Discuss how the author introduces us to a main character in the novel, and how this character and their journey help you understand one or more significant themes/ideas.
Techniques could include figures of speech, syntax, word-choice, style, symbolism, structure, or narrative point-of-view
Amir and techniques that the narrator uses to describe his story and life.
”That was a long time ago, but it’s wrong what they say about the past, I’ve learned, about how you can bury it. Because the past claws its way out. Looking back now, I realise I have been peeking into that deserted alley for the lat twenty-six years”. The Kite runner is a novel that tells the story of a young boy Amir and how he was torn away from His best friend Hassan by the Russian invasion that happened in Afghanistan in December of 1979. Amir and Hassan were basically brothers and loved one another. Although Hassan and Amir loved each other, Hassan was a Hazara and he served with his father as Amir and Baba (Amir’s father) ”Servant”. The Kite runners author Khaled Hosseini uses many language techniques that enforce the story and the most important ones are Narrative point of view, foreshadowing and the choice of words. These techniques help develop the character, which in this case is Amir, so we can get a better understanding of the characters motives and traits as the readers.
Narrative point of view, in this novel our author is portraying the life of Amir through first person. When something is written in first person we as the readers are able to understand the characters feelings and thoughts. It also allows us as readers to get a perspective of how hard these times must have been and it allows us to get a perspective as if we were standing in the characters shoes, which gives us, the readers more insight and emotional grasp of the characters. This language feature is shown prominently throughout the novel through quotes. “I was going to win, and I was going to run that last kite. Then I’d bring it home and show Baba. Show him once and for all that his son was worthy”. Amir has this self thought while he was in the middle of kite running, Kite running is a huge sport in Afghanistan and involves cutting down opponents kites then chasing down the grounded kites that had been cut down. This quote makes the readers believe that Amir cares very much about his father and would try his best to please him. This quote also shows that Amir has great confidence in himself and believes that if he sets his mind to it, he can do it. Another quote in this novel that shows narrative point of view is. “In the end, I ran. I ran because I was a coward. I was afraid of Assef and what he would do to me”. This quote comes at one of the more crucial points of the Novel, When Amir leaves Hassan to be raped by Assef and his friends. This quote shows that Amir is a passive young man and although he is basically brothers with Hassan he will run away if it means he stays out of trouble and out of Harm. This quote also shows that Amir was fearful of Assef and what he could do to harm him. Not only was he fearful of Assef, he was fearful that his Dad, Baba would disown him if he was beaten or bullied by assef as Baba wanted Amir to be more of a man and stand up for himself.
The second language technique that the author uses is foreshadowing. Foreshadowing is a the technique of indicating and warning of a future event. In this case the narrator often uses foreshadowing to signal future events that are going to happen in the novel, These features of foreshadowing are shown through quotes and are frequently shown at the end of chapters and paragraphs. “I became what I am today at the age of twelve, on a frigid overcast day in the winter of 1975. I remember the precise moment, crouching behind a crumbling mud wall, peeking into the alley near the frozen creek. That was a long time ago, but it’s wrong what they say about the past, I’ve learned, about how you can bury it. Because the past claws its way out. Looking back now, I realise I have been peeking into that deserted alley for the last twenty-six years”. This quote illustrates foreshadowing in a variety of ways. This quote starts of with the line of “That was a long time ago”, this shows that Amir was reflecting on the past and how he has already lived through the moment. “The past claws its way out”. This part of the quotation indicates that Amir has been felling guilty for too long and has been oppressing his feelings about what had happened to Hassan in that alley way and is now starting to realise that he needs to make right. This quote from Amir makes us as the readers anxious and nervous as too what happens later in the novel, This enables us as the readers to get much more envolved with the novel and keeps us entertained.”I suddenly had the feeling I was looking at two faces, the one I knew … and another, a second face, this one lurking just beneath the surface.” This quote shows us as the reader that Amir was starting to get a new impression of Hassan ands that these two friends were getting torn apart. This quote is very subtle but underlies a great point. It shows us as the readers that some people will be loyal till the end even though it may be extremely hard, In this case this is Hassan. The underlying part of foreshadowing in this quote indicates that Amir and Hassan may be splitting apart later in the novel.
The last language feature that the author uses in this Novel is symbolism. Symbolism represents qualities and beliefs on life. In this case, the Kite runner uses the kite as the major symbol in the novel. The kite that is used for symbolism is the Kite that Amir cut down to win the kite running competition with. Once Amir cut down the opponents kite Hassan insisted that he go and collect the final kite for Amir to win the competition, “For you a thousand times over”, Hassan said. Whilst Hassan went to get the kite for Amir he was stopped by Assef and his friends. After beating and abusing Hassan they did the unthinkable and raped him. Amir not knowing where Hassan had got to went to check where he was, to his surprise he was being tormented by Assef and his terrible friends. Amir had a choice to make go and help Hassan and possibly get beaten and never get the kite or wait, Gaining the kite and his fathers gratification. In the end Amir ran as his fathers respect meant more to him than to help Hassan. The underlying symbolism used in this part of the Novel is the Kite. The kite is in the middle for Amir as he could go and save his friend and lose the kite and possibly never get it back or wait and get the kite to impress father, Baba. The Kite shows that some things can be so important to people that they will turn their backs on people they loved.
The narrator, Khaled Hosseini uses many techniques in the Novel, the Kite runner. The techniques of Narrative point of view, Foreshadowing and Symbolism help us as the readers understand Amir and his story from guilt to redemption. The narrator does a great job in keeping the readers interested with these language techniques and keeps us as the readers entertained. “Do you want me to run that kite for you?”.