Presentation on theme: "* Amir’s perspective on events – his view, his personal reactions * The story is told through a series of flashbacks * The narrator knows how the story."— Presentation transcript:
* Amir’s perspective on events – his view, his personal reactions * The story is told through a series of flashbacks * The narrator knows how the story ends allowing the writer to use foreshadowing because he knows what will happen creating dramatic tension
* Amir – the narrator * Hassan – the servant’s son, friend ‘ the hair- lipped kite runner’ * Baba – Amir’s father * Rahim Khan – Baba’s friend, business partner and ‘ uncle figure’ to Amir * Ali – Hassan’s father and Baba’s long time servant.
* Rahim’s phone call at the beginning of the book ‘foreshadows’ the events in the rest of the book. * Amir begins to tell us about the key day at the beginning of the book ‘ a frigid overcast day’ this is an example of the author’s use of the pathetic fallacy where the weather is used to reflect the author’s oppressive and chilling feelings.
* ‘a face like a Chinese doll chiselled from hard wood … eyes that looked depending on the light, gold green, even sapphire’ * Amir looking back shows that he loved Hassan making what happens in the novel even more powerful.
* Hassan is a Hazara who are seen as an inferior ethnic tribe in Afghanistan. Hassan is teased, taunted and bullied because of this * Amir is from the Pashtun tribe who as seen as superior and the ruling class.
* Amir recounts in Chapter 3 a story of Baba wrestling a bear… Rahim’s nickname for his is ‘Mr Hurricane’ * Baba is portrayed as someone who does things which are usually beyond other people … the bear, his business, his marriage, the orphanage, * He feels that Amir is the only thing in his life he could not mould. He is an almost mythological figure in Amir’s eyes. He can never live up to his father’s wishes because he is a myth rather than reality. * When criticised fir his drinking Baba says ’God help us all if Afghanistan ever falls into their hands…’ foreshadowing the Taliban rule later in the novel.
* Baba and Amir go to the ‘Bazkashi’ tournament and When one of the contestants is killed Amir cries all the way home. Baba is very disappointed in him. We see that Amir’s desire to please his father results in his cruelty to Hassan who he snaps at the next day.
* The Western (John Wayne ) is a motif good guys and bad guys * Baba is a sort of John Wayne of Afghanistan
* ‘…life went on as before. People went to work Saturday through Thursday and gathered for picnics on Fridays, on the banks in the parks on Ghargha lake in the gardens of Paghaman.’ * We are given a view of Kabul p38 to help contrast with the Kabul we see later in the novel
* Amir tells Hassan his stories * Most of the novel is Amir telling us a story it is his view and he is often biased * Stories allow Amir to express some of his pent up emotions and feelings
* Assef and his bully friends challenge Amir and Hassan, Hassan fends them off showing his unquestioning love and loyalty. * Assef is representative of the violent, uncaring and self –destructive country which Afghanistan is in the process of becoming.
* Kite Flying is a symbol of freedom and independence * Amir’s descriptions of Kabul in winter reinforce his feelings of freedom. He uses poetic imagery ‘ The sky is seamless and blue, the snow so white my eyes burn’ * The affectionate descriptions of the city of his boyhood continue and convey the remembered love he has for his home.
* Central event of the novel * The juxtaposition of winning the tournament and the attack means that the act of winning is immediately contrasted with the act of losing * The setting of a disused alley makes it all the more seedy and horrible * It occurs on a day with a clear blue sky that Amir calls ‘blameless’.
* Amir tries to pretend that nothing has happened and so internalises his guilt… it is related to his insomnia and his car sickness. * This is added to his feelings of guilt related to the death of his mother * He feels the presents he receives at his party are like ‘blood money’ the bike his father gives him is even bright red in colour. * Only Rahim Khan gives him a present which is different. The notebook is a reward for his writing and free of any association with the rape.
* Amir buries his watch under Hassan’s mattress in an attempt to relieve his guilt by removing its cause. * Ali and Hassan leaving makes Amir realise that he should have been honest about what he saw. * He imagines in a film how he would’ ‘chase the car, screaming for it to stop… pull Hassan out of the backseat and tell him he was sorry, so sorry..’
* Baba forgives Hassan showing his great love for the servant’s son * When Ali and Hassan leave Baba cries which is unexpected given the image we have been given of Baba so far. * The writer uses the pathetic fallacy and the rain provides the symbolic tears for Amir to view his departure through.
* The story jumps to 1981 Amir and his father escape in a truck. * Baba stands up to a Russian soldier who wants to rape a young mother in the truck. * Baba’s moral courage is in direct contrast to Amir’s weakness * The death of Kamal is symbolic of the chance Amir has to put the troubles of his home in Afghanistan behind him.
* The events described in their first years in California echo chapter 3 where we are told stories of how people see Baba and how his is admired and liked; the bar scene after graduation * Amir meets Soraya she too has a past she wants to forget. Amir advises her that ‘ a few days, sometimes even a single day, can change the course of a whole lifetime’
* Baba’s illness can be seen of a sign that although some aspects of America suit him he is not at home here and it diminishes him and he declines. * Amir adapts because it suits him he can forgive Soraya’s past because in America it is not such a big deal. He has become Americanised. * Baba’s death seems to show that he can relinquish his hold on life now that Amir is married, looked after and finally become a man.
* Khaled Hosseini seems to have a view about the balance of good and bad in the novel. When a good thing happens something bad balances it. Winning the Kite battle – the rape of Hassan His marriage – Baba’s Death His publishing success – Soraya’s infertility Amir’s success – the decent of Afghanistan into civil war
* ‘There is a way to be good again’ * The juxtaposition of Soraya’s childlessness with his dream of Hassan in the snow suggests that Amir cannot have children of his own until his debt has been paid. * The repetition of the phrase ‘a thousand times over’ adds poignancy to his feelings of futility with Soraya.
* Amir learns about what has happened in Afghanistan and the cruelty of the Taliban. * The destruction of his father’s orphanage is like a second death of Baba. * The death, hurt or the threat to children is a recurring motif in the novel signifying the breakdown of culture and family in Afghanistan.
* Rahim relates the story of Ali and Hassan to Amir in the first person * He has the key to Amir’s redemption * He fulfils his role as a second father * Hassan ‘s son is named after the character from his favourite story that they shared in happier times * Rahim rebuilds the ‘Wall of Ailing Corn’ as a symbolic gesture to recall earlier less troubled times. * We learn that Baba was Hassan’s real father and that he was Amir’s brother
* Brings us up to date and introduces an adult Hassan with a wife and child * Introduces Hassan’s own voice instead of it being related through Amir * Establishes that Hassan cherished the same things that Amir does; the pomegranate tree, the graveyard, the stories, kite flying…
* Rahim’s request that he go back to Kabul and rescue Sorhab is Amir’s chance to finally make penance for what he didn’t do for Hassan. The fact the boy is in an orphanage is a reference back to Baba’s orphanage. Saving Sohrab is therefore revealed as something Baba would have done and something Amir can do to finally become the man his father wished him to be, as well as repay his debt to Hassan
* Amir’s feelings are tied up with his feelings about the ‘ravaged’ country of Afghanistan. “My mother had died on this soil. And on this soil, I had fought for my father’s love.” * Amir leaves a gift of money in thanks to the family who welcome them on their journey to Kabul under a mattress. Symbolically this is exactly the method he uses to disgrace Hassan all those years ago. * This is a symbol of the beginning of his progress on the road to redemption.
* Hosseini uses rich imagery to describe Kabul now “jagged stumps of brick and stone” * He describes the city as an old friend “homeless and destitute” * The state of Afghanistan seems to be part of Amir’s divine punishment both for his offences against Hassan but also for deserting Afghanistan. With no people like Baba to provide and protect the country and its inhabitants Afghanistan has become as vulnerable and fatherless as its orphans.
* The tree was a symbol of the close relationship between Amir and Hassan. * Its death symbolises the end of their physical relationship * The survival of the inscription carved on it shows their friendship can exist beyond the barrier of death.
* The Talib who oversees the stoning is dressed in white a symbol of innocence and purity he is also wearing John Lennon sunglasses again a symbolic champion of peace * The juxtaposition of the stoning and the football game show that such cruelty and violence have become commonplace, like a sport.
* Assef is the Talib in charge of the execution and who is keeping Sohrab * The price of freeing Sohrab is to finish their childhood fight * Amir laughs as Assef beats him with his brass knuckledusters because he is finally receiving the beating he deserved and tried to get Hassan to give him all those years ago. * He is rescued by Sohrab’s slingshot but this time there is no shame because he has done his part.
* Amid dreams of wrestling a bear. He has found a way of being the man his father wanted him to be * Amir’s lip has been split in the fight with Assef and symbolically he now even looks like Hassan’s brother – one more step to redemption * Rahim Khan has gone into the desert to die Amir’s childhood retreats into the past as he now turns to deal with the present. * Farid( the driver) uses the phrase ‘For you a thousand times over’ reminding us of Hassan but at the same time indicating that Amir is now capable of taking on the stature of his father and people will admire him for having the courage to follow his convictions.
* Amir is taken as Sohrab’s father * He embraces his Afghan identity * Instead of running from his responsibility and pushing the boy away he pulls the boy to him and lets him cry
* Having put right so much of the wrongs he has done both Hassan and his homeland Amir is rewarded with the son he craved. * Sohrab’s suicide sees Amir still determined to succeed in doing what is right * He prays and takes the last step in fully reconnecting with his heritage
Amir’s journey to find himself is at an end – he looks at the picture of Hassan and instead of turmoil he feels peace. He stands up to his father in law and says ‘ You will never again refer to him as “Hazara boy” in my presence’ The story return to its main motif Kite Flying. The clouds clear to reveal sunny skies At the end Amir offers to run the kite for Sohrab something Hassan used to do for him and completely reversing the roles to say to Sohrab ’For you a thousand times over’ The book returns to the lyrical prose that we met at the beginning of the novel and Amir has redeemed himself, reconnected with his Afghan heritage, assuaged his guilt for Hassan and become the man his father would have admired. His journey is complete
* The Critical Essay * From the Higher English Paper 2007 * Choose a novel in which a character reaches a crisis point. * Explain briefly how this point is reached and go on to discuss how the character’s response to the situation extends your understanding of him/ her.
* Introduction How to start the essay using Q words * ‘The Kite Runner ‘ by Khaled Hosseini is a novel where the main character Amir reaches a crisis point. The novel portrays his childhood in Afghanistan and his friendship with his servant Hassan. This close relationship is destroyed by Amir due to his inability to cope with his own reaction to his friend’s rape. He struggles to cope with the guilt he then carries through the rest of his life until he is given a chance to redeem himself. This is the crisis point in the novel and brings the narrative and the themes of redemption together. * Or * ‘The Kite Runner’ by Khaled Hosseni is a novel where the main character reaches a crisis in his life. The resolution of this crisis is the basis of both the theme and the narrative of this book.
* Plot summary The context for the crisis * This crisis is arrived at early in the book. We know it is going to be important right from the start as Rahim Khan phones the main character Amir as an adult now living in California and offers him the chance ‘to be good again’. The novel then continues as a flashback to his childhood. We learn of his relationship with his servant Hassan and their closeness and of the key incident where Hassan is raped by the bully Assef. Amir runs from defending his friend and has Hassan’s father dismissed from the house. This, coupled with the dramatic events affecting Afghanistan and his ongoing need to gain his father’s approval, takes the reader on a journey from moral cowardice to redemption. The book could be seen as an allegory of the political fate of a nation, as an exploration of the relationship between a father and a son or as one man’s battle with the ghosts of his past; whichever the reader chooses to see it all revolves around the crisis point.
* Paragraph 3 How the crisis comes about * Right from the phone call of Rahim Khan…
* Paragraph 4 The way themes of the book relate to this crisis * Redemption Amir spends the first half of the book running from the moral imperatives he feels relating to this crisis
* Paragraph 5 Father and son * Baba, being good, father and son moral bravery
* Paragraph 6 The portrayal of a nation in crisis * The city of Kabul is like another character in the book and it, like Amir finds itself in crisis. Hosseini ties the fate of the two together in a sometimes poetic way.
* Paragraph 6 Steps to redemption * The author constructs a series of steps that Amir takes which bring the reader and Amir back to confront the wrongs of the past and reach some sense of atonement symbolised by the kite flying motif.
* Conclusion Answer the question * In conclusion we can see how Amir’s reaction to this crisis point lead the reader to a greater understanding of the writers themes and the wider allegory of the fate of Afghanistan itself.