The Kite Runner: Key themes and symbols.


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An overview of The Kite Runner

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The Kite Runner: Key themes and symbols.

  1. 1. The Kite Runner Themes and Symbols
  2. 2. Section A(a) Questions Write about the ways ….tells the story in chapter …/a poem. Only focus on how the story is told through form/structure/language.
  3. 3. In a novel-elements that show the text fits into a particular genre. What is Form? e.g. What shows the Kite Runner as a bildungsroman novel? What other genres does the Kite Runner fit into?
  4. 4. What is Structure? • Foreshadowing • Analepsis • Symbols that are repeated. Anything that • Mirroring. links different • Language/phrases that are chapters together repeated. or different parts • Signs that a character has developed. of the story.
  5. 5. Imagery and figurative languagesimiles/metaphors/personification. What is Language? The Lexis used and connotations of the lexis. Semantic Fields. Use of declaratives/imperatives.
  6. 6. Circular/Linear/Episodic. Narrative Structure Foreshadowing Analepsis Retrospective
  7. 7. Type of Narrator. Bias Point of View Omniscien t Narrator Unreliable Narrator Does Narrative the Voice. point of view ever switch?
  8. 8. How is the story told through these devices? What are the effects on the story through form/structure/language. Form Structure Language Link to Aspects of Narrative: 1. Characterisation 2. Settings 3. Time 4. Voices
  9. 9. 1. Forgiveness and Redemption: Rahim Khan “There is a way to be good again”. 2. Identity: “I became what I am today at the age of twelve”. Link to characterisation. 3. Religion and Spirituality: “The devil shone mirrors too, shone them to distract muslims during prayer (Ali).” Link to ideology. Key Themes “Every other sin is a variation of theft”. 5. Family: “He’d close the door, leave me to wonder why it was always grown-ups time with him. Link to characterisation. 6. Violence: “A boy who won’t stand up for himself becomes a man who can’t stand up to anything”. 7. Sacrifice “was it a fair price?”
  10. 10. Key Themes 8. Storytelling/books An entire chapter dedicated to Hassan’s people.That was how I escaped my father’s aloofness, in my dead mother’s books…I started spending my allowance on books. 9. Past I became what I am today at the age of 12…. 10.Rape The droplets of blood staining the snow dark red, almost black. Tell him I’ll take a thousand of his bullets before I let this indecency take place. 11. Courage/cowardliness Baba sit down please…Haven’t I taught you anything? He snapped. Tell me he’d better kill me good with that first shot. Because if I don’t go down, I’m tearing him to pieces, goddamn his father! A boy who won’t stand up for himself becomes a man who can’t stand up to anything.
  11. 11. The Kite Runner Symbols Kites Pomegranate Tree Dreams Stories Slingshot Harelip Rahim Khan The Lamb The Alley
  12. 12. Kites Kites feature in the opening of the novel and in the denouement. Do you want me to run that kite for you? Kites also showed the rivalry, status and relationship in Afghanistan In Kabul fighting kites was a little like going to war. The Kite symbolises Baba’s Love. He was also the city’s most famous kite maker.. Show him once and for all that his son was worthy. …the chill between Baba and me thawed a little. And the reason for that was the kites. Baba and I lived in the same house but in different spheres of existence. Kites were the one paper thin slice of intersection between those spheres.
  13. 13. Kites The kite symbolises (symbolised) joy: Winter was every kid’s favourite season in Kabul…Winter was the start of …building snowmen. And Kites of course. Flying kites. And running them. The Kite reveals that Hassan was attuned to nature-reveals his innocence: He always got to the spot the kite would land before the kite did, as if he had some sort of inner compass. Kites represent freedom in Afghanistan But you won’t find kites or kite shops on Jadeh Maywand or anywhere else in Kabul.
  14. 14. Kites Form and structure: The fact that the Kite’s meaning and symbolism to Amir changes through the novel illustrates the novel as a bildungsroman novel. Also Amir becomes the kite runner which also shows that he doesn’t care about status and he has matured and learnt from his past mistakes-links to redemption. Language- Kites are used as a metaphor for exploring the relationship between Baba and Amir.
  15. 15. 1. There was a pomegranate tree near the entrance to the cemetery. One summer day, I used one of Ali’s kitchen knives to carve our names on it: “Amir and Hassan, the sultans of Kabul…Hassan and I climbed its branches and snatched its blood-red pomegranates”. 2. We sat under our pomegranate trees and I knew I’d made a mistake…The words I’d carved…I couldn’t stand looking at them now. Pomegranate 3. Rahim Khan: we buried her in the cemetery on the hill, Tree. the one by the pomegranate tree, and I said a prayer for her too. 4. The droughts have dried the hill and the tree hasn’t borne fruit in years but Sohrab and I still sit under its shade… 5. The carving had dulled, almost faded altogether but it was still there: Amir and Hassan. The sultans of Kabul”.
  16. 16. 1. Lore has it my father once wrestled a black bear in Baluchistan….And in those dreams I can never tell Baba from the bear. 2. Hasan told me he had a dream: But no-one was swimming because they said a monster had come to the lake…there’s no monster you say I’ll show you all..They see now. There is no monster just water. 3. I was that monster take the Dreams 4. I am lost in a snowstorm…A familiar shape materialises…Ifield of hand and suddenly the snow is gone…We’re standing in a apple green grass..I look up and see the clear sky is filled with kites…They shimmer in the afternoon light (65). 5. And dreamed of Hassan running in the snow…for you a thousand times over. 6. I dreamed Assef was standing in the doorway of my hospital room, brass ball still in his eye socket. “We’re the same you and I” he was saying. “you nursed with him but you’re my twin”.
  17. 17. 1. 2. 3. Stories Sohrab and Rostam. Amir loves stories. Hassan also loves stories but Amir makes fun of him. 1. “when it comes to words, Hassan is an imbecile”. 2. “I read him poems and stories, sometimes riddles…though I stopped reading those when I saw he was far better at solving them than I was.” 4. Hassan learns to read later. He names his son, Sohrab. 5. Sohrab and Rostam is a story about betrayal between fathers and sons. 6. Hassan is unaware of the irony. Amir realises the irony. 7. Is Hassan forgiving Amir-Is he offering a sign of redemption? 8. Amir’s mother loves reading. Is Baba unhappy because Amir reads-think about this from a feminist point of view.
  18. 18. Slingshot I turned and came face to face with Hassan’s slingshot…Hassan held the slingshot pointed directly as Assef’s face…If you make a move, they’ll have to change your nickname from Assef ‘the ear eater’ to ‘one-eyed Assef because I have this rock pointed at your left eye…Hassan was trying to tuck the slingshot in his waist with a pair of trembling hands”.
  19. 19. Slingshot 1. Where is your slingshot Hazara? …That was clever. Really clever. Then again, it’s easy to be clever when you’re holding a loaded weapon.” 2. Sohrab had the slingshot pointed to Assef’s face…The slingshot made a thwitt sound when Sohrab released the cup…He put his hand where his left eye had been just a moment ago
  20. 20. 1. 2. Harelip Hassan the harelipped Kite Runner. A boy with a chinese doll face perpetually lit by a harelipped smile. 3. But this present will last you forever… 4. Hassan hadn’t done anything to earn Baba’s affections; he’d just been born with that stupid harelip. 5. Because that was the winter that Hassan stopped smiling.
  21. 21. 1) There is a way to be good again 2) I’m in his arms but it’s Rahim Khan’s pinky my fingersare curled around. Rahim Khan 3) I heard the story through Rahim Khan. 4) You know, sometimes you are the most self-centred man I know…As usual you’re over-simplifying. 5) Look, I know there’s a fondness between you and him and I’m happy about that, Envious but happy…He needs someone who, understands him. 6) My family would have never accepted her as an equal. You don’t order someone to polish your shoes one day and call them ‘sister’ the next…I almost forgot. Happy Birthday. It was a brown leatherbound notebook.
  22. 22. The Lamb 1. It was the look of the lamb. 2. Tomorrow is the tenth day of dhul-hijjah…a day to celebrate how the prophet Ibrahim almost sacrificed his own son for God…I see the sheep’s eyes. It is a look that will haunt my dreams for week…I imagine the animal sees that its imminent demise is for a higher purpose. This is the look. 3. Maybe Hassan was the price I had to pay, the lamb I had to slay to win Baba. Was it a fair price? The answer floated my conscious mind before I could thwart it; He was just a hazara wasn’t he? I ran back the way I’d come.