Carnal Appetites: An Exploration of the Representation of Physiological Needs in Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner Using Maslow’s Need Theory



The way culture molds human needs and adapts them to the requirements of social status are some of the concerns of the authors who are interested in delineating psychosocial bonding through fictitious characters and situations. In this paper, I ask what physiological needs are and how they control the behavior of the characters in the novel The Kite Runner (2003) written by Khaled Husseini. This paper highlights the social conditions of Afghans, the way Hosseini describes through the fictional characters, and the kind of challenges they face in coming to grip with the needs spread over the ladder given by Abraham Maslow and the different avenues for their gratification that are open to those involved in this matrix. What it makes obvious is the fact that using Maslow’s insights as our theoretical framework helps us understand the internal workings of the characters in the novel the way Hosseini masterfully captures them with a sensitivity to their physiological needs where if one rises above his limitation (Zaman), the other descends even further in pursuit of physiological needs (Taliban official).