Emily Barger 11/21/13 Honors English 10 Extra Credit Critical Lens

1071 words - 5 pages


Ordinarily, pieces of literature show scenes of violence. These events are not just placed haphazardly; often times, these predicaments are intricately set to build the meaning of the work. Wighout this kind of violence, some points in the novel would be hard to comprehend. In Khaled Hoseini's The Kite Runner, multiple cases of compulsion are demonstrated. Khaled Hosseini uses symbolism and sense of mood during these situations contribute to the understanding of his literary work.
Chapter seven of the novel opens somewhat normal, with two young boys, Amir and Hassan, preparing for the annual kite running tournament. When the boys win the contest, an air of jubilance and carelessness comes over Amir and Hassan. Hosseini describes the moment as “alive”, “unabashed”, and “the single greatest moment of my twelve years of life.” At this point, the reader feels happy for Amir and Hassan. Soon after, though, the whole mood changes. Amir witnesses the rape of Hassan, and does nothing to help him out of it. All Amir could think about was the prized kite that they had just won, and bringing it back to Baba. The kite represents an object of both Amir's happiness and his guilt. For instance, the champion blue kite was the ticket to Baba's heart and a reminder of the delightful childhood that he once had. Be that as it may, Amir basically allows Hassan to be raped only because he wants to bring bak the trophy of a kite to Baba. After that point, Amir sees the kite as a memory of his betrayal to Hassan. Words used during the scene such as “cold”, “paralyzed”, “havoc”, and “nervous” develop the situation; Amir's inaction proved to be his flaw throughout the work. The dark, wintry alleyway was home to the memory that would change Amir's life forever. Without this calamity, Amir wouldn't have had the lingering guilt that he suffered with throughout the novel. Even later on in his life, when Amir is married to Soraya in America, this assault continues to disturb him. Hosseini describes it as a “curse”, an “unatoned sin;” the violence placed shows Amir's true culpability in the situation and exactly how it haunts him.
Moreover, throughout his whole life, Amir feels the need to be repented for his past mistakes. When Amir gets the notorious call from Rahim Khan and asked upon his arrival to save Sohrab, Amir first denies but then accepts the fact that this may be his only chance to redeem himself. Amir finally finds the place where Sohrab is and is coincidentally confronted by Assef. The fight scene here is brutal, and full of bloodshed. However, rather than feeling pain, Amir feels “at peace”, “healed”, and “satisfied.” Overall, the scene is relieving and peaceful, at least for Amir. At the time, Amir's pain makes him feel happy by suffering. Though Assef brings a mood of obscurity, Amir's recent catharsis brings about one of relief. Throughout the whole fight, Amir knows that he really isn't going to win; but, winning was not the goal. When Amir decides...

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