Style and Structure of the novel The Kite Runner
How Hosseini Built The Kite.
The style and structure of the work of the Khaled Hosseini is reflected widely in his novel, The Kite Runner, published in 2003. This novel is set in his natal Kabul, between the 1970s and 2002. We can see that many aspects of Hosseni’s own life are reflected into the story and its plot, as both him and the narrator of the story Amir, feel the invasion from the Russians and the Taliban, though they are not directly affected by it, since they do not live in Afghanistan.
One of the literary devices used by this author, and perhaps the one most used is the flashback. Most of the novel is an elaborate flashback that brings the reader from the narrator's childhood to his young adulthood to his manhood. It switches between the three of them, especially when, in the real time, Amir gets thoughtful or sad. We can see an example of this happening in page 160, “I remembered something Baba had said about Pashtuns once. We may be hardheaded and I know we’re far too proud, but, in the hour of need, believe me that there’s no one you’d rather have at your side than a Pashtun.” In this passage we can see how Amir, with the pass of the years has such an importance and trust on the words of his father, Baba, and how they are so meaningful to him, he remembers them perfectly.
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Another of the devices mostly used by Hosseini is that of foreshadowing. He creates imagery of clues or references to the reader to infer what will happen next. We can see that the author creates a whole game with time, as if one is standing on the narrator’s memory and could link every event and every feeling with another one in the past. We experience this device in the second chapter of the book, page 11, “And under that same roof, we spoke our first words. Mine was Baba. His was Amir. My name. Looking back on it now, I the foundation for what happened in the winter of 1975- and all that followed- was already laid in those first words." By telling us this at the beginning of the book would tell us that this event is very important and it would question us on the events of the winter of 1975, which are told afterwards.
Khaled Hosseini uses cliff hangers to create emotion and thrilling in the story, the reader gets profoundly into the story and, at the end of the section or a chapter they would find a phrase or two that would encourage it to keep on reading and find out. It is a very good strategy to make the novel seem fast and involve more the reader in it. Most of these cliff hangers lay at the ends of chapters and sections, but there is also some that don’t. An example of a cliff hanger is at page 34, ““Well,” I began. But I never got to finish that sentence. Because suddenly Afghanistan changed forever. ” Another example is that on page 47, “Soon it was just a pink jagged line running up from his lip, which was ironic. Because that was the winter Hassan stopped smiling.” They both change the tone suddenly and give questioning and wondering to the reader.
Juxture positioning is also used by the author several times in the novel. It is a way to make the images created more personal, like own memories that come back when something similar happens. It gives a view of both images and leaves the reader to compare them. We can see an example of this in page 116, when Baba is saying “Tell him I’ll take a thousand of his bullets before I let this indecency take place,” Baba is seen as brave at this moment from Amir’s perspective but the word ´thousand´ reminds him of when Hassan was loyal to him and said “For you a thousand times over!” Then, he remembers the coward he was when he didn’t save him that winter (contrasting to Baba’s behavior at the time) and then he says “My mind flashed to that winter six years ago. Me, peering around the corner in the alley. Kamal and Wali holding Hassan down. Assef’s buttock muscle’s clenching and unclenching. His hips thrusting back and forth. Some hero I had been, fretting about the kite. Sometimes I wondered if I was really Baba’s son.” We can see clearly both images and how they make Amir feel like a miserable coward.
Also, we can find metaphors and hyperboles spread into the story. They give the final touches to the novel. They give detail and add attention to parts of the story. In page 31 for example, “seconds plodded by, each separated by an eternity. Air grew heavy, damp, almost solid. I was breathing bricks.” Once again this quote shows us how personally the author wants the reader to feel Amir’s nervousness. Especially because it is a moment that shook Amir’s life, so the reader could have a greater view of it.
The style of the book is really smooth since it is narrated with a fixed point of view. The reader is captured in memories which are personal for Amir, but there is some other’s that are not so personal, or that affected him laterally. The thoughts of Amir give the book deepness, but as the times are changed and other events happen to him, the reader has other matters to think about and thinks about other events for a while. This eventually leads up to creating a feeling of complicity and understanding towards Amir almost as if the reader was him.