The kite runner is a novel about change. Change is defined as passing from one phase to another. In this novel, it is shown that change is inevitable and no matter how hard you try to suppress the past it will always re-surface. Khaled Hossieni portrays change through settings, relationships and the character of Amir. The techniques used to depict these changes are the three-part structure, emotive language and descriptive language. Change in the setting is powerful as it shows the significant impact on the life of the narrator.
The change of settings in the kite runner gives historical perspective and introduces the culture of Afghanistan, where ethnicity, religion and class play a major role in the conflicts of the story. The novel begins with the time and place of ‘December 2001’ in San Francisco. Evidence is shown in the quote “I went for a walk along Spreckels Lake on the northern edge of gold gate park. It then immediately dates back to an “overcast day in the winter of 1975” to an event that occurred in an alley when he was twelve years old.
This event is important in the novel as it foreshadows a major aspect that has been affecting Amir for the last 26 years. This is shown in the quote “I became the man I am today at the age of twelve” and the quote “ I knew it wasn’t just Rahim khan on the line. It was my past of un-atoned sins”. The use of unatoned sins provides us that the book will reveal what amir had done in his past life that was so sinful. The three-part structure shows change as a circle of life and how life has many rises and falls. This is shown through the use of dates and jumping of years.
Change in relationships in the novel is powerful as it establishes the themes of the novel. Amir and Baba’s relationship introduces an aspect in the novel of how delicate their connection to each other is and how easily it can transition to a negative relation. Amir grows up used to getting what he wants except for the only thing he is deprived and he wants so desperately is baba’s affection. Amir takes the burden of blaming himself as to why Baba doesn’t give him affection because he killed his mother during childbirth. While Baba doesn’t give him affection because he wishes amir was more like him.
The quote “I’ve never laid a hand on you, amir but if you ever say that again….. You bring me shame” is very powerful as it displays how sensitive amir and baba’s relationship is that just by amir asking a question it has ruined their connection to each other. The use of emotive language shows the change of amir and baba’s relationship when you compare it to the end of the book when Baba realizes that Amir is finally happy. Evidence is shown in the quote “I could see his internal smile, as wide as the skies of Kabul on nights when the poplars shivered and the sound of crickets swelled in the gardens”.
The Change in character in the novel is powerful as it displays how issues in the novel conflict to how a person’s life can be changed for better or for worse. In the beginning of the novel, amir is reminiscing back on how he had become such a troubled adult and how he had been scared to stand up for others. Throughout the book we see that amir is basically a good boy, doesn’t get into trouble and is also a good man when he grows up to become an adult, he takes care of his father, has a job and also takes care of his loving wife.
But he does make a lot of mistakes in his quest to receive his father’s love and affection. This is discovered in a quote from chapter 7 “maybe Hassan was the price I had to pay, the lamb I had to slay, to win Baba”. The relationship between Baba and Amir effect Amir’s life to the extent that he is willing to sacrifice his relationship with Hassan and Ali by placing his birthday money and a watch that was given to him by his father under Hassan’s mattress to frame Hassan of stealing it just so he could be with Baba.
But to his surprise, Baba doesn’t get rid of Ali and Hassan but forgives Hassan for stealing. The birthday money and the watch is significant in the novel as it reappears later in the story when Amir goes back to Afghanistan and stays at poor families house and gives the children of the poor family his watch and leaves some money under his mattress the next morning. The reoccurrence of the watch and money is important in Amir’s change of character, as it has showed us that he has become selfless by putting the money under the mattress but for the right reasons.
The use of descriptive language shows the change of Amir’s character when compared to how evolves from being selfish to selfless. This can be identified in the quote “I remember Wahid’s boys… I realized something: I would not leave Afghanistan without finding Sohrab”. In conclusion the change in setting is shown through the significant impact of the life of the narrator as he tries to run away from his past by moving to America but was ineffective as it resurfaced and he had to redeem himself by going back to Afghanistan to suppress his unwanted memory of Amir being ‘asseffed’.
The change in relationship of Amir and Baba is shown through the significant use of emotive language throughout the novel. It introduces an aspect in the novel of how their relationship is poor, as they couldn’t get along with each other. The change in character of Amir in the novel is displayed through the use of descriptive language. It gives the audience a characteristic view of how Amir changes from being a coward to being courageous and saving Sohrab from Assef at the end of the book.
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