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How do I respond to this question based on The Kite Runner? Prentend that you are Amir...

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amir-nit | Salutatorian

Posted August 26, 2013 at 6:56 AM via web

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How do I respond to this question based on The Kite Runner?

Prentend that you are Amir and that you are writing in your journal after witnessing the rape of Hassan. Try to justify you actions in order to avoid feelings of guilt. 

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 26, 2013 at 7:16 AM (Answer #1)

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What your teacher is looking for in setting you this question is firstly an understanding of the content of this book, and how Hassan's rape is such a vital and important part of this text in terms of how it impacts the rest of the novel. Secondly, your teacher wants to see an empathic response, where you demonstrate the ability to understand and appreciate the feelings of a particular character at a particular moment in the novel.

The pain that Amir experiences during Hassan's rape, whilst of course incomparable to the pain Hassan himself experienced, is nonetheless clearly referenced in the following quote:

I stopped watching, turned away from the alley. Something warm was running down my wrist. I blinked, saw I was still biting down on my fist, hard enough to draw blood from the knuckles. I realised something else. I was weeping.

Yet what is so interesting about this is that rather than try to confront his emotions directly, Amir chooses to repress them, even going as far as to organise Hassan's dismissal from his father's employment so he does not have to deal with his feelings of guilt. Any journal entry therefore is going to focus on reasons that will justify Amir's actions: the way that Assef was much bigger and stronger than Amir, and also psychopathic; Amir being outnumbered; the personal emnity between Assef and Amir, especially given the fact that they are so far away from any help; and lastly, Amir's own fear and his decision to avoid trouble. These are the kind of arguments that can be used by Amir to justify his decision to not get involved. However, to truly capture his voice, you will need to try and insert some sense of self-doubt into Amir's journal, that shows his real feelings of guilt. Perhaps a reference to his own self-wounding and his crying could achieve this.

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