Essay on Novel Card1

Submitted By Ally-Schultz
Words: 2345
Pages: 10

Ally Schultz
English 12 A, Pd 2
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Author Background Khaled Hosseini was born on March 4, 1965 in Kabul, Afghanistan. When he was eleven, he moved to France and four years later, he became a citizen in the United States. He became a doctor but only a few years later did he decide to become a full-time writer. Since then, he has written a number one best seller, A Thousand Splendid Suns as well as And the Mountains Echoed. They have both sold over 38 million copies overall. Some awards he has won are Borders Original Voice Award, the San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the Year Award, and the South African Boeke Prize. During his time in Kabul, he lived what he considered a privileged life. He does not even remember his sister being discriminated against. Hosseini described it as a thriving cosmopolitan city where he continuously flew kites. He lived in the middle class until he had to leave Kabul. In April 1978, PDPA seized power and he and his family could not return to Kabul. This followed by the Soviet War and in 1980, they sought political asylum and resided in California. At this time, Hosseini was only 15 years old and did not know how to speak English. He describes the huge change as a “culture shock”.

Literary Period The Kite Runner takes place in Kabul, Afghanistan as well as in California, US. It starts off in1963 and ends in 2001. It is considered Contemporary Literature. Modernism/Postmodernism is one literary movement of the time. It covers long periods of time with an unreliable character. It also closely examines personal experiences. This is seen in the novel because Amir is burdened by his past and the readers can’t trust him. The readers must interpret his words. Also, the novel goes throughout Amir’s life and he and his guilt are the main focuses of the novel.

Setting The novel takes place during a flashback in 1963 to the year 2001 in Kabul, Afghanistan and California, USA. At first, Afghanistan is peaceful and very different country then it is later in the novel. In the late 70’s the Soviet Union invades Afghanistan and violence begins to take it vast course. The middle of the novel takes place in Fremont, California. Here is where the displaced Afghans are highlighted (Baba working long shifts at a station, etc). When the setting shifts back to Afghanistan, it has become torn up by the Soviets, warlords, and the Taliban. These places and time is significant because it shows the destruction of ones hometown as well as carried values between the two countries. The environment at first is very welcoming and stable until the war begins and everything, including the characters show signs of destruction and decomposition. The culture/customs in Afghanistan included differing class standards while in America, it included that as well as a non-stop working environment, harsh to all that can not become accustom to its ways.

Characters The main character, Amir, is the protagonist of the story. He is sensitive and intelligent. Due to his fathers standing in society, he grows up with a sense of entitlement. Amir goes back and forth from being a loyal friend to hurting Hassan when he gets jealous. His greatest desire is to please his father, Baba and this is the reason why he allows Hassan to get raped. Because of his guilt from this, he narrates the story in the form of penance.
Quotes: “A boy who won’t stand up for himself becomes a man who can’t stand up to anything.” (22) Baba sums up one of Amir’s major character flaws—his cowardice.
“He turned to me. A few sweat beads rolled from his bald scalp. "Would I ever lie to you, Amir agha?"

 Suddenly I decided to toy with him a little.
"I don't know. Would you?" 

"I'd sooner eat dirt," he said with a look of indignation.

"Really? You'd do that?"

 He threw me a puzzled look.
"Do what?"

"Eat dirt if I told you to," I said. I knew I was being cruel, like when I'd taunt him if he didn't know some big word.”