The Element Of Location English Literature Essay

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The element of location plays a very important part of any story and helps in developing the subject and the theme. In the beginning of The Kite Runner Amir keeps referring to the "winter of 1975" as the time when something ominous began. This comes true in the chapter's five to seven when the story takes a turning point as Amir betrays his friendship for Hassan making the winter of 1975 leave a permanent mark on Amir's mind until the end. The chapters from five to seven take place in the winter of 1975 in Afghanistan during the kite flying competition. When Amir wins the tournament by cutting down the last kite Hassan runs to get the fallen blue kite for Amir. After following it for a long time and finally acquiring it Hassan is ambushed by Assef and his friends. They demanded the kite from Hassan to forgive him for the conflict they got into the other day. Hassan being faithful and loyal to Amir refuses to hand over the kite. Due to this Assef rapes Hassan. Amir had already got there at the time when Assef was demanding the kite but Amir cowardly betrays Hassan by not stopping Assef or by getting help. Therefore the use of location i.e. the "winter of 1975" emphasizes the theme of Hassan's loyalty and Amir's betrayal as the story takes place in the winter which is the time when kites are flown in Afghanistan which contributes to the development of the rest of the plot.

"He was already turning the street corner, his rubber boots kicking up snow. He stopped, turned. He cupped his hands around his mouth. "For you a thousand times over!" he said. Then he smiled his Hassan smile and disappeared around the corner."(71)

Element - Tropology (Hyperbole)

This takes place when Hassan starts to run to get the blue kite for Amir. The element of cognitive design used here is tropology and more precisely hyperbole. The quote "For you a thousand times over!" shows Hassan's loyalty towards Amir and about how Hassan shares a bond greater than friendship with Amir. Hassan has been Amir friend from the time he understood the world. His first word was "Amir" and moreover both Amir and Hassan have played together all their life till the time Hassan got raped. The description of the time when Hassan ran for the kite -"his rubber boots kicking up snow." shows how eager Hassan was for getting the kite and his smile denotes that his effort to be loyal for Amir was due to friendship and not because of the fact that Hassan was Amir's servant. Also is it due to this vow that Hassan got raped by Assef while he honored his friendship for Amir while Amir betrayed him. Therefore the hyperbole used here - for you a thousand times - states the theme of Hassan's loyalty and friendship towards Amir.

"I actually aspired to cowardice, because the alternative, the real reason I was running, was that Assef was right: Nothing was free in this world. Maybe Hassan was the price I had to pay, the lamb I had to slay, to win Baba." (82)

Element - Tropology (Metaphor)

This line is said by Amir at the end of chapter 7 when he sees Hassan getting raped by Assef. At this time Amir betrays Hassan by not stopping Assef by standing up for Hassan or by calling out for help. Amir says this line cowardly as he tries to justify his actions by stating that Hassan was a price to pay for him to stay safe. After this Amir sees Hassan get raped and runs out of the place back to his house. I guess one more reason for Amir to run away instead of saving Hassan due to his cowardliness is also because that he wanted to impress Baba with the blue kite and he also wanted to take his revenge on Hassan for being cared by Baba more than himself. Amir uses metaphor as he states that Hassan was the lamb, the price he had to pay to win Baba. He compares Hassan to the lamb that is sacrificed in religious festivals in Afghanistan. Thus the use of tropology in the form of metaphor emphasizes the theme of Hassan's loyalty for Amir and Amir's betrayal.

Baba and I lived in the same house but in different spheres of existence. Kites were the one paper-thin slice of intersection between those spheres.(52)

Element - Tropology (Imagery)

The literary device imagery is used in these lines to show the gravity in the relationship between Amir and Baba and the connection of kites as a thing that unites them. Baba has despised his son, Amir for not taking part in sports like soccer which he thinks that all boys should do. He also hates the part that Amir spends his time reading books and that he does not stand up for himself. Courage is one thing in Afghanistan that is considered to be present in every man. Moreover Amir feels that Baba does not like him as he was the reason his mother died during childbirth thus taking away his father's love but in reality Amir is not responsible of his mother's death. Therefore the use of imagery in the form of two spheres of existence gives the mind and image of two people far away in two spheres and the image of a kite slicing through the spheres give an image of the spheres uniting. Thus the relationship between Baba and Hassan conveys the theme of family and unity when the image of a kite uniting them is created in the minds of the readers.

"His word was law, and if you needed a little legal education, then those brass knuckles were just the right teaching tool." (41)

Element - Tropology (Symbol)

In this novel Assef is infamous for his cruelty to other kids. His brass knuckles are well known as a symbol of fear in the hearts of the persons who get bullied by him in Afghanistan. Assef's character portrays him as a person who commits crime and bullies others. In these chapters Hassan is raped by Assef. When Assef threatens Hassan to hand over the kite to him to gain his forgiveness for the conflict they got into the other day by stating that his brass knuckles would be used as a teaching tool Hassan refuses. The brass knuckles support the theme of power as the Pashtuns are considered to be of a higher society than the Hazaras and Assef; a Pashtun who has the brass knuckles has an advantage and power over Hassan, a Hazara.

Symbol - Kites

"And kites, of course. Flying kites. And running them." (51)

"Because today, it's only going to cost you that blue kite. A fair deal, boys isn't it?" (77)

Characters:

Amir

Speech

"Baba says Hitler was crazy, that he ordered a lot of innocent people killed." (43)

"Eat dirt if I told you to," (57)

"Don't be stupid, Hassan. You know I wouldn't." (58)

"He says we'll have television in Kabul." (61)

"Well, it's a dumb dream. Nothing happens in it." (64)

Appearance

Protagonist born in 1963- currently 12 years old (71)

"And maybe, just maybe, I would finally be pardoned for killing my mother." (60) - Protagonists mother died while giving birth

Protagonist is a Sunni Muslim

Protagonist is a Pashtun

"Black leather coat, red scarf, faded jeans. A thin boy, a little sallow and a tad short for his twelve years. He had narrow shoulders and a hind of dark circles around his pale eyes. The breeze rustled his light brown hair. He looked up to me and we smiled at each other." (70)

Actions

"Hassan went to his shack to get ready and I ran upstairs to grab a book." (40)

"I shove a handful of the fresh snow into my mouth, listen to the muffled stillness broken only by the cawing of crows." (51)

"We went to the bazaar and bought bamboo, glue, string, and paper." (53)

"I tripped over a rock and fell - I wasn't just slower than Hassan but clumsier too; I'd always envied his natural athleticism." (57)

"I opened my mouth and almost said something. Almost. The rest of my life might have turned out differently if I had. But I didn't. I just watched. Paralyzed." (78)

"I bit my fist. Shut my eyes." (78)

Thoughts

"I wished I too had some kind of scar that would beget my Baba's sympathy." (50)

" Baba and I loved in the same house, but in different spheres of existence. Kites were the one paper-thin slice of intersection between those spheres." (52)

"His eyes searched my face for a long time. We sat there, two boys under a sour cherry tree, suddenly looking, really looking, at each other. That's when it happened again: Hassan's face changed. Maybe no changed, not really but suddenly I had the feeling I was looking at two faces, the one I knew, the one that was my first memory, and another a second face, this one lurking just beneath the surface." (57-58)

"Baba was used to winning, winning at everything he set in his mind to. Didn't he have a right to expect that from his son? And just imagine. If I did win…" (59)

"Did he know I knew? And if I knew, then what would I see if I did look in his eyes? Blame? Indignation? Or, God forbid, what I feared most: guileless devotion? That most of all I couldn't bare to see." (83)

b. Hassan

Speech

"For you a thousand times over."(71)

"Agha sahib will worry." (84)

"Amir Agha and I are friends." (77)

"Amir Agha won this tournament and I ran this kite for him. I ran it fairly. This is his kite." (77)

"You know… I like where I live. It's my home."

Appearance

hare lipped (50)

Faint scar (50)

Born in 1964, one year younger than Amir

Has only father left (Ali) (38)

Servant to Amir and his Baba (62)/ No mother (left him) (45)

Shi'a Muslim (61)

Hazara (61)

"Although I've always wondered how he manages. I mean, with those tight little eyes, how does he see anything?" (73)

Actions

"Next to me, Hassan held the spook, his hands already bloodied by the string." (67)

"I jerked the string twice, our usual signal" and Hassan tossed the kite." (66)

"I hear he's a great kite runner." (75)

"I turned and came face to face with Hassan's slingshot. Hassan had pulled the wide elastic band all the way back. In the cup was a rock the size of a walnut." (45)

Other's Opinions

"I'll ask the president to do what the kind didn't have the quwat to do. To rid Afghanistan of all the dirty kasseef Hazaras." (44)

"Like Hassan, Ali was incapable of lying." (47)

"A loyal Hazara. Loyal as a dog," (77)

"Good old Hassan. Good old reliable Hassan. He'd kept his promise and run the last kite for me." (74)

"It's an unusual present, I know, and probably not what you had in mind, but this present will last you for ever."-Care for Hassan (49)

c. Assef

Speech

"Do you know that I will tell Daoud Khan the next time he comes to our house for dinner? I'm going to have a little chat with him, man to man, mard to mard. Tell him what I told my mother about Hitler. Now, there was leader. A great leader. A man with vision, I'll tell Daoud Khan to remember that if they had let Hitler finish what he started, the world be a better place now." (43)

"Afghanistan is the land of Pushtuns. It always has been, always will be." (43)

"You're part of the problem, Amir. If idiots like you and your father didn't take these people in, we'd be rid of them by now." (44)

"Put it down, you motherless Hazara." (45)

"All I want you weaklings to do is hold him down. Can you manage that?" (80)

Actions

"Assef unbuttoned his winter coat, took it off, folded it slowly and deliberately." (78)

"Assef yelped as he flung himself at Hassan knocking him to the ground." (78)

"Assef motioned with his hand, and the other two boys separated, forming a half circle, trapping Hassan in the alley." (78)

"Assef knelt behind Hassan, put his hands on Hassan's hips and lifted his bare buttocks. He kept one hand on Hassan's back and undid his own belt buck with his free hand. He unzipped his jeans. Dropped his underwear. He positioned himself behind Hassan." (80-81)

Appearance

"Assef was the son of one of my father's friends, Mahmood, an airline pilot." (41)

"If you were a kid living in the Wazir Akbar Khan section pf Kabul, you knew about Assef and his famous stainless-steel brass knuckles, hopefully not through personal experience." (41)

"Born to a German mother and Afghan father, the blond, blue-eyed Assef towered over the other kids." (41)

"His well-earned reputation for savagery preceded him on the streets." (41)

Other's Opinions

"Some of the boys in Wazir Akbar Khan had nicknamed him Assef Goshkhor, or Assef 'the Ear Eater.'" (41)

"Of course, none of them dared utter it to his face unless they wished to suffer the same fate as the or kid who had unwittingly inspired that nickname when he had fought Assef over a kite and ended up fighting his right ear from a muddy gutter." (41)

"Years later, I learned an English word for the creature that Assef was, a word for which a goof Farsi equivalent does not exisit: 'sociopath.'" (41)

d. Baba

Speech

"It's an unusual present, I know, and probably not what you had in mind, but this present will last you for ever."-Care for Hassan (49)

"I think maybe you'll win the tournament this year. What do you think?" (59)

"They blocked all the roads and the telephone didn't work. I was so worried." (39)

Actions

"Baba smoked his pipe and talked." (60)

"Next door, in Baba's study Baba and Rahim Khan were discussing with a couple of other men - one of them I recognized as Assef's father." (61)

"Baba waited until ten to have me circumcised was beyond me and one of the things I will never forgive him for." (50)

"Then a smile played on my father's lips. He opened his arms." (84)

Appearance

Born in 1933

Father to Amir (84)

Adopted Ali (Hassan's Father) (49)

Phustun

Sunni Muslim

Thoughts/Other's Opinions

"I wished I too had some kind of scar that would beget my Baba's sympathy. It wasn't fair." (50)

"You're part of the problem, Amir. If idiots like you and your father didn't take these people in, we'd be rid of them by now." (44)

e. Ali

Speech

"Agha sahib hasn't discussed it with me." (47)

Actions

"Ali held his had as Hassan took a long, thoughtful look into it." (50)

Thoughts/Others Opinions

"Like Hassan, Ali was incapable of lying." (47)

"We both looked to Ali, but of course with him you could never tell. His face was impassive as ever, though something sober had melted into his eyes." (49)

f. Rahim Khan

Actions

"Next door, in Baba's study Baba and Rahim Khan were discussing with a couple of other men - one of them I recognized as Assef's father." (61)

"Baba and Rahim Khan were drinking tea and listening to the news crackling on the radio." (84)

Themes (Controlling Subjects)

Loyalty

"For you a thousand times over." (71)

"A loyal Hazara. Loyal as a dog," (77)

"Good old Hassan. Good old reliable Hassan. He'd kept his promise and run the last kite for me." (74)

Friendship

"Amir agha" and I are friends." (77)

"I had begun to worry that darkness would fall before I found Hassan when I heard voices from up ahead." (worry for Hassan) (75)

Lack of Confidence/Fear/Taking a Stance/Doing what is right

"I opened my mouth and almost said something. Almost. The rest of my life might have turned out differently if I had. But I didn't. I just watched. Paralyzed." (78)

"But he's not my friend! I almost blurted. He's my servant!" (44)

Religion/Ethnicity/Culture

"Baba mocks the story behind this Eid, as he mocks everything religious." (81)

"It's just a Hazara," (80)

"My father says it's sinful" (80)

A few blocks away, from the Haji Yaghoub Mosque, the mullah bellowed azaan, calling for the faithful to unroll their rugs and bow their heads west in prayer." (73)

"Those Iranians…" (61)

Respect (despite treatment)

"Maybe he'd call me Amir jan like Rahim Khan did." (60)

"You won, Amir agha! You won!" (70)

"Please leave us be, Agha," (45)

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