You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go.
-Dr. Seuss

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


1. Briefly summarize the plot of the novel you read according to the elements of plot you've learned in past courses (exposition, inciting incident, etc.).  Explain how the narrative fulfills the author's purpose (based on your well-informed interpretation of same).
The Kite Runner is a novel that takes place in Kabul, Afghanistan in the 1960’s to the 2000’s. The novel is about Amir Jan a Pashtun and Hassan a Hazara. The novel begins with a phone call from Rahim Khan to Amir. Amir is hesitant on going to Afghanistan because of his dark past. Amir tells us about his past and how he paid his debt for doing wrong. Hassan and Amir were together since birth. They grew up together with Baba and Ali. Amir would read and play with Hassan. Amir was a coward young boy while Hassan was brave and loyal. Amir feared that he would never be able to please his father like Hassan seemed to. So one day Amir made it his goal to win the kite running competition. Amir and Hassan won. Then, Hassan fetched the kite for Amir and was caught between Assef and his two friends all bullies of any Hazaras. Assef scarred Hassan in the worst way possible, he stripped him from his clothes and raped him, leaving him desolate and depressed for a very long time. The brotherhood between Hassan and Amir is broken because poor Amir watched everything and could do nothing about it. He was ashamed and could not bare to look or speak to Hassan. Hassan and Ali decide to move after some time. Amir and Baba move to San Fracisco. There Amir gets married with Soraya and becomes a good writer. Baba dies of Cancer about a month before Amir gets the call from Rahim Khan to got to Afghanistan to cleanse his past. There Rahim tells him that Hassan was his half brother and he advices him to find his nephew Sohrab. Amir goes on a journey to find Sohrab, he encounters himself with a series of dangerous events and people, but the point is that he finds him and he is under the watch of the Taliban. The head master of the Taliban is Assef and that is when hell breaks loose. There is a fight between Amir and Assef; Sohrab saves Amir. Amir tries to take Sohrab to America. After a month or more Sohrab and Amor get home San Francisco where Soraya awaits them eagerly. Sohrab is a quiet kid he lives within himself, he does not smile and is anti-social.  The first day Amir saw him smile in a very long time was the day they flew a kite together.

2. Succinctly describe the theme of the novel. Avoid cliches.
There are many possible themes, but the one that drove the novel was the fact that Amir needed to feel good again, he needed to pay for his wrongs. The theme being the unbelievable things people will do to get rid of guilt and be at peace with their minds.

3. Describe the author's tone. Include a minimum of three excerpts that illustrate your point(s).
The authors tone is guilty, hurtful, confused, and frightened.
Ex1) Pg. 1 “Because the past claws its way out. Looking back now, I realize I have been peeking into that deserted alley for the last twenty-six years.”
Ex2) Pg. 78 “ I was glad I didn’t have to return his gaze. Did he know I knew? And if he knew, then what would I see if I did look in his eyes? Blame? Indignation? Or, God forbid, what I feared most: guileless devotion?”
Ex3) Pg.343 “ Suddenly I was on my knees, screaming. Screaming through my clenched teeth. Screaming until I thought my throat would rip and m chest explode. Later, they said I was still screaming when the ambulance arrived.”

4. Describe a minimum of ten literary elements/techniques you observed that strengthened your understanding of the author's purpose, the text's theme and/or your sense of the tone. For each, please include textual support to help illustrate the point for your readers. (Please include edition and page numbers for easy reference.)
1. Pg. 1-Foreshadowing: “One day last summer, my friend Rahim Khan called from Pakistan. He asked me to come see him. Standing in the kitchen with the receiver to my ear, I knew it wasn’t just Rahim Khan on the line. It was my past of unatoned sins.”
2. Pg. 73-Flashback: “Assef yelped as he flung himself at Hassan, knocking him to the to the ground. Wali and Kamal followed. I bit on my fist. Shut my eyes.
A memory: Did you know Hassan and you fed from the same breast? Did you know that, Amir agha?
3. Pg. 135-Point of view: “Sometimes, I got behind the wheel of my foed, rolled down the windows, and drove for hours, from the East Bay to the South Bay, up the peninsula and back.”
4. Pg. 126 Exposition: “In 1980, when we were still in Kabul, the U.S announced it would be boycotting the Olympic Games in Moscow.”
5. Pg. 2 Symbolism: “And suddenly Hassan’s voice whispered in my head. For you, a thousand times over. Hassan the harelipped kite runner.”
Pg. 371 “Behind us, the kids were scampering, and a melee of screaming kite runners was chasing the loose kite drifting high above the trees. I blinked and the smile was gone. But it had been there. I had seen it.”
6. Pg. 75 Imagery: “Assef knelt behind Hassan, put his hands on Hassan’s lips and lifted his bare buttocks. He kept one hand on Hassan’s back and undid his own belt buckle with his free hand. He unzipped his jeans. Dropped his underwear. He positioned himself behind Hassan. Hassan didn’t struggle. Didn’t even whimper.”
7. Pg. 76 Allusion: “It was the look of the lamb. –Tomorrow is the tenth day of Dhul-Hijjah, the last month of the Muslim calendar…- a day to celebrate how the prophet Ibrahim almost sacrificed his own son for God… Just a second before he slices the throat in one expert motion, I see the sheep’s eyes. It is a look that will haunt my dreams for weeks.”
8. Pg. 330-331 Conflict: “your petition to adopt this young fellow. Give it up. That’s my advice to you…-we strongly discourage U.S citizens from attempting to adopt Afghanistan children.”
9. Pg. 2 Mood: A bit solemn thoughtful in this excerpt from the novel.
“…Rahim Khan said just before he hung up, almost as an afterthought. There is a way to be good again. I looked up at those twin kites. I thought about Hassan. Thought about Baba. Ali. Kabul. I thought of the life I had lived until the winter of 1975 came along and changed everything. And made me what I am today.”
10. Pg. 281 Climax: “ His name escaped my lips: Assef.”

1. Describe two examples of direct characterization and two examples of indirect characterization.  Why does the author use both approaches, and to what end (i.e., what is your lasting impression of the character as a result)?
The author uses both approaches because it gives the reader a chance to view the characters in two perspectives; one being how the characters portray themselves and the other being how others portray them. With Amir’s character both indirect and direct characterizations matched for me. His cowardly actions and the way he was described were no different from each other. When it came to Hassan, I felt like he did not get enough credit for how intelligent, curious and loyal he was because he was born a Hazara.

Indirect Characterizations Examples:
Ex1) Amir Jan: Pg. 33 “I read it to him in the living room by the marble fireplace. No playful straying this time; this was about me! Hassan was the perfect audience in many ways, totally immersed in the tale, his face shifting with the changing tones in the story. When I read the last sentence, he made a muted clapping sound with his hands.”
Ex2) Hassan: Pg. 33 “ Mashallah, Amir agha. Bravo! He was beaming…Some day you will be a great writer-and people all over the world will read your stories.”

Direct Characterization Examples:
Ex1) Amir Jan: Pg. 23-24 “But he’s always buried in those books or shuffling around the house like he’s lost in some dreams-There is something missing in that boy.”
Ex2) Hassan: Pg. 22 “ Hassan steps in and fends them off. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. And when they come home, I say to him, How did Hassan get that scrape on his face? And, he says, he fell down.”

2. Does the author's syntax and/or diction change when s/he focuses on character?  How?  Example(s)?
In my opinion the author’s syntax and diction do not change when referring to a specific character. The transition is constant and ongoing. The mood and/or feelings may change when speaking of a certain character, but the syntax and diction are usually constant. Though is any of the two change slightly it is usual the diction because the words used to describe a character are adjectives and other detailed words.
Ex1) Pg 334 “Then I took my own bath, lay there until the streaming hot water turned cold and my skin shriveled up. I lay there drifting, wondering, imagining…Omar Faisal was chubby, dark, had dimpled cheeks, black button eyes, and an affable, gap-toothed smile. His thinning gray hair was tied back in a ponytail.”
Ex2) pg.279 “ The boy had his father’s round moon face, his pointy stub of chin, his twisted, seashell ears, and the same slight frame.

3. Is the protagonist static or dynamic?  Flat or round?  Explain.
Amir Jan is a dynamic character, because as an audience we are able to see him grow and mature into a man. Yes, it is fair to say that some things never leave the person for example, his cowardice, but he still became a different person than what he once was. In the beginning it almost seems as if Amir will never change that he will always be that boy that could not stand up to anything, that would rather hide than fight, but as the novel continues Amir is forced to change into a more responsible and courageous young man. When he returns to Afghanistan is when this transformation happens. The will to be at peace with himself and Sohrab are what drive him to live up to this expectation of a brave man.

4. After reading the book did you come away feeling like you'd met a person or read a character?  Analyze one textual example that illustrates your reaction. 
After reading “The Kite Runner” I felt like I got to know Amir well because of all the personal information, feelings, and thoughts he described in the novel. The fact that he was the narrator was also much help. Amir admitted so much on his life that it almost seems as if the novel itself served as a personal diary.
“The sun was beginning to set, glittering red through the cracks between the ramshackle buildings. It hit me again, the enormity of what I had done that winter and that following summer. The names rang in my head: Hassan, Sohrab, Ali, Farzana and Sanaubar. Hearing Rahim Khan speak Ali’s name was like finding an old dusty music box that hadn’t been opened in years; the melody began to play immediately: who did you eat today, Babalu? Who did you eat, you slant-eye Babalu? I tried to conjure Ali’s frozen face, to really see his tranquil eyes, but time can be a greedy thing-sometimes it steals all the details for itself.”

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