Freakonomics vs. Kite Runner

Stevem D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner in their book “Freakonomics” bring out a non fictional book that is a collection of economic articles. They express the standards of neoclassical microeconomic model based on rational utility maximization. They describe economics in as a root and as the learning of incentives. With its six chapters it explores the immorality in the society such as drug abuse, abortion, cheating, and the impacts of good parenting on social evil (Hosseini, 2004).  

Its major themes include; perception, place/location, men inhumanity to man, human/environment interaction, movement, and region. The authors apply economics to address issues that face society, for example real estates, crime, parenting, abortion, and wrestling. They give a balance between morality and economics. Morality drives the main way that society behaves rightfully; while economics gives the world means to work.

Khaled Hosseini in the book “Kite Runner” narrates the story of a young boy named Amir livening in Kabul and his friend Hassan the servant’s son working for his father. This friendship is unique since Hassan is discriminated against and goes through difficult problems such as being beaten and raped. The events that unfold occur during the Soviet attack of the Afghanistan’s monarchy which contributed to mass movement of refugees from their land to United States and Pakistan. It also led to the emergence of Taliban revolutionary regime.

The themes include; that of strong character, resilience of the human spirit, men inhumanity to man, family relationship between family, loyalty and devotion, discrimination, caste system/class structure, sin and redemption, violence, coming of age, politics, loyalty, power, religion, happiness, cultural differences ethnic tension, cowardice, searching for identity, and fear.

The theme of religion

Religion is a set of practices that give reference to a supreme being by individuals of the society. The supreme is credited for the existence of the universe and all devotion and ritual rites are observed in honor of the Supreme Being. Whether it is a deity or truth people of the society identify themselves with religion so as to have morality in society and to control social evils that may occur. Different religions have different ways of prayer, mediation, music, ritual, art, and belief (Levitt & Dubner, 2005).

Religion has been tackled by both books in relation to society actions. In the Kite Runner the set up and environment can be identified as mostly Islamic, this is dominant in the Middle East. The author refers to the Islamic faith beliefs and its tradition and a key role of Islam is developed in the story. Various people interpret religion differently thus giving a more diverse view in the book. Islam has also been view as a sign of Hassan’s cruelty and the amount of discrimination he is going through.

The theme of religion goes hand in hand with the theme of resilience of the human spirit where guilt eats up the spirit which directs characters to avoid social evils and suffering of other characters to protect their souls (Levitt & Dubner 2005). In Freakonomics the authors portray a society that uses economics and deals with economic activities that are social evils in a means to earn wealth such as; drug dealing. Other social evils that are against religion include abortion and crime. This may be the reason that the author gave the title “exploring the hidden sides of everything”.

The religious view of the novel comes in when such social evils are integrated with economics and though they give high returns they are rejected as plans to acquire wealth. Parenting is also another factor that we see religion in freakonomics in view of the fact that parents would want their children follow the best belief and practices. When parenting the parent or guardian dictates which religion or set of practices the child follows. With such beliefs many social evils are evaded since children are shaped to follow best practices.

In the Kite Runner Amir becomes a perfect example in the theme of religion and practices with a passion in such as way likely to suggest that his faith acted more to relieve himself from guilt and it was more of repentance than alteration. Baba’s viewed sin as if theft was the major sin of them all while all the others stemmed up from theft. Sin was also a reproach and telling a lie was regarded as stealing another person’s right to knowing the truth (Levitt & Dubner, 2005).

Taking alcohol was also regarded as a an abomination and this made people hide while doing it so as to respect other members of society. This is known to be the rules of the Islamic faith where drinking is forbidden. These rules gave the society a restriction in committing social evils since many will fear being punished. Though Amir Father was religious he disliked the clergymen and clerics who wanted to impose certain religious beliefs on other citizens who were following strictly religion and gave no space to sins, or common human errors.

Amor Father on the other hand influence Amor not to have strict reference for traditional values of religion which ensured that he was able to fit in society and more still made him discover happiness with Soraya (Hosseini, 2004). Nevertheless Amor is seen to go back to the abandoned religious traditions when his father becomes ill so as to find a solace and this continues even after his father’s death and after marrying. The theme of religion in both books can be said to be a necessary idea since it always affected morality of individuals which both books address.