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English Seminar Presentation (Archetypal Theory)

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Francisco Flores

on 10 December 2012

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Transcript of English Seminar Presentation (Archetypal Theory)

ARCHETYPES Loss and Regaining of Identity In The Kite Runner ARCHETYPE THESIS STATEMENT By looking at The Kite Runner from an archetypal point of view, we see how the use of symbolism, setting, archetypal characters, and archetypal situations identify Amir's loss and regaining of identity throughout the novel. ARCHETYPAL ANALYSIS OF THE KITE RUNNER: Symbols Proof #1 - The Lamb "Hassan didn't struggle. Didn't even whimper. He moved his head slightly and I caught a glimpse of his face. Saw the resignation in it. It was a look I had seen before. It was the look of the lamb." (75-76) "Sohrab's eyes flicked to me. They were slaughter sheep's eyes. They have even had the mascara - I remember how, on the day of Eid of Gorbon, the mullah in our backyard used to apply the mascara to the eyes of the sheep and feed it a cube of sugar before slicing its throat. I thought I saw pleading in Sohrab's eyes." (285) ARCHETYPAL ANALYSIS OF THE KITE RUNNER: Symbols Analysis of Proof: The lamb signifies the sacrifice of an innocent being.
Amir presents his selfishness when he exploits Hassan's Innocence.
When Amir prevented the "slaughter" of Sohrab, it signified redemption to selfishness.
Thus, Amir standing up for Sohrab was an atonement of his lost innocence. ARCHETYPAL ANALYSIS OF THE KITE RUNNER: Symbols Proof #2 - Pomegranate tree "Hassan had said in his letter that the pomegranate tree hadn't borne fruit in years. Looking at the wilted, leafless tree, I doubted it would ever again. I stood under it, remembered all the times we'd climbed it's branches, our leaves swinging. Dappled sunlight flickering through the leaves and casting on our faces a mosaic of light and shadow. The tangy taste of pomegranate crept my mouth." (264) ARCHETYPAL ANALYSIS OF THE KITE RUNNER: Symbols Analysis of Proof Throughout the novel, the pomegranate tree is a symbol of friendship between Hassan and Amir as well as Amir's innocence.
When Hassan and Amir's friendship was strong and Amir still had his innocence, the tree bloomed.
When Amir lost his innocence and their friendship wilted away, so did the Pomegranate tree.
All in all, the Pomegranate tree represents Amir's loss of innocence. ARCHETYPAL ANALYSIS OF THE KITE RUNNER: Symbols Proof #3 - Kites " 'Do you want me to run that kite for you?'
His Adam's apple rose and fell as he swallowed. The wind lifted his hair.
I thought I saw him nod.
'For you a thousand times over,' I heard myself say." ARCHETYPAL ANALYSIS OF THE KITE RUNNER: Symbols Analysis of Proof The Kite, once a symbol of his guilt is no longer something to fear, but something to embrace.
Amir running the kite for Sohrab symbolizes his redemption because it is his way of repaying Hassan.
In the past, Amir betrayed Hassan because he wished only to retrieve the kite. Amir was selfish as a child, but towards the end, Amir shows selflessness by taking in Sohrab as his son.
Therefore, Amir shows a loss of identity when he betrays Hassan to retrieve the kite and regains his new identity as he takes in Sohrab as his a son. ARCHETYPAL ANALYSIS OF THE KITE RUNNER: Setting Proof #1 - Terrible conditions (Kabul) Amir sees just how bad things have gotten in Kabul.
He sees that there are many people begging for money
Many drug addicts
Many orphans ARCHETYPAL ANALYSIS OF THE KITE RUNNER: Setting Analysis of Proof Amir realizes that if he leaves Sohrab in Kabul, he will have to live, or even die in these conditions.
Shows that Amir genuinely cares for the boy, and is not willing to abandon him like he did to Hassan. (This is also a part of Amir regaining his identity) ARCHETYPAL ANALYSIS OF THE KITE RUNNER: Setting Proof #2 - The Taliban Amir learns that the Taliban are sociopaths who kill without mercy.
When he and Farid are walking in the street, Farid warns him to not make eye contact, because even a small gesture like that could get him killed. ARCHETYPAL ANALYSIS OF THE KITE RUNNER: Setting Analysis of Proof This shows just how much fear the Taliban instill onto people, and how much control they have over the citizens of Kabul.
Again, Amir realizes just how much more dangerous it is for people to live here, and this affects his decision on taking Sohrab to America with him. ARCHETYPAL ANALYSIS OF THE KITE RUNNER: Setting Proof #3 - Survival Amir sees a body hanging in the streets of Kabul, and people acting like it's not there. ARCHETYPAL ANALYSIS OF THE KITE RUNNER: Setting Analysis of Proof By seeing the body, and nobody caring, Amir realizes that people are forced to fend for themselves, and there is nowhere for people to seek help.
Even if people did try to help, they would most likely be shot by the Taliban.
In conclusion, Amir witnesses the hardships and pain that people go through, which in turn, helps him grow as a more appreciative, loving and caring person, especially towards Sohrab. (The regaining of his identity) ARCHETYPAL ANALYSIS OF THE KITE RUNNER: Archetypal Characters Character/Proof #1 - Rahim Khan 1st character- Rahim Khan

Rahim Khan serves as the mentor archetype in the book. He continuously helps and encourages Amir throughout the book and he is the one that persuades Amir to start writing. He serves as a voice of reason and offers advice to both Amir and Baba. He is also the one that offers Amir a solution to his guilt and way to confront his inner demons. Amir is able to become the person his father always wanted him to be. He becomes a person that confronts his troubles head on rather than cowering away in a corner. Rahim Khan also helps expand Amir’s understanding of ethnicity by telling him the story of how he almost married a Hazara woman. He serves as the moral center of the book.
Proof
Quote#1: Rahim Khan-“There is way to be good again”
Quote #2-Amir-“As always, it was Rahim Khan who rescued me” ARCHETYPAL ANALYSIS OF THE KITE RUNNER: Archetypal Characters Analysis of Character/Proof Quote 1- Rahim Khan offers Amir a path he can take in order to cleanse himself of his guilt and the feeling that he let down Hassan when he failed to stand up for him. Rahim Khan once again, presents a solution to Amir’s problem illustrating his knowing, understanding and his wisdom.
Quote 2- Rahim Khan has helped Amir time and time again and offered him words of encouragement when Baba would not, and Amir recognizes this. Rahim Khan has served as a teacher and a second father to Amir and in this quotation, Amir is feeling thankful for this. ARCHETYPAL ANALYSIS OF THE KITE RUNNER: Archetypal Characters Character/Proof #2 - Assef Assef is the main antagonist and the Devil or Satan archetypal character in the book. He is also a static character. He never evolves or changes throughout the book. Assef was strangly enough, the one that freed Amir of his haunting guilt. He has a very racist attitude towards Hazaras. He likens them to garbage that needs to be discarded. Emphasizing his racist feelings and his desire to remove all the Hazaras from Afghanistan, he also worships and idolizes an infamous racist and sociopath, Hitler, who he feels was right in attempting to rid the world of people he (Hitler) felt were “garbage” or “trash.” He is a perfect example of a text book sociopath.
Proof-
Quote 1: Assef-“It’s only a Hazara!”
Quote 2: Amir-He leaned towards me, like a man about to share a great secret. “You don’t know the meaning of the word “liberating” until you’ve done that, stood in a roomful of targets, let the bullets fly, free of guilt and remorse, know that you are virtuous, good, and decent. Knowing you’re doing God’s work. It’s breathtaking.”He kissed the prayer beads, tilted his head. ARCHETYPAL ANALYSIS OF THE KITE RUNNER: Archetypal Characters Analysis of Character/Proof Quote 1- This piece of dialogue is said by Assef when he attempts to justify “teaching a lesson” to Hassan by saying he’s “just a Hazara.” On top of that, he calls Hassan an “it.” This is further degradation of Hassan by indirectly stating that he isn’t even worth addressing properly.
Quote 2- Once again, Assef demonstrates just how warped and twisted his mind really is. He finds mass murdering to be “liberating.” He claims that it is God’s will and that he is virtuous, decent and good in carrying out the supposed will of God. The enjoyment that he receives from killing people he perceives as “filth” accurately demonstrates how damaged and warped his mind is. ARCHETYPAL ANALYSIS OF THE KITE RUNNER: Archetypal Characters Character/Proof #3 - Hassan Hassan is the scapegoat archetypal character in the book. He is Amir’s loyal friend and servant (later revealed to be his brother.) If Assef is evil personified, then Hassan is goodness personified. Hassan is willing to take the blame for Amir no matter what it is will be blamed for. Hassan admits that if Amir told him to eat dirt he would gladly do it. This greatly describes Hassan’s character. He is, even in death, forever loyal to Amir. Hassan is the also the reason Amir(after a little more thinking and convincing by Rahim Khan) goes back to Kabul to rescue Hassan’s son. Amir realizes that he owes it to himself and to Hassan to rescue Sohrab, and that if he succeeds, he will be free of his guilt. Proof -
Quote 1: Amir-“ Hassan never denied me anything, but he never told on me Never told that the mirror, like shooting walnuts at the neighbor’s dog was always my idea.”
Quote 2: Amir-“ Hassan’s reply was a single word, delivered in a thin, raspy voice: Yes” ARCHETYPAL ANALYSIS OF THE KITE RUNNER: Archetypal Characters Analysis of Character/Proof Quote 1- Hassan’s selfless nature always got him in trouble. Hassan refused to betray his best friend, so he wouldn’t blame the Amir for any of their acts of mischief. Quote 2- Hassan once again demonstrates his selflessness and loyalty when he is wrongfully accused of stealing Amir’s watch and still silently takes the blame for it. Baba forgives Hassan but Hassan’s father feels that they should just leave. Even after Hassan has left because of a wrongful act he didn’t commit, he still does not harbor a grudge against Amir and wishes to see him again (as stated in his letter.) Hassan’s forgiving and humble attitude greatly helps to develop Amir’s character. He feels he is obligated to save Sohrab, as a friend, as Hassan’s brother and for failing him so many years ago.
In conclusion, all three characters played a specific role in The Kite Runner. Rahim Khan acted as the voice of reason that encouraged Amir to rescue Sohrab. Hassan was the thing that kept Amir going and the broken promise he had to fulfill to make up for failing Hassan, and ironically Assef was what freed Amir of his guilt. Hassan also kept his promise to shoot out Assef’s eye when Sohrab shoots Assef’s eye out and ends up saving Amir from Assef’s men. All three characters, in their own way, help to develop Amir’s character. ARCHETYPAL ANALYSIS OF THE KITE RUNNER: Archetypal Situations The Fall Amir is a bystander to Hassan being assaulted by Assef and his friends.
Amir tries to get Hassan and Ali kicked out of the house by framing Hassan for stealing his watch.
When Hassan and Ali leave, Amir begins to live his life with the guilt for what he's done.
Amir begins to throw pomegranates at Hassan, wanting Hassan to hit him back. He does this out of guilt, and feels that he needs to pay for what he's done, but Hassan does not hit him back, instead, he hits himself. The Initiation Amir begins to regain his identity by traveling back to Afghanistan to save Sohrab.
Amir has to face his worst fear (Assef) to regain his identity.
Amir feels relieved of his guilt when he gets beaten up by Assef.
Amir rescues Sohrab from Afghanistan, bringing him to America, taking him in as his son.
Amir also thanks Farid by leaving $2000 for him and his family. ARCHETYPAL ANALYSIS OF THE KITE RUNNER: Archetypal Situations Loss of Innocence Amir loses his innocence when he watches Hassan get raped by Assef, thus ending their friendship.
Sohrab is also sexually abused by Assef, but Amir regains his innocence by standing up for Sohrab. The Task Amir risks his life to go and save a boy he does not know, in a very dangerous part of the world (Kabul)
Amir does save Sohrab, but he goes through tests and trials, putting his life at risk, in order to do it. (E.g., The fight with Assef)
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