14th May 2018

The Kite Runner


Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini is a 2003 international bestseller, portraying a story of guilt to redemption. This essay will be focusing on three of many language features that the author uses in his novel: foreshadowing, narrative point of view(P.O.V), and symbolism.


Chapter 1, Foreshadowing

Foreshadowing is a literally device in which an author puts subtle hints about plot developments to come later in the story. Foreshadowing is used in many ways in this novel. For example, it was used at the very beginning of the novel as Hosseini uses the first person narration through Amir, to hint at a major event to follow in the novel. This event is something that has changed Amir’s life, and life-path, forever. This foreshadowing is presenting the flashback.

Quote from Chapter 1, [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.]


Chapter 2, Narrative P.O.V

This novel is written in the first person point of view, is when a character in the story shares his thoughts and feelings as well as his/her opinion on what is happening.  Amir narrates all of the story of his life, his achievements, his failures, his sins and how he atoned for those sins. The first person narrator is often used in novels.  Hosseini’s first-person narrator makes the larger story of Afghanistan’s troubles seems very personal.  This is where the author uses the word “I” to give the impression that the character, not the author, is telling the story.


Chapter 3, Symbolism

I thought there are three important symbols used in The Kite Runner, Kites, Amir’s scar, and slingshot.

Kites… Kites and everything associated with them are the most important symbols in the novel. Kites symbolise both prophecy and fate, and both of these ideas can be applied to characters and events in The Kite Runner. The Afghan kites with their glass strings symbolise the beauty and violence, also representing Afghanistan and the half-brothers, Amir and Hassan. Thus, kites also symbolise the topics and relationship between betrayal and redemption.

Amir’s Scar… Amir spends most of his life trying to forget Hassan, yet only when he gets a physical reminder of his only childhood friend is Amir able to be at peace. The scar Amir has after being beaten by Assef symbolizes his brotherhood with Hassan. Amir now has his own “harelip” and is physically like his half-brother.

Slingshot… Representing two generations, the slingshot symbolises both childhood as well as the need to stand up for what is right. Both Hassan and Sohrab use a slingshot to stop Assef, although Hassan only has to threaten to use his, and Sohrab actually inflicts pain.

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