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Literary Techniques in the Novel The Kite Runner

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The Kite Runner is a first-person narration with everything presented in the text coming from a character’s point of view. This novel structure has a strong influence on how the reader views the characters. For example, using a narrative structure the reader understands why a character behaves in a certain way and is also able to empathise with them. The reader can view the scenarios the character is experiencing as if they are them. In other words “getting inside their head.” The narration was useful for experiencing the emotions of the characters. Examples such as Hassan’s sexual abuse and the effect of the Afghan war. When reading you experienced first person through all the characters mentioned in the novel. An example is when Rahim Khan said “I remember when you were little, the year Ali got polio and almost died. Your father would walk around the house all day crying.” Reading this and knowing Amir’s perspective of his father being the ‘bear’ suggests that Rahim Khan knew Baba differently. Rahim Khan experiences the soft emotional side of Baba, that is said to have been there all along, however, Amir experiences the tough, hard to break version of his father.

Throughout the kite runner the author Khaled Hosseini uses imagery to guide the reader through his life growing up in Kabul. Having this language feature used throughout the novel allows the reader to feel deeper emotions and react more actively. When imagery is present scenes are clear and easy to picture in your head. An example is when Amir was describing Baba’s house after being destroyed. “It looked smaller. The roof sagged and the plaster was cracked. The windows to the living room, the foyer and the upstairs bathroom were broken, patched haphazardly with sheets of clear plastic or wooden boards nailed across the frames.” This quote clearly gives an image in your head after reading it. Destruction. Broken windows, cracked plastered walls, the roof collapsing. In just those few sentences imagining the scene is a lot easier because of how its described through imagery. By Hosseini adding in the small details, it gives the reader a deeper visual into what Amir is seeing. In this case, the emotions also experienced by the reader would most likely be sorrow. Feelings like this would arise because of the impact war has had on Baba’s family.

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From the very start of the novel Hosseini relies heavily on flashbacks. By doing this he builds suspense and among that supports his theme of the pasts immense effect upon the present. Starting the novel in the present-day Hosseini then flashes back to Amir’s childhood and continues the novel right up until the current day again, including only key factors of his childhood. Key factors that have been affecting his current day to day life the most. The flashbacks used in the novel explain the significance of statements used in the text. For example, the one-sentence statement “There is a way to be good again,” engages the reader and gets them to read more so they can figure out what that statement suggests. In this case, that statement suggests that Amir’s current day to day life is affected so much by the past and that if he wants to be happy with where he is he needs to go back and redeem himself. Another example from the novel is the statement made by Amir; “My father is still adjusting to life in America.” This one- sentence explanation statement suggests that since fleeing their home country because of the Afghan war Baba has found it difficult to adjust to his newfound life in America.

Not only was Baba having to settle into a new country and a new way of life but he also had immense guilt weighing on his shoulders. Guilt that mainly revolved around Ali and Hassan. He betrayed Ali by sleeping with his wife and conceiving a child. He also felt immense guilt over not telling Hassan and Amir that he is Hassan’s real father. Just about all the characters in the book are faced with guilt and it weighs immensely on them in their present-day to day lives. The flashbacks go hand in hand with guilt because constantly thinking about past mistakes affects the present and future life of the characters. However, with this being said there is always a way to redeem yourself, forgive oneself and to be forgiven by others.

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Literary Techniques in the Novel The Kite Runner. (2022, Jun 09). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 29, 2023, from
“Literary Techniques in the Novel The Kite Runner.” Edubirdie, 09 Jun. 2022,
Literary Techniques in the Novel The Kite Runner. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 29 May 2023].
Literary Techniques in the Novel The Kite Runner [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Jun 09 [cited 2023 May 29]. Available from:
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