Aspects of Narrative: KEY MOMENTS.
*identify and analyse key moments in the first half of The Kite Runner.
How do 'Key Moments' help to tell a story?
- changes the narrative (shift in focus)
- changes readers perspective and opinion of characters
- changes setting à when Amir moves to USA
- they pose as milestones, which other aspects help to bring together
- changes the course of the narrative
- 'culminates' à when many smaller key moments lead up to big key moment.
SIGNALLING KEY MOMENTS
Amir's 'mean streak' (20) - STRUCTURE
- A time gap is represented through the spacing between one paragraph and another. This shows the conversation between Baba and Rahim Khan, had been playing at the forefront of Amir's mind over night.
- Among the smaller paragraph, it is set in its own one-line paragraph. The paragraph decrease to this single line. This builds tension, giving a conclusive idea, proving he does have a 'mean streak'.
- Lack of detail in the moment, showing he is reluctant to talk about the conversation.
- Maybe there is more significance in what isn't said than what is said. This shows that he may not want to show emotion, and prove Baba right; that he is weak.
- Lack of description in aftermath of conversation, contrasting with usual vivid descriptions throughout the book. This demonstrates juxtaposition from highly descriptive conversation - "I could see him searching, reaching for the right words" - between Baba and Rahim Khan, signals change.
- Reported speech compared to direct speech, shows a reduction of speech entirely.
Reporting of a Dream (30) - FORM
- In a dream, there are limitless possibilities, anything can happen. This can be a form of foreshadowing as it could give a preview of what could occur later on, what Amir wants to happen.
- Hassan's dream dominates Amir's story. But Hassan firstly mentions Amir showing his priority lies with Amir. This could also show Amir's selfishness as he would probably have cut Hassan short if the dream didn't involve him.
- "I almost apologized, but I didn't". This looks back at the idea of Amir's 'mean streak', showing it is present.
- In the dream, Amir enters the lake first, shortly followed by Hassan. This is a clear indication to Amir's sense of leadership in their relationship, also he sees Hassan as easily manipulated as he adores Amir so much.
- Within the dream, the monster is non-existent. Which shows it is easier for Amir to defeat; it could be just a figure of his imagination.
- The monster is also likened to that of the monster in Amir’s mind represented by the constant guilt he feels, which he battles to keep under control after the rape.
Sign of healing (40) - LANGUAGE
- Hassan's language changes from chatty to barely even responsive. The doctor is always polite but Hassan appears scared, repeating 'oh'. This foreshadows the fact Hassan will soon become mute as a result of the rape ordeal.
- Repetition of 'oh' also shows he finds it hard to adapt to new situations.
- Lack of words within key moment, show his fear and shortness of vocabulary to respond to the kindness of Baba. This clearly highlights Hassan's illiteracy, as usually he can hold a conversation however not so much now.
- Hassan’s naivety and innocence shows itself as he is focused entirely on whether it will hurt.
- He is stunned at the gesture Baba had given to him, with a simple "thank you". Again, saying only a few words when he speaks. Showing Hassan is out of his depth at this point.