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The Kite Runner: Literary Devices

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Emily Xiong

on 12 June 2015

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Transcript of The Kite Runner: Literary Devices

"Please promise you won't!
Oh God, Amir agha! Please promise you won't!"
pg. 359
Amna, Emily, Eric, James, Jiaqi
Perspective
Character
Literary Devices
Structure
The Kite Runner: Section 6
"'For you a thousand times over," I hear myself say. Then I turned and ran."
(Hosseini 391)

A guilty man's redemption often does not come from the forgiveness of others, but rather his own.
American Embassy
Hotel
Immigration Lawyer
San Francisco
Hospital
Margalla Hills Hotel
Mosque
Islamabad
“The streets were wider than Peshawar's, cleaner... The bazaars were more organized...The architecture was more elegant too...I saw parks where roses and jasmine bloomed in the shadows of trees.”
(Pg 326)
“The hotel room was a vast improvement over the one in Kabul where Farid and I had stayed. The
sheets were clean
, the carpet vacuumed, and
the bathroom spotless
. There was shampoo, soap,
razors for shaving
, a bathtub, and towels that smelled like lemon. And
no bloodstains on the walls.
” (Hosseini 326)

“I wiped a circle on the fogged-up mirror and shaved with one of the hotel’s old fashioned razors,
the type that opened and you slid the blade in.
” (Hosseini 351)

“Please! Please, no!” He croaked.
“I’m scared of that place, they’ll hurt me!
I don’t want to go.”
(Pg 359)
“…I brought Hassan's son from Afghanistan to America, lifting him from the certainty of turmoil and dropping him in a turmoil of uncertainty.” (Pg 375)
“We sat in silence, me leaning against the tree, Sohrab next to me, knees to his chest... The mosque sparkled like a diamond in the dark. It lit up the sky, Sohrab's face.”
(Pg. 332)
“So what I took as yes from him was in actuality more of a quiet surrender, not so much an acceptance as an act of relinquishment by one too weary too decide, and far too tired to believe. What he yearned for was his old life. What he got was me and America”
pg. 375
“My father slept with his servant’s wife. She bore him a son named Hassan. Hassan is dead now. That boy sleeping on the couch is Hassan’s son. He’s my nephew. That’s what you tell people when they ask.”

“And one more thing, General Sahib, I said. You will never again refer to him as ‘Hazara boy’ in my presence. He has a name and it’s Sohrab. No one said anything for the remainder of the meal”

pg. 378

“That last thought had brought now sting with it. Closing Sohrab’s door, I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded, not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up, and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night.” (Page 378-379)
“He brought the photo to within an inch of his face, turned it so the light from the mosque fell on it.” (Hosseini 333)

“I decided the moment was now, right here, right now, with the bright lights of the house of God shining on us.” (Hosseini 336)
Location
“This is the real house of god, this is where those who have lost god will find Him... There is a God, there has to be, and now I pray, I will pray that He forgive that I have neglected Him all of these years, forgive that I have betrayed, lied, and sinned with impunity only to turn to Him now in my hour of need, I pray that He is as merciful, benevolent, and gracious as His book says He is.” (Page 364)

“My hands are stained with Hassan’s blood; I pray god doesn’t let them get stained with the blood of this boy too” (Page 364)
“"Because I don't want them to see me... I'm so dirty." He sucked in his breath and let it out in a long, wheezy cry. "I'm so dirty and full of sin."" (Page 335)
“"I want Father and Mother jan. I want Sasa. I want to play with Rahim Khan sahib in the garden. I want to live in our house again." He dragged his forearm across his eyes. "I want my old life back."" (Page 373)
“Since the day we'd checked into the hotel, Sohrab took a long bath every night before bed."
"Do you fell clean yet, Sohrab?"
(Page 349).
"I didn't want his blood on my hands. Not his too." (Page 329)
“"I don't take your money," he said, blowing by me. "I will drive you because I am a father like you"" (Page 331).
"-----"
- pg 341

"-----"
- pg 339
"A smile.
Lopsided.
Hardly there.
But there."
- pg 391
I ran. A grown man running with a swarm of screaming children. But I didn't care. I ran with the wind blowing in my face, and a smile as wide as the Vallet of Panjsher on my lips. I ran. (Hosseini 391)
“A smile. Lopsided. Hardly there. But there.”

“Do you want me to run that kite for you...I thought I saw him nod. For you a thousand times over, I heard myself say. Then I turned and ran. It was only a smile, nothing more. It didn’t make everything all right. It didn’t make anything all right. Only a smile. A tiny thing.”

pg.391

“Then I did what I hadn't done in fifteen years of marriage: I told my wife everything. Everything. I had pictured this moment so many times, dreaded it, but, as I spoke, I felt something lifting off my chest." (Page 342)
Sohrab
Macbeth
Lady
Macbeth
Prevalent
guilty
conscience
- Driving force behind Macbeth's cruel actions
- Initial malicious intent
Turns to suicide to atone for their sins

Offender
- Victim

- Bystander
Amir
Jealousy/ambition gets the better of them

- Seeks atonement/redemption/forgiveness for his actions
-Hero
- Stood by his cruel actions until his death
- Orchastrated his best friend's murder
Common idol in Hassan
- Truly innocent
Questions
What differences and similarities do you see between Lady Macbeth, Macbeth, Sohrab, and Amir?

How do these traits affect Amir as a character in relation to Joseph Campbell's Heroic Quest Theory?
Question
Amir confesses to Rahim Khan of his betrayal many years ago, yet continues to keep Soraya in the dark, why is it that only after he confesses to Sohrab under the light of God that he comes clean to her?
“’You know, I’ve done a lot of things I regret in my life,’ I said, ‘and maybe none more than going back on the promise I made you. But that will never happened again, and I am so very profoundly sorry. I ask for your forgiveness.” (Hosseini 374)

“That last thought had brought now sting with it. Closing Sohrab’s door, I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded, not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up, and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night.” (Hosseini 378-379)
Question
If Amir’s previous actions were driven by his desire to achieve redemption and reprieve from his overpowering guilt, do you think that Amir will continue to be devoted to Sohrab? If so, what do you think drives his actions now?
“Then I blinked and, for just a moment, the hands holding the spool were the chipped-nailed, calloused hands of a hare lipped boy. I heard a crow cawing somewhere and I looked up. The park shimmered with snow so fresh, so dazzling white, it burned my eyes. […] Then far away, across the stillness, a voice calling us home, the voice of a man who dragged his right leg.” (Hosseini 390)
Questions
Macbeth had 4 prevalent themes, which one of those correspond with this passage? How does it differ?
Amir mentions before he must find his own way and take whatever his father taught him after he dies, how does Amir become the man Baba wanted him to become?
“I brought Hassan’s son from Afghanistan to America, lifting him from the certainty of turmoil and dropping him in a turmoil of uncertainty.” (Hosseini 375)
Question
Do you think that Amir’s motives for seeking redemption were selfish and only to ease his guilt? If not, at what point in the story did this change?
The novel was narrated from Amir’s perspective and the book ends vaguely but optimistically. Do you think Amir has truly redeemed himself or do you think he just has an optimistic outlook after solving his problems? In other words, do you question the reliability of Amir as the narrator?
"Will you take me to that red bridge? The one with the fog?" he said.
"Absolutely," I said. "Absolutely."
"And will drive up those streets, the ones where all you see is the hood of the car in the sky?"
"Every single one of them," I said. My eyes stone with tears and I blinked them away." (Pg. 358)
How is Sohrab’s perspective on moving to America different from Amir when Amir immigrated to the US at a younger age?
Why do you think Amir tells Soraya?
Do you think Amir is doing what he is doing because he genuinely cares for Sohrab and what he did to Hassan, or is he just doing it for himself, to relieve him of his guilt, or both?
Question
In each of the kite scenes, the author describes the color of the kite…is this done only to help readers visualize the scene or does it hold a deeper symbolic meaning?
An individual with a troubled past is often more vulnerable to experiencing the presence of his past, and a feeling of hopelessness
La illaha il Allah, Muhammad u rasul ullah.
They had to transfuse several units of red cells---
How will I tell Soraya?
Twice, they had to revive him---
I will do
namaz,
I will do
zakat.
They would have lost him if his heart hand’t been young and strong----
I will fast.

He is alive.

(Pg 367)
Do you think these promises where an act of desperation, and he would’ve tried anything, no matter what in order to save Sohrab or was it a true devotion that he gained in the past days in the hospital that caused him to make this promise?
What is Sohrab hoping to gain from possibly moving to San Francisco?
Why is Soraya so willing to adopt Sohrab?
How both those events change Amir for the upcoming events.
“And so, about a week later, I brought Hassan's son from Afghanistan to America, lifting him from the certainty of turmoil and dropping him in a turmoil of uncertainty." (Page 375)
Why do you think Sohrab stops talking?
Do you think that in the end, Amir redeemed/forgave himself?
“That last thought had brought now sting with it. Closing Sohrab’s door, I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded, not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up, and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night.” (Page 378-379)
The connection went through on the fourth try..."But I know this much: You have to bring
Him home.

I want you to."

"Are you sure?" I said, closing my eyes and smiling... We hung up.
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