Chapter One is crucial because it introduces certain themes and foreshadows the events coming later in the novel.
After reading the first chapter, it is easy to tell that Amir has done something regrettable.
The readers will get a sense that big things will happen later on in the novel but the readers has no idea what those things could be.
Chapter One is a great setup for a major motif. Amir is not being able to let go of the past. The history and the past has become a huge part of Amir’s life and his future is all decided by the actions of his past.
The flashbacks are important to the story because it puts the readers in the middle of the action and gives them a complete view of the story.
It is significant that Chapter One introduces the idea of the whole novel being a flashback because it allows the readers to be prepared that Amir is going to tell a story he has learned from and has shaped his character as an adult. The chapter opens the fact that the whole novel is going to be about the guilt that Amir feels over Hassan’s **** and the way he has denied their friendship until very much later on in life.
Hosseini’s use of foreshadowing connects him to the genre of magical realism
Hosseini doesn’t let the readers know what has made him his way but he alludes this with brief information and imagery of the past which Amir has already foreshadowed to build dramatic tension.
Hosseini uses a date to open the story December 2001 to locate the present and then immediately refers back to the past in flashbacks. This is because he says “in the winter of 1975”