Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Chapter 23. Disjointed state of mind and character links.

In chapter 23 un-common paragraphing is used. This could suggest many things
-Amir’s damaged brain after the accident
- His disjointed state of mind
- His disconnected consciousness from the world
- His drifting of in and out of consciousness

At the start of the chapter Amir lacks any state of time. When referring to meeting Soraya he says “when was that, last week?” when we know for a fact that was well over a couple of months ago.
“He drove me somewhere a few years ago” when referring to recognising Farid. Farid drove Amir for the first time well within a month.

Amir also has a very disjointed narrative, time and focus. When referring to Sohrab he says “his face reminds me of the sound of bells”. He can’t make true sense of anything around him.

There is also a great sense of achievement for Amir in this chapter and links between other characters.
Through saving Sohrab----------Amir has gained the strength of Baba (demonstrated in his dream about the black bear)
Amir has also gained physical similarities related to Hassan.
“The impact had cut your upper lip in two, clean down the middle”ß--- just like a harelip, like Hassan had before he has the corrected surgery.

Chapter 22 & pace

The pace alternates a lot during chapter 22 and I think it is slowed down mainly due to the distance Amir creates between himself and the story.
He creates a distance in one way by using the phrases in itallics to foreshadow events such as "surgical cap". This phrase has no relevance to the current position or place Amir is in, and perhaps shows us that something is going to happen to him in order for him to end up in hospital ------> surgical cap. Surgery.

Also even though Amir tells the story of his and Assef's fight in graphical detail it lacks greately in any serious emotion. He is reciting it but not creating any sence of his emotion at the time whatsoever.
The only thing he repeats or that we get a sence that he feels/notices is "sohrab screaming". This obviously holds emotive context and the repetittion shows significance of the caring emotions Amir holds towards Sohrab.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Time references in Chapter 14

“Fifteen years of marriage” – a time passing reference, which is referring to Amir and Soraya.
“When I was a kid” – references to the past when he was young (could also be a sign of reminiscing – maybe about him & Hassan – maybe this is a decision making chapter for Amir.)

“a pair of kites” – refers back to Afghanistan and the start of the book when he was a child.
“A way to be good again” – refers to the start of the book when he was thinking about Rahim Khan saying those words to him. This phrase is also mentioned three times, the repetition of this holds great significance as well as reinforcing the idea of redemption. (This again gives us clues that this chapter may be the beginning of the road for Amir to achieve redemption and become free of his guilt for Hassan).

We have almost regained the narrative circle! We are almost with the present Amir.


Anyone know anything else interesting about the background on America and the taliban around that time period? I would be interested to know.



The demonic qualities of Assef

pg 241
"I saw marks on his forearm” Which indicates that Assef uses drugs. This is immediately negative when describing his character. Suggests Assef is still as harmful as usual.

“Still wearing his dark John Lennon glasses” – He doesn’t seem to fit in with everyone else; the other guards, the religion. Also slightly ironic how John Lennon is an important English role model and Amir is describing Assef as this person, as well as Assef actually wearing the glasses.
The fact that he doesn’t fit in makes him seem mysterious and intimidating.
We are aware at this point that from what Amir is saying about him, he hasn’t changed his generalised characteristics since the beginning of the book where he was presented as a sick, sadistic and evil character. I almost feel like there are no boundaries to Assef’s actions, anything remotely cruel you can think of- I believe he would do it! If not he would definitely not be scared to do anything that would be at all frowned upon. I think because of this Assef and the reader may even go as far as to see Assef as insane. Especially as Amir later goes on to say “his hands were shaking and he almost dropped the cigarette”. This makes him seem so out of control and excited at the thought of murder and cruelty. He seems dangerous and out of control. He makes us feel anxious. It’s so hard to relate to Assef and his sinful attributes it’s almost as if he is not human.

“he hadn’t changed clothes since the executions earlier that day”- this phrase extenuates Assef’s sadistic features. He literally enjoys the suffering of others. He wears the blood of other people on his shirt because he is proud of it! Assef connotes madness and the upmost impurity. He is the lowest of the low.

“We left them for the dogs” – Assef lacks any compassion. He possesses no positive characteristics. HE IS THE EMBODYMENT OF EVIL.


I think especially as this book was written to an American audience, also shortly after 911 it distinguishes Assef to not only be a murderous cruel man, but he also enjoys being surrounded of many LABELLED that way. The book was published after 911, and America had held the Taliban partly responsible for that. This holds very strong and emotional connotations for the reader; mainly pain and suffering and danger.
This is also very ironic, because it was America who actually supplied the Taliban’s weapons.

Monday, 2 November 2009

chapter 17

In chapter 17 the narrative changes back to Amir's perspective. This is a very interesting chapter and one that doesn’t surprise me in the way that Amir is so deep in denial towards Hassan. I think Hosseini uses Amir’s voice in this chapter to demonstrate his sense of loss, and regret.

It begins with rubbing the salt in Amir’s wound. Amir reads a letter from Hassan, who is surprisingly upbeat and good natured, as if nothing ever happened all those years ago (which is exactly what we’d expect from Hassan’s forgiving, relentlessly good willed character). This does however shock Amir. Amir remarks ‘I read the letter twice’, almost in disbelief that Hassan could still be so impossibly nice, he puts at the end of the letter ‘you will find an old faithful friend waiting for you’. This phrase once again shows us Hassan’s willing dedication to Amir, his respect and forgiving heart. Hassan is pure and free, and Amir is jealous of Hassan but still guilty at the same time.

We then find out that to our disgust Hassan was murdered, once again he is hurt due to standing up for Amir. Hassan was shot because he refused to leave Amir’s house, not wanted it to be overtaken by unwanted people. Hassan wanted to respect Amir and Baba and it ended up getting him killed. Amir is overwhelmed with guilt and disbelief that he crumples into denial over Hassan, repeating ‘no, no, no’ over and over again.

I would have thought that this was the biggest persuasive event for Amir to do almost anything to set himself free, to give himself even the smallest little piece of hope for himself to feel like he is a good person again, but instead he is once again presented at the same selfish, ungrateful, un-heroic character that we have seen throughout. He could go to the orphanage and save Hassan’s son, or he could stay and mourn forever over his selfish life and his guilt over Hassan’s life. He was not only a coward, but now he has another excuse to feel sorry for himself; Hassan’s death. This confuses me a lot because it could be said that Hosseini has literally just created a character the reader is inevitably going to hate, forever. It certainly works on me. I find Amir cruel and selfish and I cannot believe that he refuses Rahim’s dying wish, after all Rahim has done for him!

I almost don’t feel like there is any possible way for Amir to redeem himself now anyway, even if he did save Sohrab from the orphanage.

Overall I think Amir’s voice was used to display his character’s reactions to the dreadful events of Chapter 17, and was used to expose more negative opinions towards Amir.Do something right for goodness sake!

Monday, 26 October 2009

chapter 16 + voice.

These have been my favourite chapters so far, but so much happens in them!
In chapter 16 we are reading the narrative of Rahim Khan. Hosseini does this to provide the reader with all the details of his visit to Hazarajat, which he travels to in order to find Hassan. Mainly because he claims he is lonely, but I believe he does this because he knows his time is short, and he wants someone to carry on the legacy of Baba and his house.
I quite like the fact that it is coming from Rahim Khans perspective because it is very wise and un-biased as opposed to Amir’s constant negative outlook and un-fair opinionated thoughts, especially when talking about Hassan or Baba. Rahim Khans story is also fairly reliable as it wasn’t more than two years ago that he visited Hassan whereas when Amir was telling us the story, we were aware of the huge time gap that was presented, which almost made it hard for me to trust Amir’s imagination. I think Hosseini uses this so we get a clear and reliable source of information and to obviously tell us about Hassan, who we had long assumed would not return in to Amir’s path.
We find out that Hassan has a wife, and a baby on the away. We find out that Ali died, stepping on a landmine, which Rahim Khan describes as betrayal from his twisted, polio right leg. Rahim describes the meal that Fazara (Hassan’s wife) cooks for him as ‘the best meal I’d had in months’. This makes us feel as if Hassan has found a wife who is equally as caring and un-selfish as he is, as well as both of them being extremely welcoming to Rahim. We also see that Hassan is the same devoted boy that we remember, but now a man. Rahim tells Amir that Hassan described Baba as his ‘second father’ and that in mourning for Baba, Hassan wore black clothes for forty days after finding out. We see the same kind, caring and loving Hassan that we remember, and it made me feel a sense of relief to know that the incident didn’t change Hassan and scar him as bad as we see it did Amir. However we do not know what goes on in Hassan’s head, but to the outside world it seems Hassan has been able to pull it together and get on with his life. He is not stuck in the past, staring down that alley way every day, as we know Amir is. We know this because he is quite oblivious to the fact that Amir accused him and Ali of stealing from him so many years ago, he asked eagerly how Amir is and what he is doing and how he is finding America. This shows us that as always, Hassan is willing to forgive and forget. Hassan is symbol of peace.
We also hear Rahim describe the re-united experience of Hassan and his long lost mother Sanuabar. How she knocked on the gate one day and was so hurt and hungry and weak she just collapsed. Rahim tells us how she used to be seen as a ‘vision’ but now was a scared bleeding mess, now only left with one operating eye. He tells us how she delivered Hassan’s baby boy; Sohrab. Most important of all he then tells Amir that Sanuabar passed away. But I think is so important about this is how he described her. He described her to Amir by saying ‘She lived to see him turn four, and then, one morning, she just did not wake up. She looked so calm, at peace, like she did not mind dying now’. This paragraph made me think that in fact Hosseini uses Rahim’s narrative aspect to finally persuade Amir to take control, to take action and to find clarity. I think he uses Rahim to bring out more guilt in Amir and to show him that ‘there is a way to be good again’. Rahim describes Sanuabar as ‘at peace, calm’ as if she has now completed what she wanted to. She is now ok to move on with her life, which in this case is dying, because she has redeemed her relationship with Hassan. Not only that but she has acquired a very story relationship with Hassan’s son. She was once more a part of her family, which she longer for and ‘dreamed of’ as she told Hassan. She has been forgiven, which is what she needed in order to cross over from her life and she achieved that. She made up for her sins of leaving Hassan as a child. She made up for leaving him all those years and she came back and got what she needed in this life to make her feel at peace.
I think this is a symbolic sign for Amir. If Sanuabar can redeem her sins then maybe Amir can too. He must confront his past and he must redeem himself in any way possible. He needs to be at peace as well, and he knows this.
I think the fact that it is in the voice of Rahim is also so important, because Rahim is the only one who truly ever believed in Amir, he held more trust in Amir that Amir did in himself. This is one of the factors that I think will convince Amir to make everything right and to convince him to take control and cleanse himself. The voice of Rahim is wise, and it supports Amir to do what is right.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Chapter 12

I really enjoyed this chapter because we were introduced to something different and exciting! Soraya! I also like how Amir is polite about his feelings towards her and thinks about more how she responded to him at the beggining than to how she looked or dressed.

I think Hosseini uses this chapter to give Amir a break, and to give him a different side, and a chance to redeem himself.
However saying that it could be said that Hosseini uses Soraya as a way of Amir to reflect back onto his youthful childhood and remember how cruel he was to Hassan and maybe present the fact that he could have changed.
On page 132 Soraya is telling Amir the story of how she taught a young girl to read and write, and when she wrote Soraya her first letter all she knew was that she wanted to be a teacher for sure. Amir's response is to recall when he used to tease Hassan about his knowledge. He thinks 'I thought of how i used my literacy to ridicule Hassan. How i had teased him about big words he didn't know'. This shows that Amir although having grown up not just to the reader so quickly but demonstrated in the passing years of the chapters, still thinks about Hassan. Amir still finds ways to make himself feel guilty towards his past and towards Hassans character. I noticed how Hassan is always presented in negative ways when Amir talks about him. He never recalls Hassan in positive ways or reflects back on his childhood as an acheivement getting so close to his father, which is what he seemed to long for the most before the incident in the alley way.

I also think its interesting how in chapter 12 Amir gains an aquaintance and loses Baba.

I'm also a little confused as to what Hosseini is trying to say about Baba's character. Especially when he is told he has cancer, can't cure it without chemo, he declines chemo with a firm hand and then once leaving the hospital 'he smoked all the way to the car, and all the way home'. ????
Defying the god he never beleive in???
Perhaps he feels his time is up and it's time for Amir to finally grow up and make it on his own?

I really liked the scene in which Baba and Amir are talking whilst Amir sits beside him at the hospital bed and Amir asks him to ask General Taheri for Soraya's hand. When they exchange muffled laughter and giggling it gives me a sence of releif and friendship. They way once someone picks up the phone Baba exchanges a glance to Amir reminds me of two young children getting exciting about the person on the other end of the phone. It remind me of something happy and of a connection between the two people. They neither share discumfort or embarassment. 'Baba laughed softly through his nose'. The word softly also gives me a sensation of hope for Baba and Amir, and implies that Baba is proud of Amir, willing to do what he wants, sharing a memory with him.

However dispite this i hate how the chapter ends. It ends with Hosseini offereing Amir a fresh opportunity. He can tell someone his secret, he can let it out, he can be free. But instead he choses to be selfish, to look better and to keep it inside of his mouth.

Monday, 12 October 2009

a thought

I think it could be said that Hosseini uses a time distance that is too large. as people naturally forget detail as they age, the fact that the book is based with such a range for precise recollection could make the reader feel suspicious. Amir is recalling a story from when he was just 12 years old, and i struggle as it is to remember distinct memories from that age and im only 16, Amir is telling the story when he is so much older than me!

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Beginning the kite runner!

I found todays lesson particularly helpful because i got a really good insite into the importance of chapter one. I found it interesting how Hoseini uses the signifincance of the mysterious 'event' to control the reader and encourage them to delve further into the novel and find out what possibly could be so terrible an event to change someones life to the present day so dramatically, as Amir demonstrates as he talks about his sinful past.
I think it's really helpful to understand chapter one and what it suggests as it will obviously relate to the chapters that follow and will hold vital comparisons that will become more obvious the more i understand chapter one.


Wednesday, 16 September 2009

The object in my room

There is a red folder.
This fact that the colour of the folder is red could symbolise many things as red is the colour often used to show danger. The colour red also has connotations of rage, anger, evilness and the devil. This would intimidate some people and try and persuade and repel people away from the folder and its mysterious interior.
This could show that the folder contains some hidden horrific information as part of a mystery novel, it could be what everyone has been searching for in order to read the horrible truth. Of life? Living? Earth? Humanity? or more!
It could also hold the contents to evil or dangerous plans of the government, or backstabbing secret information that is TOP SECRET.
It could also be a con, much like the fruit in Adam and Eve. The folder may be a dare to open, and the greedy person who dares to disobbey the folder is cursed, or hurt, after opening it. This could lead to a further horrible outcome or story line whereas this person must complete a number of tasks in the story before accessing their freedom again. All because of the dark, cruel, intense red folder,
sat motionlessly on the table, in my room.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Une Pipe.

In approximatly 30 seconds i think we shal be descussing the history of the pipe and possibly france?

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