Thursday, August 29, 2019

How Does Hosseini Tell the Story in Chapter 2 Essay

During this early stage of the novel, narrative is fundamental in forming the basis and definition of Amir, the protagonist and teller of the story. As well as this, several expectations for the novel are also established, particularly in terms of characterization and plot. Whilst the book as a whole can be described as a psychological exploration into the complexities of guilt and jealousy, this chapter differs in the sense that the narration deliberately refrains from discussing any thoughts or emotions of Amir. Founded on factual knowledge such as dates, times, births, deaths, and directly quoted dialogue, the formal tone may reflect the writer’s attitude to the material being discussed; perhaps he is ashamed and wants, during this chapter, to distance himself from emotional implications and accountability? Instead, we are introduced to the voices of other characters, such as Baba, Ali and Sanaubar. This begins to embed the idea that the plot will revolve around a delicate web of interpersonal relationships. Furthermore, Hosseini’s first-person narrator makes the larger story of Afghanistan’s troubles seem very personal, as Amir’s tale of personal abuse, betrayal, and redemption, mirrors the tale of Afghanistan itself. Hosseini uses contrast to illustrate the inverse lives of Amir and Hassan. Endless description of infinite luxury, marble surfaces, the warmth of fire, and curved walls steering through one room after another, is followed by a single sentence, almost as an afterthought, mentioning Hassan and Ali’s humble mud hut at the bottom of the garden. The choice of sentence structure is reflective of their positions in society; their respective lifestyles are the culmination of ethnic tensions and intolerances. However, a degree of similarity remains, a similarity that is irrelevant of society. Both Hassan and Amir have lost their mothers, and as a consequence, only have their fathers and each other. They are closer than regular friends, or more like brothers. Their relationship plays a central role in the book, and it figures in another theme that is introduced in this chapter: standing up for what is right. But despite this undeniable connection, Amir cannot call Hassan a friend, in the same way that Baba never refers to Ali as a friend either. The looming division of religious beliefs is further intensified by the blasphemous language used by the soldiers in reference to Hassan’s mother, which gives an impression of the control and sadistic ways associated with the treatment of Hazaras by the Pashtuns. The significance of setting becomes increasingly apparent as the book goes on, and in this chapter we are introduced to the pastoral environment that sets the scene for the childhood that Amir and Hassan shared. Hosseini crafts a typical landscape in descriptive detail of the Afghanistan that once was, of sunlight, trees, fruit, and autumn colours. This imagery is recurrent in passages of retrospective throughout the novel, and is part of a structural plan to effectively shock the reader in later chapters when Amir returns to Afghanistan.

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