The Kite Runner Aspects of Narrative

Aspects of narrative that are addressed in the Kite runner

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  • Created by: sian
  • Created on: 24-03-14 19:32

Narrative Voice - Amir

  • The Kite Runner is narrated almost entirely in the first person through the protagonist Amir.


  • From the opening sentence - given a sense of how tormented  yet Narcisisitic his voice is. "I became what I am today at the age of twelve" through opening line and the way that strucually his voice is coming to us retrospectively and is serious and reflective in tone, the direct nature of the quote gives the reader a sense of journey to redemption.


  •  Redemption also hinted with the recollection of words from phone call with Rahim Khan (end of chapter 1) “There is a way to be good again” suggesting the events of the past include something which Amir needs to atone.


  • Some may say Hosseini uses a retrospective voice to color the rest of the narrative, such a technique allows the narrator to foreshadow events which have not yet occurred, building dramatic tension.
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Narrative Voice - Amir

  • Chapter seven - pivotal in terms of Amir as his voice changes erratically; Amir’s narrative breaks off to talk about memories rather than the events actually occurring. “Did you know Hassan and you fed from the same breast?”, “I am in a snowstorm”, “Tomorrow Is The Tenth Day of Dhul-Hijjah”.
  • Hosseini uses italicized memories to represent Amir’s emotional dissociation during the r***, thus making the reader question whether Amir is a reliable narrator or not.


  •  The fractured sequence of Amir’s present voice to his recollection of memories can be interpreted as Amir trying to decide whether to stop the crime assef is committing or can be interpreted as Amir attempting to remove himself from reality.
  • Amir’s narrative voice up until this point and  the chapters leading up to Hassan’s r*** tend to use more childlike language; “he never told on me” or a childlike simplicity of a description "They clapped for a long time afterward, people shook his hand"
  • As the narrative reaches Hassan's r*** - trauma of the moment is accompanied by dropping away of childlke tone. Turning away from the alley- " I was weeping" rather than familiar word crying. Then says "actually aspired to cowardice" - adult notion and way of expressing it.
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Narrative Voice - Hassan

  • The reader becomes disallusioned by Hassan throughout the novel as we fail to see any growth in development  as a cause of the r*** " Read it again please Amir Agha"    "in the name of Allah the most beneficial, Amir Agha with my deepest respects"
  • opposite ends of the novel, quotes sit together as though from the same paragraph- shows engratiating respectful tone is present both in his early and late speech.
  •  Causes reader to question validity of Hassan's voice  as we feel he hasn't progressed believably as a character.Hosseini does this to question Amir's reliability as a narrator? - we may feel that Amir is embarrassed by the respect in Hassan's letter- thus exentuates to communicate with reader.
  • Others may see it as device used to show contrast of the 2 characters.- Hassan appears untouched by the r***- has embraced and accepted it. Amir is a shadow of former self - knowledge of his silence eats away at him.
  •  Although appreciative Hassan has overcome the event- device affective as reader feels his voice should be slightly taunted by it.  
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Structure - Kite Runner

  • Novel is told from chronological end point- Amir frequently foreshadows events that are yet to come. Using this technique, storyteller undercuts current events by revealing they will not last.
  • End of chapter 5 "that was the last winter Hassan stopped smiling". Technique also used to build tension - revealing small piece of information about events yet to come- makes reader want to read on and find out what happens next. 
  • example- ( end chapter 4) "I never got to finish that sentence. Because suddenly Afghanistan changed forever".
  • Moment of Hassan's **** structure changes- Chapters leading up to the revelation of the attack in the alley are told in a straightforward manner. However at  moment of attack narrative structure fractures and never fully resumes linear structure of earlier chapters .
  • Use of dreams/memories - Amir's inability to cope.
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Narrative Voice - Rahim Khan

  • Rahim Khan's voice narrates chapter 16.
  • Very much a moral voice throughout novel - almost physical characterisation of the books relatively central idea of redemption and compassion- being the meaning of the name Rahim.
  • Consistantly a representation of the human conscience- particularly Amir's " There is a way to be good again". frequently and explicitly used as a significant link to Amir's past " It wasn't just Rahim Khan on the line. It was my past of unatone sins".
  • Rahim Khan temporarily afforded role of narrator-voice fills in narrativ gaps- plot twist of Amir and Hassan being brothers. The fact that this reveal is delayed until chapter 16, reader finds out at the same time as Amir from same voice (Rahim)-reader able to form stronger bond with Amir and identify with him-creating stronger more resonating impact upon reader.
  • Rahim khan's narration reinforces the reliability of Amir as a narrator. Achieved through Rahim's description of grown up Hassan- "he had those same narrow green eyes..."- same as Amir's description previously frequented in the book- stronger protagonist in Amir.
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The Kite Runner - Destination (America)

  • Baba's redemption. In Kabul, Baba never connected with his son Amir: "If I hadn't seen him being pulled out of his own mother ..." (pg 19-20 ) in America, Baba becomes dependant on Amir, allowing them to grow closer. "'I am moftakhir, Amir,' he said. 'Proud.'
  • America is a significant journey since it is showing Amir doing what he does best, running away from his problems."I actually aspired to cowardice". It is no different compared to Amir running away from the alley way where Hassan was molested  
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