Why does the author choose to frame The Kite Runner with the scene of Amir peering into an alley witnessing a tragedy?How is the quote, "Afghans like to say: Life goes on, unmindful of beginning,...

Why does the author choose to frame The Kite Runner with the scene of Amir peering into an alley witnessing a tragedy?

How is the quote, "Afghans like to say: Life goes on, unmindful of beginning, end...crisis or catharsis, moving forward like a slow, dusty caravan of kochis [nomads].", significant to the framing of the novel?

Expert Answers
lynnebh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When the novel begins, Amir is living in California, USA, thinking back about his childhood friend, whom he has betrayed. When he recalls how he peered into the alley and witnessed his boyhood friend being raped, we are introduced to the novel's main conflict - guilt. Amir's guilt frames the entire novel because it never leaves him until he returns to the scene of the crime with the chance to "do something good."

So, Amir's guilt frames the plot. The author must tell what happened by means of flashbacks; what caused the guilt? What was Amir's sin? Then, we see how his guilt has affected his relationships, not only with Baba, but with everyone else he encounters. Finally, we see how he must purge himself of his guilt by adopting Hassan's son.

The quote you refer to seems to contradict the theme of the novel because for Amir, life does not go on unmindful of beginning and end. His life has been very mindful of what he has done at the beginning of it, and he cannot reach a good end to it until he fixes the past. So while life may move forward like a slow, dusty caravan, there is still time because it IS so slow, to repent for mistakes you have made in the past.

Read the analysis here on enotes and see if you agree with me.

 

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The Kite Runner

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