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The Great Gatsby and The Kite Runner

Both of them address common themes such as racism and adultery.


Racism
TGG: The Great Gatsby has Tom Buchanan as a form of dislikeable
antagonist character who spouts racist comments that wouldnt be too hard
to find in 1920s America. Its up to us, who are the dominant race, to watch
out or those other races will have control of things. (Pg19) Nick also displays
a slightly racist attitude as he remarks on a limousine passed us, driven by
a white chauffeur, in which sat three modish Negroes (pg58). He seems
surprised that the chauffeur is white and his employers are black rather than
the more typical other way round. He also notes that anything can happen
now that were over that bridge, showing a racist attitude as hes genuinely
surprised about seeing a white man driving a black man around, and seems
to see it as an act of madness, down the rabbit hole if you will.
TKR: The Kite Runner also contains a racist attitude worthy of note, this time
towards the Hazaras. This is most obvious when it is directed at Ali, as the
locals call him flat nosed after his distinctive Hazara Mongoloid features.
This racism seems to be institutionalised in that school textbooks barely
mentioned them and referred to their ancestry only in passing. This shows
that the Afghanistani people have been conditioned to shun the Hazaras,
much as the white majority in 1920s America were conditioned to do the
same to the black populace.
Adultery
TGG: A toxic double standard existed in the Roaring Twenties concerning
adultery, as men were socially permitted to have mistresses and would
regularly speak about them to their friends, while women were ostracised if
they had an extramarital partner. This is represented in TGG with the
Buchanan family, as Tom is known to have a mistress (Myrtle) while Daisy
must remain loyal to Tom. These mistresses are either single or have
husbands who are sufficiently intimidated by either their wife or her lover to
speak up, like Mr Wilson. She [Myrtle] smiled slowly and, walking through
her husband as if he were a ghost, shook hands with Tom, looking him flush
in the eye. (26)
TKR: 1970s Afghanistan displays a negative attitude to adultery (unlike the
passive attitude in TGG) where both the man and woman are condemned to
be at fault. However, rather than being sympathetic with the cuckolded, they
tend to viciously attack them. This is seen to happen to Ali, as even his wife
taunts him about his appearance even as it is common knowledge that she is

an adulteress. I have seen donkeys better suited to being a husband than


him.