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We’re a Melancholic People, We Afghans, aren’t We?

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  • Pages: 8
  • Word count: 1810
  • Category: Bravery

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The novel occurs in the 1970’s which is in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the United States. These three main settings are in the novel because Amir was not safe where he was living. The setting of the novel affects the way the characters interact with each other which is very important because it causes conflict. It also is very symbolic because it describes what Sohrab had to go through when the Soviets were taking over and causing destruction to Afghanistan and Pakistan. The environment is described as very dirty and destroyed because of the war going on in that time period. A milieu is created from the environment because the two boys had to go through a lot when they grew up. For example, the story is talks about the destruction everywhere which affects the boy’s personal lives. The setting in Kabul and Pakistan is very important to the novel because it shows where the destruction was happening and how the characters reacted to the problem.


In The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini writes in colloquial diction because it repetition of Afghan words that are said from multiple characters. The use of the words brings the attention to the reader because it shows what culture they are, what is going on in the story, and how it is said. For example in the novel it says, ‘We’re a melancholic people, we Afghans, aren’t we? Often we wallow too much in ghamkhori and self-pity. We give in to loss, to suffering, accept it as a fact of life, even see it as necessary. Zendagi migzara, we say, life goes on’ (Hosseini 201). Baba uses multiple words that the reader does not understand which brings their attention too it. He says these word to make the reader question what it means and allows the reader to go deeper into the story. The author also uses lots of imagery in the novel which makes an image in the reader’s head. For example, Amir describes the air as “crisp” when he is in San Francisco and away from the destruction. The imagery used in the book is very important to the structure of the novel because it shows the reader how the setting was by using specific detail. The author also uses lots of metaphors such as “… a perfectly encapsulated morsel of a good past, a brushstroke of color on the gray, barren canvas that our lives had become”(Hosseini 123). The metaphors let the reader know a better understanding of the text and how it connects with the characters. The word choice and language that the author chooses is very flowery because it has very detailed words that the reader can sometimes not understand. The language is very skillful and complicated in some parts to make the reader question what is happening. The diction indicates social status and region because it shows the reader how the character talks from their way of living. It indicates the social status because Hassan was very quite and always respected Baba and Amir with his way of words and language. It also indicates the region because the characters sometimes speak in the Afghan language. This can indicate where the characters live and also were raised. The novel uses lots of dialogue but also describes the characters emotions because it is in first person narraration. The dialogue is different from the narrator voice because the novel describes his feelings and emotions but also shows how he is talking to other people. Amir’s thoughts are different from the way he talks to others because he doesn’t say his thoughts out loud. The dialogue is very distinct from character to character because Amir talks differently to the people that he is more close with such as Hassan. The dialogue with Hassan and the dialogue with Asseff is different because they have different relationships. The text shows diction in three different parts of the novel. In one passage, it says, “My eyes returned to our suitcases. They made me sad for Baba. After everything he’d built, planned, fought for, fretted over, dreamed of, this was the summation of his life; one disappointing son and two suitcases”(Hosseini 124). The different word choice that the author selects is very important to the formation of the characters because it shows how Amir feels. It also shows the flowery and sophisticated language that shows his education. Another passage is when it says, “ ‘Sit down, Amir Jan,’ she said. ‘Soraya, get him a chair, bachem. And wash one of those peaches.They’re sweet and fresh’ “(Hosseini 149). The diction in this passage is very important to the story because of the word choice Baba chooses when he talks to his wife. He says “bachem” which is an afghan word and can identify where the characters are from and what culture they are. Another passage of diction is when it says, “The Idea of Fatherhood unleashed a swirl or emotions in me. I found it frightening, invigorating, daunting, and exhilarating all at the same time. What sort of father would I make, I wondered. I wanted to be just like Baba and I wanted to be nothing like him”(Hosseini 184). The word choice in the passage is very sophisticated and concise because it shows how Amir thinks of what he wants in the future. The word choice shows the reader what Amir is thinking and feeling when he wants to be a father.


The Kite Runner has phrases and sentences that are predominantly complex which are very long and full of flowery language, imagery, and metaphors. The length of the sentences and phrases differ because some are long and others are very short and straight to the point. The sentences that are long, are very detailed and create imagery in the reader’s head. The sentences are often formal when Amir is older in age. It is not formal when he is a young boy and grows up in his childhood with Hassan by his side. The novel is organized in very long passages and paragraphs which does not have fragments. The novel also has lots of rhetorical questions because it is in first person and the reader can understand Amir’s thoughts and actions. He says, “But coming close wasn’t the same as winning, was it? (Hosseini 56). The rhetorical question shows how Amir thinks of winning and how important it was to him and his father. The author uses lots of parallel structure in his writing to show the repitition of events and dialogue so that the reader can connect and analyze the characters. The sentences in the novel are significantly loose and they flow together. It starts the main problem and then adds details at the end which all falls nicely in place. The sentences are very significant because they all go nicely together when Amir explains events in much detail. There can also be sentences that are short and straight to the point which gets the reader’s attention. The author creates rhythm and flow by using syntax because the whole novel is put into place and very organized. It shows the problem, details, and solution which can affect the reader’s thoughts. It also enhances the effect of the novel because it shows Amir’s perspective in specific detail. In the passage where Amir is thinking about his future of being a father, the sentence all flows together. It explains how Amir’s feelings are “exhilerating” and “daunting” which show the syntax in the text. The sentence is very organized when he announces the issue and then describes it in the passage. Syntax sets the tone, theme, and character because it shows how each problem is solved in an organized manner. It also shows how the character is talking and their personality or mood.

Concrete Detail/Imagery:

The Kite Runner uses lots of detail and imagery because of the way Amir views the environment. The reader can also analyze the imagery very easily because the novel is written in Amir’s perspective. The novel shows lots of direct phrases which appeal to the five senses throughout Amir’s life. For example, Amir uses his senses when it says, “My eyes kept on returning to a blue kite that had been wreaking havoc for the last hour” (Hosseini 64). The author’s effect of the imagery and details of the kite impacts the reader and lets them know how the kite symbolizes Amir’s childhood. The kite is very significant to the story because he always had his best friend/brother there with him and he didn’t realize that until he was older.


The Kite Runner is very symbolic which impacts the main character very deeply throughout his life. It also is very allegorical because of the multiple events that the author wrote and wanted the reader to understand in the real-world. The novel has multiple symbols such as the kite, the pomegranet tree,Hassan’s lip, and the slingshot. In the novel, it says, “The curious thing was, I never thought of Hassan and me as friends either… Never mind that we spent entire winters flying kites, running kites. Never mind that to me, the face of Afghanistan is that of a boy with a thin-boned frame… a boy with Chinese doll face perpetually lit by a harelipped smile. Never mind any of these things. Because history isn’t easy to overcome. Neither is religion. In the end, I was a Pashtun and he was a Hazara, I was Sunni and he was Shi’a, and nothing was ever going to change that” (Hosseini 25). The kites that Hassan and Amir played with as kids left a huge impact on Amir because he realized how much he cared for Hassan. The kites symbolize friendship because of how the two boys shared something they both liked and played with their whole lives. The quote also talks about how Amir remembers his cleft lip which symbolizes poverty because Hassan was treated differently the whole novel. He was treated unfairly because of his religion which made him feel not wanted. The pomegranete tree is a symbol because it also shows friendship and love. Hassan looked up to Amir no matter if they were treated differently. He always thought of him as a brother and Amir never thought that way. They would always play together under the tree which shows their relationship as friends. In the novel it says, “There was a pomegranete tree near the netrance to the cemetary. One summer day, I used one of Ali’s kitchen knives to carve our names on it (Hosseini 27). Amir and Hassan share a special bond which is why the tree symbolizes their friendship. The slingshot symbolizes strength and bravery because both Hassan and his son stand up to Assef. They show their bravery with a slingshot to protect Amir.

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