to find his identity as the novel progresses toward its satisfactory resolution. The book succeeds in covering westernization and orientalist perceptions of people of the Middle East. The International Study of Interdisciplinary and Multidisciplinary Studies states,

“For the characters in The Kite Runner and even for Amir, who associates strongly with America, the Afghan subculture becomes the main point of identification. Interactions with non-Afghan Americans are scarce throughout the novel, highlighting a sense of exclusion for this Afghan community from broader American society and constructing them as outsiders. Amir‟s identification as American is possible because he achieves his American dream” (Saraswat 169).

When Amir immigrates to the United States we see that in American society, he means to support himself and his family. Simultaneously, the novel smoothly educates it audience on the political climate of 9/11 and the war on terror, xenophobia, and ethnic cleansing without ruining the pacing or plot. For these reasons, The Kite Runner is most definitely a book I would recommend for those who are beginning to grasp more serious tones and themes in literature.

Bibliography

Hosseini, Khaled. The Kite Runner. New York: Riverhead, 2003.

Singh, Amardeep. “Amardeep Singh: The Kite Runner”. Lehigh University, 10 August 2005. https://www.lehigh.edu/~amsp/2005/08/kite-runner.h tml. Accessed 20 February 2019.

Hosseini, Akram, and Zodhi Esmaeil. “The Kite Runner and the Problem of Racism and Ethnicity”. International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences. vol. 74, 8 July 2016, pp. 33-40. https://www.scipress.com/ilshs.74.33.pdf.Accessed 20 September 2018.

Saraswat Niraja. “Theme of Identity and Redemption in Khaleed Hossieni’s The Kite Runner”. International Journal of Interdisciplinary and Multidisciplinary Studies, vol. 1, no. 5, 2014, pp. 166-175. http://www.ijims.com/uploads/89d5501d7e7a1e187a62z ppd_576.pdf. Accessed 20 September 2018.

Anaerobic Capacity Training For A 400m Runner Physical Education Essay

The client is a 23 year old, county standard 400 meter runner. Upon arrival to the laboratory the athlete was measured and weighed on a standard stadiometer (Harpenden, Cambridge, UK) to the nearest 0.1 cm and 0.1 kg. Athlete height and weight was 176.8cm and 87.1kg respectively. The athlete was then seated on an mechanically braked Monark cycle ergometer (Model 894e Cranlea, Birmingham, UK) and began a 10 minute warm up corresponding to 2watts/kg at 70rpm (Palmer et al., 2008). Following the warm up, the athlete was instructed to increase the cadence to 100rpm. A 3 second countdown was given, and on 0 a fixed resistance of 0.075 kg/kilo of body mass was applied to the flywheel. On 0 the athlete was expected to be at a maximal sprinting pace (McArdle, Katch and Katch, 2006). The client was instructed to maintain maximal effort throughout the test. Immeidiantly after the test a capillary blood sample was taken from the right index finger and analysed for blood lactate (Lactate Pro, HAB Direct, UK). Peak power output (PPO) and mean power output (MPO) were 861Watts and 725Watts, or 9.88W/kg and 8.3W/kg when normalised for body weight, and a final blood lactate value of 7.8mmols.

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A 400 meter event will last anywhere between Ì´43 seconds to 2 minutes depending on ability. This event places a heavy reliance on both aerobic and anaerobic metabolism for energy production. This event requires maximal or near maximal utilization of the anaerobic glycolytic and phosphorylative pathways, as well as the provision of considerable aerobic energy is also required to perform these sustained high-intensity efforts (Duffield et al., 2005). Estimates of energy system contribution have typically been carried out using laboratory based test procedures, such as the accumulated oxygen deficit (AOD) and/or measures of glycolytic activity from blood lactate concentrations to estimate anaerobic contribution. This has lead to a relatively large range of values being reported, with values estimated at 36-72% anaerobic contribution (Duffield et al., 2005). Duffield et al., 2005 conducted a track based study utilizing both AOD and blood lactate data to estimate energy system contribution to 400 meter running, reporting the anaerobic contribution for each of these measures to be 59 and 65% respectively. This agrees with previous reports (Hill, 1999; Spencer and Gastin, 2001).
Intramuscular stores of PCr have been reported to be between 75-85.kg dry wt-1., with a maximal turnover rate of 7-9.kg dry wt-1.s-1 (Gaitanos, et al., 1993; Hultman & Sjoholm, 1983; Parolin, et al., 1999), enough to fuel approximately 5 seconds of maximal effort (Newsholme, et al., 1986). However, the contribution from anaerobic glycolysis and aerobic metabolism to the total ATP supply during maximal short duration efforts means that PCr stores are not usually depleted during this time (Spencer, et al., 2005). PCr stores are reduced by 60-80% of resting values following 30 seconds of maximal exercise (Medbo, et al., 1999; Boobis, et al., 1982; Cheetham, et al., 1986; Bogdanis, et al., 1995), which is similar to those reported in track sprinting (Spencer and Gastin, 2001).
Many other studies have investigated the energy system contribution during maximal sprint exercise of varying durations. Medbo, et al., (1999) assessed changes in muscle metabolites and ATP turnover, reporting the relative contributions from aerobic processes, anaerobic glycolysis and alactic anaerobic (ATP-PCr breakdown) processes during 30 seconds of maximal sprint cycling to be 38, 45, and 17% respectively. Other studies have also reported the contribution of aerobic sources to be between 28-40% during 30s of sprint cycling (Medbo & Tabata, 1989; Withers, et al., 1991). Sprint exercise of 10-30 seconds duration has been shown to be dependent on anaerobic glycolysis, with this energy system providing more than twice as much ATP as PCr degradation (47% to 22%) in one study (Medbo, et al., 1999).
These studies utilizing sprint cycling display slightly divergent energy system contributions compared to track based 400 meter running. This could be explained by the smaller active muscle mass compared to that of running (Medbo et al., 1999). It is also likely that the different muscle recruitment patterns that are observed during cycling compared to running lead to these differing results. However, the Wingate anaerobic power test provides a quick and convenient way to assess an athlete’s anaerobic power, which has been demonstrated to supply over half the ATP required for 400 meter running (Hill, 1999; Duffield, 2005).
Current training status of the athlete
The results displayed by the current athlete place him in the top 90% of physically active young adults for both peak and average power output. However when the data is normalised for body weight, the athletes PPO of 9.88w/k and MPO of 8.3W/kg place him within the 60th and 80th percentile respectively (McArdle Katch and Katch, 2005). When looking at sprint athletes these values become even more modest. Indeed, elite track sprint cyclists would be expected to produce a peak power >1700W during the kilo time trial. (Craig and Norton, 2001).
A study by Amusa and Toriola (2003) assessed the anaerobic power of elite national level track sprinters trained in 100, 200 and 400m running. The athletes assessed in this study produced PPO of 972W at 13.3 W/kg. The average power output for these athletes was lower than the client (624.6W), however there was a large range reported for this variable (264-624W) which may have skewed the results. It is likely that the 100meter runners would have produced a high initial power output during the initial 10 seconds of the test, dropping off dramatically from 10 – 30 seconds, due to the shorted nature of the 100m event.
The results discussed indicate that the athlete discussed here is some way of national standard levels, with 4W/kg a lot to have to make up. His high mean peak power value of 725W would indicate he can maintain a good pace throughout the race, but that his initial speed could be improved through a specific training programme. The results would also indicate that the client has a large body type for 400m sprinting. Typically 400m runners have a BMI of Ì´ 21kg/m2 (Amusa and Toriola, 2003; Duffield et al., 2005), however the clients BMI of 27.9 kg/m2 show that he could lose some body fat, which would increase his power to weight ratio and decrease his race times.
The client’s peak lactate value of 7.9mmol is also substantially lower compared to those observed at the end of 400m running. Duffield et al., (2005) reported blood lactate values of 13.9mmols immediately following a 400m race. Typically post Wingate lactate levels of 12mmols have also been reported (Gaitanos et al., 1993). The low blood lactate level achieved by the client may indicate that he derives a greater percentage of ATP from aerobic sources during the Wingate test, and potentially during 400m running If this is the case it may be that the client has a lower than optimal percentage of Type IIx muscle fibres, limiting his ability to produce energy anaerobically. The following section will discuss training processes that could be used to increase the client’s aerobic base and peak power output.
Training anaerob
ic capacity
Overall speed, or peak power output, is influenced by many things, such as heredity, reaction time, external resistance, technique (often where large improvements can be made)and muscle elasticity, and there are many methods that can be used to develop speed. Both the intensity and duration of the stimulus need to be optimally designed to achieve the greatest improvement. The intensity should range between sunmaximum and supermaximum. Furthermore the duration of the training stimuli is the time required to accelerate to maximum velocity. If this is too short then the client will not reach maximum speed. For sprinters the suggested duration is 5-20 seconds, with longer efforts enhancing anaerobic endurance (Bompa, 1999). The intervention described below utilises supermaximal intensities at a duration of 30 seconds.
As both aerobic and anaerobic sources are required for 400 meter running it is important to train both of these parameters. The client’s data would seem to indicate he needs to improve both his peak power output, and aerobic base in order to further reduce 400 meter running time. In order to achieve these aims high intensity sprint interval training could be used. This is a form of recurring sessions of brief, repeated bouts of very hard, and intense exercise, and has been demonstrated repeatedly to lead to rapid remodelling of skeletal muscle (Ross and Leveritt, 2001). This therefore could be an efficient and time saving strategy. By design, this type of training schedule, and time commitment, with a weekly exercise time of around 10 minutes.
A sprinter typically reaches maximal speed after 30meters, and maintains it for 80 meters (Harre, 1982). Athletes in sprint events improve further by improving power, speed endurance, and power endurance. SIT training rapidly improves speed endurance as discussed below.
The proposed training regime consists of repeated Wingate maximal sprint tests, interspersed with 4 minutes of light rest and recovery. This programme is carried out over a 2 week period and has been shown to increase a range of oxidative enzyme activities and increase cycle time trial performance. A training programme should theoretically adhere to the principles of training, namely, overload, progression, specificity, and recovery in order to produce the desired outcome. The client;s training status will only be improved by gradually increasing the load that his body is subjected to. The following training programme sufficiently stresses the client’s physiological systems by gradually increasing the required workload from 4 to 6 Wingate tests. This therefore increases the intensity and volume of the session. This resembles a form of step loading, which allows the training load to increase with a phase of unloading (rest and recovery) during which the client would adapt and regenerate (Bompa, 1999). It is known that one training session in insufficient to promote physiological adaptation and that it is necessary to repeat the same session several times. The proposed 2 week microcycle achieves this by including duplicate sessions before a step up in training load (table 1).
A continuation of this principle is that of progression. As the body’s physiological mechanisms adapt to the training stimulus being applied, there is a need for the training to be advanced. Otherwise the client will remain in a training plateau and will not respond to further training efforts (Brewer, 2005). This 2 week cycle clearly demonstrates a progression in the training load through increases in the number of Wingate’s performed.
A problem with the proposed training cycle relates to that of specificity. All training regimes need to (or should be) tailored to the specific demands of that sport, in this case 400m running. This maximises the benefits of competitive performance. When devising a training programme factors such as the bioenergetics of metabolism (i.e. the energy demand of the event/sport) and mechanical factors (musculo-skeletal requirements, i.e. similar movement patterns) involved in the specific movements of the sport need to be taken into account. Whilst cycling bears little resemblance to 400 m running, the use of repeated Wingate tests as a training stimulus will likely still lead to beneficial bioenergetic improvements that are the specific focus of this intervention (i.e. aerobic and anaerobic power). As the client will eventually need to work on power development to improve overall speed, the rapid adaptations and remodelling that will occur as a result of the Wingate training will likely aid this future process. The increases that will occur to muscle oxidative capacity, muscle buffering capacity, and decreases in net muscle glycongenesis and lactate accumulation. These factors are related to exercise tolerance, and thus may contribute to enhancing the ability of the client to train and compete at a high intensity (Hawley, 2002).
Finally, one of, if not the most important factors to consider are the length of recovery between training sessions. The act of training provides the stimulus for development, however the recovery period , when the body returns to normal homeostasis, are when these alterations in muscle physiology occur. An insufficient length of recovery will lead to overtraining, poor performance, and increased risk of injury (Brewer, 2005). Furthermore, if the recovery period is overlong, then the training effect will be lost. As this form of intense training will likely reduce the client’s net ATP stores, a sufficient recovery week afterwards must be employed. Training also depletes energy releasing fuels such as intramuscular glycogen, whilst waste products build up. Restoring these fuels and removing the metabolites requires a certain amount of time depending on the energy system used during the training session (Bompa, 1999).
This training outlined below will require the client to restore their phosphate and intramuscular glycogen stores, and remove the excess build up of lactate. During the 30 second period of the Wingate test it is likely that approximately 50% of the clients PCr stores will be depleted. The rest and recovery period during the protocol (4 minutes) allows ample time for the resynthesis of ATP-PCr. Phosphates are 50 – 70% restored after approximately 20-30 seconds of recovery, the remainder restored following a period of 3minutes. The 4 minutes of recovery leads to a 90% restoration of these stores, allowing the client to complete repeated maximal efforts, leading to the greatest overload and supercompensation (Bompa, 1999). At the end of the training bout it is likely that the client will have high blood lactate levels. Clearing these is important to ensure full recovery. This occurs in 2 phases: removing it from the muscle, and removing it from the blood. Passive rest and recovery removes lactate after approximately 2 hours. However active recovery consisting of light jogging, or walking removes this metabolite much quicker (1 hour) and would be recommended.
The next stage of recovery entails replacing the depleted glycogen store. The extent of depletion again depends on the length and intensity of the exercise bout. Indeed, several factors affect the rate and amount of recovery of glycogen stores following training. The manipulation of dietary carbohydrates leads to a positive effect on intramuscular CHO storage (Bompa, 1999). The 24 hour recovery period the client would receive would allow him to consume a large quantity of CHO in his diet, allowing full muscle glycogen restoration. A low CHO diet following this form of training will only allow a partial recovery of muscle glycogen and affect subsequent training performance. Recent research has shown that a high CHO diet following SIT training maintains performance in subsequent sessions (Burke et al., 2006). Balsom et al., (1999) examined the effects of a high or low CHO diet on intermittent sprint performance (6s bouts at 30s intervals), finding muscle glycogen was reduced by 50% in the low glycogen trial, leading to reductions in work output. Further support was also provided by Nevill et al., (1993). This group studied the effects of different CHO diets on 24 hour recovery. They reported the low CHO group to have a compromised work output in the subsequent training bout, whereas the high CHO group displayed only slight reductions in performance. Bangsbo et al., (1996) examined the effects of pre exercise CHO levels on intermittent running performance in footballers. The group of athletes studied were placed on either a high or normal CHO diet for 48 prior to completing an intermittent running protocol. The group of footballers that received a high CHO diet significantly increased their intermittent running time to fatigue by 1km. These studies show that higher pre exercise glycogen stores enhance ones capacity to undertake repeated bouts if high intensity exercise (Burke et al., 2006).
This clearly demonstrates the necessity of good nutrition following SIT type training, and the importance of recovery. The 24 and 48 hour recovery bouts suggested for the client should allow for adequate recovery during this training cycle, allowing him to complete each session at near maximal capacity.
Short term sprint interval training (SIT)
When developing a training programme for middle sprint athletes it is important to consider the aerobic and anaerobic contributions to overall performance. As previously discussed, during the 400meters, aerobic energy provision supplies approximately 40% of the ATP demand during the race, with anaerobic glycolysis and the PCr system accounting for the other 60%. The beginning of the sprint training program should build on the aerobic foundation on which the speed training has to rely (Bompa, 1999). Table 1 shows an intensive 2 week schedule designed to improve muscle oxidative capacity (Gibala et al., 2006). As the athlete approaches a competition phase the focus of training would emphasise maximum velocity, progressing from 10 to 15 to 30 to 60 meters.
Table 1. 2 week Training programme outline.
Week
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday
1
4 x 30s wingate, 4 mins recovery between reps
Rest
4 x 30s wingate, 4 mins recovery between reps
Rest
5 x 30s wingate, 4 mins recovery between reps
Rest
Rest
2
5 x 30s wingate, 4 mins recovery between reps
Rest
6 x 30s wingate, 4 mins recovery between reps
Rest
6 x 30s wingate, 4 mins recovery between reps
Rest
Rest
The training programme would consist of repeated 30s maximal Wingate test efforts, interspersed with 4 minute recovery or rest at 30W. The training load is progressed by increasing the number of repetitions from 4 to 6 over the 2 week period, as described by Gibala and co workers (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008). It is anticipated that following such a programme would enhance the client’s aerobic potential, laying the foundations for future improvements in speed.
Physiological adaptation to anaerobic training
Sprint interval training, characterized by recurring sessions of brief repeated bouts of very intense exercise, has been shown to be a potent stimulus for inducing metabolic adaptations in human skeletal muscle (Burgomaster et al., 2006). SIT has been shown to increases the maximal activities of mitochondrial enzymes (Salin et al., 1976), reduce glycogen utilization and lactate accumulation during matched work exercise (Burgomaster et al., 2006). Important for 400m performance, this form of training has also been shown to improve muscle buffering capacity (Edge et al., 2006). This may allow increased duration of maximal efforts due to an increased time until muscle homeostasis becomes disrupted, and maximal contraction rates begin to slow (Noakes et al, 2004).
The outlined training protocol has been consistently shown to lead to training induced increases in maximal activity of cytochrome c oxidase (COX) and the protein contents of COX subunits II and IV. This protocol was also found to lead to increases in skeletal muscle buffering capacity (Burgomaster et al., 2006, 2008). This form of training has also been shown to decrease net muscle glycongenesis and lactate accumulation via an increased capacity for pyruvate oxidation (Burgomaster et al., 2006). It is also possible that SIT may enhance the maximum capacity to oxidize pyruvate due to greater PDHa during exercise, leading to a slower rate of pyruvate presentation, allowing a greater proportion of it to be oxidized (Harmer et al., 2000). This form of intense training does however lead to decreased muscle ATP content (Ì´ 20%). During SIT type exercise AMP produced from ATP hydrolysis can be deaminated from by AMP deaminase, resulting in the formation of IMP and ammonia, possibly leading to further breakdown of IMP to inosine, and hypoxanthine, resulting in a net loss of adenine nucleotides from the muscle (Burgomaster et al., 2008) Replacing the purine nucleotides is a slow process, so a longer recovery and transition period at the end of such training would be necessary in order to achieve the full supercompensation.
However, these adaptations in skeletal muscle oxidative capacity over a short period of training also lead to significant improvements in power output and cycle time trial performance by approximately 9-10%. Continuing this programme for a longer period of time does not lead to a significantly greater increase in citrate sythase or COX , suggesting that most of the increases in mitochondrial enzyme activity and content occurs in the first few sessions of such activity (Burgomaster et al., 2008). This form of training could form a useful part of a 400m runners programme, allowing quick increases in aerobic ability, whilst maintaining the high intensity work required for the event.
 

Comparison between MacBeth and Kite Runner

It is often true that one ruins themselves when they betray a friend. Its always better to have an enemy that slaps you in the face than a friend who stabs you in the back as the saddest thing about betrayal is that it often comes from your dearest friend and not your worst enemy. Breaking someone’s trust is like crumpling a piece of paper, no matter how hard you try to smoothen it out back to its original state, it always remains the same. Similarly in William Shakespeare’s play ‘Macbeth’ and the novel ‘Kite Runner’ by Khaled Hosseini, both the authors used character and tropology to demonstrate how over ambition leads to the betrayal of a devoted friendship which results in a feeling of guilt and anxiety, making it difficult to live a peaceful life.

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Firstly, both pieces of literature used the ECD character to demonstrate the treacherous nature of true friends. When Macbeth was crowned as the new King, he started to fear that the witches apparitions will be correct and would be dethroned by one of Banquo’s descendants. This thought of selfishness and envy made him kill his closest friend, thus breaking their friendship once and for all. He tries to avoid his past actions by saying, “I drink to the general joy o’ th’ whole table. And to our dear friend Banquo, whom we miss.” (3.4.92-94). In this quote, we see Macbeth’s regret and remorse in his eyes for the sinful crime he committed as he stares at Banquo’s ghost. He tries to convince himself that he wasn’t responsible for Banquo’s death. It was his ambition that blinded him to betray one of his most loyal friends, and it is getting difficult for him to live with that feeling of guilt.

Furthermore, Amirs betrayal to Hassan by not helping him when he got raped showed how guilty he was when he tried to get rid of his best friend by framing him. Amir “lifted Hassan’s mattress and planted his new watch and a handful of Afghani bills under it” (Hosseini, 110). Amir always craved for Baba’s attention and had one opportunity to finally get his love, which was by winning the kite Tournament. When he cuts down the last kite, Hassan runs after it, which leads to the greatest betrayal a friend could do. Amir witnesses that Assef accompanied Hassan as he held Amir’s kite in his hand, refusing to let it go. Hassan gets beaten and raped for his actions, which were the price he had to pay for his loyalty. To this, Amir runs away closing his eyes as all he wanted was to win Baba’s love, even if it meant he had to betray his friend. Amir’s guilt of this unexpected event that occurred to Hassan caused him not to be able to confront him or be anywhere near him. He was shameful for his cowardly nature, and the more he looked at Hassan, the more difficult it became for him to live his life. He tried to get rid of Hassan by framing him. Thus, both Macbeth and Amirs overgrowing ambition along with their selfish nature blinded them to follow the right path of being loyal to their friends. They both tried to avoid their guilt by getting rid of their best friends. Macbeth got Banquo murdered, and Amir framed Hassan which made him leave their house.

Secondly, both William Shakespeare and Khaled Hosseini used the ECD tropology in the form of symbolism to show that ones betrayal always follows them till they concede their guilt. Macbeth’s hallucination, where he sees Banquo’s ghost, makes him go insane as he regrets betraying his faithful friend and confesses the crime. He starts talking with the spirit and says, “Thou canst not say I did it. Never shake Thy gory locks at me. Avaunt, and quit my sight! Let the earth hide thee. Thy bones are marrowless, thy blood is cold. Thou hast no speculation in those eyes. Which thou dost glare with! (3.4.100-105). The ghost of Banquo symbolized Macbeth’s guilt towards the betrayal of his best friend because he was the only one in the room seeing that evil spirit despite knowing that it was not real. Banquo’s ghost repeatedly appeared in front of Macbeth, which made him go insane in front of the other nobles. He failed to bury the guilt of Banquo’s death within him, which ultimately lead to his confession. As a result, Macbeth loses all the respect that he had as well as his ambition of becoming a worthy king.

Furthermore, Amirs guilt of being responsible for Hassan’s death and betrayal makes him delusional. He dreams of Hassan’s murder where he says, “I follow the barrel on its upward arc. I see the face behind the plume of smoke swirling from the muzzle. I am the man in the herringbone vest. I woke up with a scream trapped in my throat.” (Hosseini, 252). This dream symbolizes Amir being guilty of betraying Hassan. He always used to think of himself without realizing the consequences Hassan would have to face when he framed him by hiding the money under the mattress. If he had not done that, then Ali and Hassan would not have left them and moved to America, hence living a peaceful life. By seeing himself as Hassan’s murderer, he realizes how his ambition broke their friendship to such an extent that he is now convicted of being Hassan’s executioner instead of the Taliban man. He should have stood behind Hassan when he got raped. Instead of comforting him, he tried to avoid Hassan, making the matter even worse. This dream won’t let Amir live in peace and would always remind him of his sinful act as he now has to face the consequences of betrayal. Thus, both Macbeth and Amir failed to avoid their past as their alluring ambition turned out to be their greatest fear. They both became delusional and started to go insane when they realized that their betrayal came at a high cost. Their guilt made them recognize that it wasn’t their sins they hated, but themselves.

By avoiding the guilt of betrayal, one loses trust in themselves as they often cannot repent for their sinful acts and are haunted until they plead for forgiveness. In William Shakespeare’s play ‘Macbeth’ author used Macbeth’s character to demonstrate the consequences of betrayal he had to face once his growing ambition had taken control of his mind. Macbeth killed his friend Banquo just so that he could protect his position as a king and takes a shot of drink to forget his immorality, which represented his guilt. He is disturbed with his decision of Banquo’s carnage as it wasn’t him who was preventing Macbeth to be King, but his sons. Moreover, when Macbeth sees an illusion of Banquo’s spirit, he jumps up with fear and confesses his deeds. This delusion symbolized Macbeth’s guilt as he goes insane and regrets betraying one his loyal friends.

Similarly, in the novel ‘Kite Runner’ by Khaled Hosseini, the author’s creative use of both character and tropology helps demonstrate how Amir had to face the harms of betrayal when he ran away like a coward after witnessing Hassan’s rape and tried to get rid of him to overcome his guilt. Moreover, when Amir dreams about Hassan’s death, where he sees himself as the executioner, symbolized the guilt he was trying to hide from. Thus it can be concluded that one must not betray their loved ones no matter how enticing their ambition is, as then, they would be haunted by the fear of guilt.

Works Cited

Hosseini, Khaled. The Kite Runner. New York: Riverhead Books, 2003.

Shakespeare, William. Macbeth. Edited by Ken Roy, Harcourt Canada, 2001.

 

The Kite Runner: The Feminist Critique

In Khaled Hosseini’s novel, “The Kite Runner”,  Hosseini displays how conservative Afghan society views women as being innately inferior to their male counterparts throughout the novel.  He displays the lack of female agency in many ways.  Hosseini uses the character of Sanabur; Hassan’s mom , Khanum; General Taheri’s wife and Soraya; Amir’s wife to represent the many different ways sexisim is carried out in the Afghan society as well as the injustices in which women in Afghanistan are subjected to on the daily basis. When analyzing Khaled Hosseini’s, The Kite Runner through a feminist perspective it evidently showcases the impact that gender has on society and the characters through the male chauvinist perspective, sexism, enforced gender roles, double standards and patriarchy present in the novel. 

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In Khaled Hosseini’s novel, “ The Kite Runner”, women are viewed and degraded as sexual objects by men.  The first act of oppression that occurs in this novel is when Hassan and Amir are walking along a Soviet military barrack on their way back from the movie theaters and that is when suddenly a group of soldier’s yell absurd things regarding Hassan’s mother, Sanaubar. : “I knew your mother, did you know that? I knew her real good.  I took her from behind by that creek over there. […] What a tight little sugary cunt she had!” (Hosseini, Page 7).   The Soviet Union soldiers are using very explicit language referring to Sanaubar and are completely dehumanizing her by only addressing her as some type of sex object that’s sole purpose is for her to give them pleasure and not referring to her as an actual human being; an equal. The soldier also doesn’t look past Sanaubar’s physical attributes.  Not only does he objectify Hassan and Sanaubar he also uses his position in society as a male and as a soldier knowing well enough that he can degrade women and taunt individuals that are Hazaras who are the targeted minority in Afghanistan without any repercussions.  The soldier also knows that Hassan won’t stick up for himself because if he ever did he would have suffered severe consequences from the presumably armed soldiers.    The second act of sexisim that occurs in this novel is when Baba and Amir were fleeing Afghanistan as refugees in a truck with many other families.  When they passed an Afghan-Russian checkpoint a Russian soldier dehumanizes and humiliates a women as a form of payment or tax to let them pass the checkpoint.:  “The soldier wanted a half hour with the lady in the back of the truck. […] It’s his price for letting us pass, […] he says every price has a tax.” (Hosseini, Page 115). The truck with the smuggled refugees was supposed to have no trouble crossing through the Soviet Union-Afghani checkpoint due to connections that the driver Karim had.  But as soon as they ran into one of the checkpoints all of the Afghan soldiers let the truck pass with no conflict, but one of the Soviet Union soldiers eyes a women in the truck and  demands that in order for him to allow the truck to pass by that he would have to have half and hour with the lady as some kind of payment.  In this situation the women was dehumanized and humiliated in front of everyone, with predatory glances that everyone in the truck saw directed at her that displayed that the soldier only viewed her as an object for him to fulfil his sexual fantasy. The soldier uses his gender and authority as an advantage to oppress and dominate the women knowing very well that she cannot reject him without any serious consequences being inflicted onto her.  Without Baba’s (a dominant male) interference there would have been no doubt that women would have been sexually assaulted by the corrupt soldier. Overall in the novel it is evident that males are dominant over females.  Males abuse their authority and power in order to oppress females, which leads males to see females as the inferior sex and thus treat them as subhuman.  
In Hosseini’s novel, “The Kite Runner”  women’s roles are dictated by men whether it be male relatives or a husband and if a women decided to not obey they are subjected to several consequences.  Men in the novel are raising their daughters to be domestic figures such as being a submissive wife, mother and daughter but they are belittling them for not having the ability to critically think:   “While you’re busy knitting sweaters, my dear, I have to deal with the community’s perception of our family” (Hosseini, Page 360).  In this case this quotation displays that men in the novel are expecting women to do great feats with little to no support.  They are raising their own daughters to become submissive to men;  to only exist in the domestic and private sphere.  In this specific quotation the General Taheri is talking to his daughter Soraya belittling her saying that all she has to do is do household chores when he has to carry the family’s reputation which he considers is the tough job.  Secondly, when women get married their husbands are the ones that make the decisions for what they can and cannot do and the women are expected to obey which results in women giving up many of their hobbies that they partake in their lives in order to please their husbands and male relatives.  A quote that highlights this point is: “That she could never sing in public had been one of the generals conditions when they had married […] Khanum wanted to sing at our marriage but the general gave her one of his looks and the matter was buried.” (Hosseini, Page 177).  This quotation is in reference to General Taheri when he forbid Khanum Taheri to sing in public as an agreement for their marriage, but Khanum asks him if she could bend this one rule for her daughter’s marriage ceremony but he shoots her a glare and that the matter was over.  This specific quotation showcases that men have the highest power out of the two sexes and that women in the novel are treated as their husbands property where the husband makes all the decisions for her and the women is expected to be submissive.   Women also have no voice and say on anything that they do it has to run through a male figure and be approved before they carry on with it.  They are also expected to be very obedient to their husbands like in this case how Khanum’s idea to sing was shot down completely by one look from her dominant husband with Khanum not discussing or arguing the topic after.        
In Khaled Hosseini’s novel, female characters are subjected to many cultural stereotypes that they are required to abide by or they risk shunning or alienation from their own families, relatives and their communities leaving them with no support. Double standards are present throughout this novel more specifically when Soraya decided to run away with her Afghan boyfriend and start a new life with him many years ago.  Soraya states: “Their sons go out to nightclubs looking for meat and get their girlfriends pregnant out of wedlock and no one says a goddamn thing.  Oh, they’re just men having fun! I make one mistake and suddenly everyone is talking […] I have to have it rubbed to my face for the rest of my life.”  (Hosseini,  Page 179)  Over here Soraya (Amir’s Wife) is seen in the novel slamming Afghan culture for its double standard between males and females.  She has witnessed this double standard herself when she decided at the age of eighteen to run away with her boyfriend off to a disclosed location and start a new life there together but she quickly became the new gossip of the Afghan community in the United States, where they would say many disrespectful phrases and terms behind her back to one another.  When she decided to return back to her parents home she gets completely shunned by the Afghan community in her region.  Fast forward to five years later people are still gossiping and keeping their distance away from Soraya due to the fact that she ran away off with a boyfriend which in her case is completely ignoring the cultural stereotypes and rules of the Afghan society.  Moreover, this quote voices Soraya’s frustrations about the double standards in the Afghan community and how males can go out and do whatever they please like go out to clubs and have relationships with people of the opposite sex and engage in sexual activity and not fear being shunned by their entire family and community but as soon as a female decides to interact with the opposite sex or have a long term boyfriend and engage in sexual activities then suddenly there is a pandemonium and they are either shunned by their communities or are the topic of gossip within the community for years to come.  Throughout the novel it is very evident that Amir is aware of the double standards that are present within the Afghan community and culture.  A passage in the novel reads: “I heard you write. How did she know? I wondered if her father had told her, maybe she had asked him. I immediately dismissed both scenarios as absurd. Fathers and sons could talk freely about women. But no Afghan girl – no decent and mohtaram Afghan girl, at least – queried her father about a young man. And no father, especially a Pashtun with nang and namoos, would discuss a mojarad with his daughter, not unless the fellow in question was a khastegar, a suitor, who had done the honorable thing and sent his father to knock on the door. (Hosseini, Page 128-129).  Amir is well aware of his privilege as a male and that he has more leniency then other women in the novel as he states later on: “I cringed a little at the position of power I’d been granted, and all because I had won at the genetic lottery that had determined my sex.” (Hosseini , Page 157) Even though Amir is an Afghani male he was brought up by a very liberal father and that is why he sees that there is a clear double standard in the Afghan community. Soraya asks him if he writes and he quickly believes that she only knows this because her father had told her that but he quickly realises that in the conservative Afghan culture fathers cannot talk to their daughters about men because that would show that the Afghan girl does not have decency for her self and the only time where it was allowed for a father and daughter talk about a man was if the man was bachelor that her father thought would be suitable for her as a husband.  But on the other hand fathers and sons can talk freely about other women and nothing is presumed negatively about the son.
References

Hosseini, Khaled. The Kite Runner. Anchor Canada, 2003.

https://www.shmoop.com/kite-runner/principles-quotes.html