What event started the conflict in The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini?
What is the initiating event of the story? At first, I was thinking that is was when Hassan was sexually assaulted by Assef in the alleyway, since it was from that time that Amir guilt began to haunt him.
However, now I'm debating between that and event where Amir and Hassan is confronted and threatened (not to mention also beaten up) by Assef and his two followers. The reason why I'm considering this is because it was what caused Hassan's rape to happen later. Also, this event doesn't really seem to fit in the Exposition category in my opinion.
But I'm not really sure. What do you think?
This is a great question. The rape scene is a very an important point in the novel, but I would say that conflict stated much earlier. The earliest conflict was with Baba and Amir's desire to gain his affection. Of course, Baba loved Amir, but there was a hidden secret that Amir did not know. Baba had another son - Hassan. This meant that Hassan was not only his best friend, but also his brother.
This also explains why Baba was so loving and kind towards Hassan, a servant boy. In addition, this also explains where Hassan got all his courage from. He was more like Baba than Amir was. For this reason, Amir felt a sense of alienation, which he could not shake. There was an invisible tension with his father and there was an unspoken tension within his own heart as well. I believe that this was the starting point of all the tension. In the end of the novel, this is all resolved.