Write About the Ways Hosseini Opens the Story in Chapter 1

Write about the ways Hosseini opens the story in chapter 1 Chapter 1 opens with a unknown first person narrative. We are not introduced to the narrator until the end of Chapter 2, Amir. The effects of this remaining unnamed makes us concentrate on what the narrator is introducing us to. He is the central character of this story is coloured by Amir’s personal reactions and emotions. It opens with “I became what I am today” and ending with the same focus. The result of this referring back to the first line exposes a situation that has happened between the past and the present. It has changed him in a substantial way.

Hosseini doesn’t let us know what has made him his way but he alludes this with the imagery and brief information of the past of which Amir already foreshadows, building dramatic tension. Hosseini uses dates to open the story “December 2001” to locate the present as he immediately refers back to the past in flashbacks. We know this because he says “in the winter of 1975”. It’s been twenty-six years since the event that he has been referring back to, so there has been time for Amir to think everything over. Hosseini uses pathetic fallacy to open the story “on a frigid overcast” which mirrors the mood of the character and the scene.

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The imagery of this helps us understand that something unpleasant has happened because of the weather is also unpleasant. Flashbacks mostly fill the whole story underlining that somewhere after the event, Amir already knows what has happened which he is telling us. In chapter 1, we are immediately pulled back to a more recent time “last summer” where he got a call from Rahim Khan from Pakistan. He knew it wasn’t Rahim Khan but his “un-atoned sins” of his past. The call from the past makes it seems like something dead coming after him. In the first paragraph in chapter 1, the past is personified.

Amir can “bury it” but it “claws it’s way out” like the call, he can’t hide from the past as it comes to haunt him. Hosseini uses personification to exaggerate the past of Amir that invokes imagery of something dead rising from it’s grave. It also shows that Amir has been hiding from his past but on this very day, he can’t really escape from it. Back into the present Amir takes a walk at the Northern edge Golden Gate park, San Francisco where he saw 2 blue kites which reminded him of Afghanistan, his past. The juxtaposition is clear here of USA and Afghanistan which are two very opposing countries.

A city with a Golden Gate Bridge with miniature boats in the lake. At night, sparkling lights cover the bridge. Compared to the memories of Afghanistan now war torn, corrupt and run by the Taliban. Hosseini purposely displays this juxtaposition to reveal the massive differences between them. Hosseini introduces Hassan as “the harelipped kite runner” This identifies Hassan as the Kite Runner of the title showing the significance of this character against all the other characters been mentioned. He also mentions kites in the story reinforcing the Novel’s Title; The Kite Runner.

The effect of him seeing these kites is what triggers his memories of Afghanistan and Hassan. Hassan’s voice is heard by Amir “For you, A thousand times over”. Hassan would do anything for Amir. Hosseini shows this to represent his kindness and how Amir feels about him, portraying comradeship. The language that Hosseini uses in chapter one is informal mimicking a real life person in the story. This is also a reflection of a biographical fictive story as the character is going through his life in flashbacks which are embedded for the stories to come.

An after thought comes into Amir’s mind from the phone call “There’s a way to be good again” the phone call being displayed as the past that is claws it’s way out and then the call saying there’s a way to be good again makes us think of his sins he’s left behind that needs to be atoned. It displays the narrator as guilty and sorry for his past. Also, it invokes the theme of this story of Redemption and something that revolves around his friend, Hassan. Hosseini writes chapter 1 short and brief but sets the scenes, dates and introduces characters. Also, addressing the massive themes played throughout of this story. Friendship and Redemption.

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