The Author and His Times:
The author of The Kite Runner is named Khaled Hosseini. He was born in Kabul, Afghanistan on March 4 in the year 1965. Khaled’s mother worked as a teacher and his father worked as a diplomat. He was the eldest of five children which was explained how he had to be a role model for his siblings. In 1976, Khaled and his loving family moved to Paris because of his father’s work. They moved to California in 1979 because of the soviet invasion at his original home which made a huge impact on Khaled and his family. The invasion affected Khaled and led him to keep pursuing his dreams. For example in the Encyclopedia Britannica, it says, “The Kite Runner was praised for its powerful storytelling, but it was, at times, dismissed by critics for elements considered melodramatic” (Pallardy and Luebering). Khaled created a story from his past experiences.
He attended Santa Clara University where he majored in biology and also attended medical school in 1989. He began working on The Kite Runner before practicing medicine at the University of San Diego which changed his whole life. The novel was a huge success in his career even though he was not a professional writer. He was just an amazingly smart and talented person who wrote for fun. The novel was published in 2003 and is said to be an amazing and inspiring novel. Khaled Hosseini wrote The Kite Runner because he was inspired by his past experiences such as leaving his home. The soviet invasion was part of the reason why he wrote the novel and part of the reason why he became such an inspirational writer. In the novel, it says, “It always hurts more to have and lose than to have in the first place” (Hosseini 211).
Khaled Hosseini is known for his motivational quotes from his novels which were inspired by his experiences as a child. These experiences from the soviet invasion of Afghanistan impacted and made the novel what it is today because it played a huge part in why Khaled Hosseini created it. He and his family were going to move back to Kabul after being in Paris, but they didn’t because it was too dangerous to move back. The danger and theme of The Kite Runner is very similar with the soviet invasion in Afghanistan because it shows how two boys fight through it. They have to suffer and pursue as Khaled Hosseini did when he had to move to California. The invasion was very dangerous because multiple soviet troops took over Kabul and multiple areas of Afghanistan politicaly and militarily. The novel was created because Khaled Hosseini had to go through lots of things with his family.
Form, Structure, and Plot:
The novel The Kite Runner written by Khaled Hosseini is very organized and has lots of different text structures to show dreams, flashbacks, foreshadowing, climax, turning points, revision, nightmares, and parallel structure. These different text structures are used throughout the novel to show suspense and a better understanding of the details and themes in the chapters. The novel has 25 chapters with an foreword and afterword to explain why and how the author wrote The Kite Runner. This structure and organization of the text impacts the reader because it tells them details before, after, and during the story. It also shows how events are resolved by cause and effect. In the novel, dreams are established throughout the text to show how hope is expressed. The different characters have dreams to hope for a better future ahead. In chapter eight, its says, “I thought about Hassan’s dream, the one about us swimming in the lake. There is no monster, he’d said, just water.
Except he’d been wrong about that. There was a monster in the lake. It had grabbed Hassan by the ankles, dragged him to the murky bottom. I was that monster” (Hosseini 86). The dream that Amir has shows the reader what the character is thinking about. He realizes he has been dragging his friend down instead of being a good friend. This text structure shows the reader clues and a better understanding of the characters. Hosseini uses flashbacks to show the reader what is happening outside the climax of the novel. The novel begins in 2001 and ends in 2002 which shows how the narrator grows up. He talks about his past and his experiences he has been through which tells the reader who the character is. Amir begins to tell his childhood in the beginning of the novel and then he grows into a man at the end. He says, “I became what I am today at the age of twelve, on a frigid overcast day in the winter of 1975” (Hosseini 1). This is foreshadowing because Amir is explaining how his past brought him to who he is today. The chapter also starts out with “December 2001” because it tells the reader a date in which Amir starts telling his story. Flashbacks and foreshadowing come into play in the novel because it hints the reader what will be coming next and how the reader was shaped throughout it.
In the middle of the story is where all the suspense and drama is. The suspense in the story shapes the novel and shows the strong organization it has from beginning to end. This is called the climax which is in different novels to express drama. The climax of the novel is where the most action is or where there is mystery and suspense. In The Kite Runner, Amir finds out Sohrab, his half nephew, was taken by the Taliban. The suspense and mystery to where he went is the climax of the story. It also shows how Sohrab has been sexualy abused by the taliban when Amir rescued him. This part of the story tells the reader the evil part of the story and it is the biggest problem in the novel. In the novel it says, “Sohrab looked down at his feet, but kept stealing shy, furtive glances at me. The man’s hand slid up and down the boy’s belly” (Hosseini 391).
The way Assef touches Sohrab shows how he abuses the boy in an evil way. The climax of the story is where the evil, mystery, and suspense is. The author also uses techniques of text structure such as parallel structure. He uses parallel structure to show the repetition of events that are very similar in the story. This allows the text to come together very efficiently and it makes the novel very organized. Parallel structure is used in parts of the novel such as kite running in two different parts of the story. In the beginning of the novel, Hassan runs the kite for Amir because he was a very good kite runner and it showed his love for his friend. It also showed how much Hassan cared for Amir. After Hassan brought the kite back to Amir, he said, “For you a thousand times over”(Hosseini 71). This quote is also repeated at the end of the novel when Sohrab is still getting used to living in San Francisco with Amir and his wife. Amir tells him all about his father, Hassan, and how he used to fly kites.
When Amir says the same exact quote to Sohrab, the reader gets reassured that everything will be alright. It shows how Sohrab will be loved by Amir and he will protect him for the rest of his life. Parallel structure is also shown in two other parts of the novel when Assef is threatened by getting shot in the eye with a slingshot. At the beginning of the novel, Amir was getting pushed around by Assef and his evil friends. Hassan protected him by threatening him with a slingshot. In the novel, it said, “Hassan held the slingshot pointed directly at Assef’s face. His hand trembled with the strain of the elastic band and beads of sweat had erupted on his brow” (Hosseini 42). The fact that Hassan had a slingshot pointed at Assef’s face shows his bravery and how much he cares for Amir. This also happened when Sohrab was protecting Amir from getting beat up by the older Assef who worked for the Taliban. It says, “ The slingshot made a thwiiiiit sound when Sohrab released the cup.
Then Assef was screaming (Hosseini 291). Even though Sohrab knew what Assef would do to him if he got caught, he still protected Amir. The parrallel structure shows the reader how much the two characters are alike and how much bravery they show. Turning points are also shown in the novel such as when Hassan and Amir’s relationship come to an end. This affects the whole story because Amir feels guilty for lying and blaming Hassan for the things he has been doing. The author creates turning points in the story to show the reader what it was like before and after Hassan and Amir had a relationship. Things began to change when Hassan left and Amir began to feel different throughout the story. Hassan had a great impact on Amir and he didn’t even know it.
Point of view:
The Kite Runner is written in first person point of view which is referred to as “I”. This is important to the technique and writing of the text because it tells the reader what their thoughts are about the person. It also tells you specific details to what people look, sound, and act like. It is almost as you are looking through the main characters eyes and picturing what he is seeing. The novel is written in a reminiscence and recent perspective which is recent and past tense. The novel starts out with the year “December 2001” to show that he is reminiscing about his past with his best friend that he no longer has.
The novel changes to a recent perspective when Amir is now older and begins to rescue Sohrab. Since the novel is in first person point of view, the main character, Amir is the protagonist. He is a protagonist because it is his story and he is talking about his own childhood and events he had to go through. He went through mistakes of his own such as being selfish and not appreciating what he has. Amir is not an observer because the novel was about him and how his life was created. An observer only observes what is happening to someone else going through hardships. The point of view shifts to another person in the novel named Rahim Khan. It says, “Then Rahim Khan sipped some more tea. Rested his head against the wall and spoke” (Hosseini 202). The shift from the two narrarators in the story impacts the reader because it shows both of their emotions and perspectives. The reader learnes more about Hassan and his past when Rahim Khan tells his story.
The author’s purpose of switching narrarators is to explain two different point of views of Hassan. It tells the reader what Hassan’s family was like before he died and also how happy he was. Switching narrarators between Amir and Rahim impacts the entire novel because it shows what Hassan was like after leaving Amir and their friendship. Different point of views in novels can impact the reader because it can give the reader a better understanding of characters such as Hassan. Since Amir and Hassan did not keep in touch, Rahim tells us what he was like by his perspective and eyes. Point of view can show the reader what their feelings are and what emotions they have when they are thinking. First person point of view affects the reader because it shows us what happens through the character’s eyes and how different they are. It also shows the reader the differences between Rahim Khan and Amir by the way they are thinking and reacting to different situations. Rahim is very close to Hassan and respects him while Amir did not respect him until he was gone.
Amir is a main character in the novel that is a dynamic and has a rounded personality. The dynamic character that he is means that he changes over time. He changes from a disrespectful young boy to a brave older man. For example, Amir always treated Hassan very poorly even thought they had a very close relationship. It was always Amir who became angry of Hassan because he was not getting any attention from his father. He was always treating Hassan as a person who was a different culture than him and he always thought Hassan was lower than him. For example Amir began to resent Hassan and said, “Your a coward!” (Hosseini 92). Amir was changing from being into a close relationship with Hassan, to being full of hatred. An example of a static character is Hassan because he hasn’t changed as a person throughout the story no matter how much he has gone through. Hassan was just an innocent boy in the beginning of the story.
He never changed from being innocent and respectful when growing up into a man. Hassan is a person who is caring, respectful, appreciative, and brave as a boy and as a grown up. He cares for his friend Amir even when they don’t agree on certain things and also he is very respectful when Baba is talking to him. Even though he isn’t treated the same as Amir and his family, he still is very kind and respects his superiors. For example in the novel, it says, “ Hassan did get up, but he just stood there, looking dazed like a man dragged into the ocean by a riptide when, just a moment ago, he was enjoying a nice stroll on the beach” (Hosseini 92). After Amir was yelling at Hassan to hit him with pomagranets, Hassan just stood there and didn’t do anything to Amir. He stood there while getting pelted and splattered and didn’t react in any harm to Amir. Hassan is respectful and knows doing harm to anyone is not effective. He is also very brave at times when he is standing up for Amir. He stood up for Amir when Assef was bullying them in the alley.
Hassan threatened to hit him with his slingshot if he didn’t stop messing with Amir. This shows his bravery because Assef is very powerful and could do anything to Hassan at any time in the future. The characters of the novel are very believable because the reader can understand how they are feeling. It gives the reader a sensation of what the characters are going through. The different characters in The Kite Runner are revealed in parts such as brave, respectful, and genuine. In other parts they are revealed as cowardly, fearful, and horrific. The complex characters of the novel are Amir and Hassan because the reader has a better understanding of their personalities. They are portrayed differently in parts of the novel which makes the reader understand who they truly are. There are thirteen characters in the novel that the reader can understand how they act and what their personalities are. All of the characters have things in similar because they are going through the same situations in the war.
They are also very different because they grew up differently and they have contrasting feelings and emotions. The protagonist is Amir because the reader sees what he is feeling through his perspective and it shows his feelings throughout the novel. We see him change as a character from the beginning to the end of the story. The role of minor characters such as Baba, Ali, and Soraya are there to cause tension in the main characters. Amir’s father causes him to struggle when trying to impress him. That is why Amir is always wanting to impress his father by leaving Hassan behind. The minor characters affect the main characters emotions and reactions. One character of the novel is Amir who is a younger boy in the beginning of the story but also grows up into a man at the end of the story. He is described as a sensitive, intelligent, and jealous person in parts of the story. Amir’s appearance in not expressed in the novel but he is portrayed as a privileged, Pashtun boy who comes from a well-known family. Amir’s function in the novel is being the main character and also the novel is shown by his own eyes and perspective. His name is significant in the novel because it is said multiple times when he was a boy and an older man.
It is a common arabic name that describes what culture he is. In the novel, it says, ““I actually aspired to cowardice, because the alternative, the real reason I was running, was that Assef was right: Nothing was free in this world. Maybe Hassan was the price I had to pay, the lamb I had to slay, to win Baba.” (Hosseini 68). Amir’s jealousy takes over his character and emotions which is why he ended his brotherly relationship with Hassan. Another character is Hassan in the novel. The novel does not describe his age in the book but he is a younger boy in the beginning and an older man in the middle of the story. He is very brave, respectful, and loyal. His appearance in the beginning of the story is that he has a cleft lip that was fixed moments after we learned about him. He is a little boy with a father named Ali who takes care of him. They both live in a hut next to Amir’s house and they work as servants for Baba. Hassan is a very caring and innocent boy who never breaks down the whole story. His character is significant because he forms a brotherly bond with the main character which causes conflict because of their different cultures. Hassan’s name is significant because the reader remembers it the whole story. Amir never forgets his friend’s name and their bond. In the novel, it says, “Hassan never denied me anything” (Hosseini 4). Hassan is a character who never said no to Amir or Baba. He always followed them and did whatever they said. He always thought of them superiors because of their culture.
Hassan was treated unfairly because he was a different culture than Baba and Amir but he never gave up hope in the novel. Another main character in the novel is Baba. The novel never describes his age because he grows older throughout the story. He is very well-known, proud, and determined as Amir describes him in the novel. The novel never describes his outer appearance but we know that he is an adult which is Amir’s father and also Hassan’s father as the reader finds out at the end. Baba is very independent but also distant from Amir is some parts which explains why Amir’s jealousy takes over him. Baba’s function in the novel is Amir’s father but he creates conflict because he creates jealousy when Amir tries to impress him. This created tension between Hassan and Amir. Baba’s name is significant to the story because he is always in Amir’s head when he is trying to impress him. Baba never gives up trying to care for Amir which shows how proud he is of his son. It says, ‘You steal his wife’s right to a husband, rob his children of a father. When you tell a lie, you steal someone’s right to the truth. When you cheat, you steal the right to fairness. Do you see?’ (Hosseini 17).
Baba talks to Amir about life problems and that there is only one sin which is theft. He is very wise and also wants Amir to be confident and make moral decisions in the future. Another character is Assef which doesn’t describe his age in the future. He is dangerous, rude, and cowardly but it doesn’t describe his appearance in the novel. Assef is one that is feared and very manipulative to Amir and Hassan. The function of his character is to bring the climax and conflict to the story and also his name is significant because the two boys will always remember him. It says, “I’ll tell you why, Hazara. Because to him, you’re nothing but an ugly pet” (Hosseini 55). Assef makes fun of Hassan just because he is Hazara which is very unfair and cruel. He treats Hassan as a pet with no rights.