Chapter One – We are introduced the literary device of FLASH BACK in the first paragraph.
We are informed that Amir’s life and responses to life has been severely affected by something that he saw in 1975. “I became what I am today at the age of twelve, …I remember the precise moment, crouching behind a crumbling mud wall, peeking into the alley near the frozen creek.”
Hosseini’s use of adjectives like “crouching” and “peeking” give this piece the sense that Amir is seeing or doing something that he shouldn’t.
Adjectives like “crumbling” gives the sense that Amir’s life and its foundations are about to “crumble/disintegrate/change”.
We learn that Amir is deeply affected by this incident in the past when he says: “…it’s wrong what they say about the past, I’ve learned, … the past claws its way out.” He is saying that no matter how hard we try to bury a painful incident, it remains in our memories and triggers can bring it back for us. This forces us to revisit its impact on our lives.
We learn that Amir considers that he has a “past of unatoned sins.” These are sins that have not been made-up for.
Amir receives a phone call from his father’s best friend and business partner, Rahim Khan. This man was also someone who understood Amir and supported Amir when he was a child living in Kabul.
He sees the phone call from Rahim Khan as a symbol or metaphor for these sins revisiting him. He tells us: “I knew it wasn’t just Rahim Khan on the line. It was my past of unatoned sins.”
The symbol of the two kites Later, when Amir goes out to walk in the park he notices two kites soaring in the sky side by side. These two kites seemed to him to symbolise his past