How does Hosseini tell the story in Chapter 2?
During this early stage of the novel, narrative is fundamental in forming the basis and definition of Amir, the protagonist and teller of the story. As well as this, several expectations for the novel are also established, particularly in terms of characterization and plot. Whilst the book as a whole can be described as a psychological exploration into the complexities of guilt and jealousy, this chapter differs in the sense that the narration deliberately refrains from discussing any thoughts or emotions of Amir. Founded on factual knowledge such as dates, times, births, deaths, and directly quoted dialogue, the formal tone may reflect the writer’s attitude to the material being discussed; perhaps he is ashamed and wants, during this chapter, to distance himself from emotional implications and accountability? Instead, we are introduced to the voices of other characters, such as Baba, Ali and Sanaubar. This begins to embed the idea that the plot will revolve around a delicate web of interpersonal relationships. Furthermore, Hosseini's first-person narrator makes the larger story of Afghanistan's troubles seem very personal, as Amir's tale of personal abuse, betrayal, and redemption, mirrors the tale of Afghanistan itself. Hosseini uses contrast to illustrate the inverse lives of Amir and Hassan. Endless description of infinite luxury, marble surfaces, the warmth of fire, and curved walls steering through one room after another, is followed by a single sentence, almost as an afterthought, mentioning Hassan and Ali’s humble mud hut at the bottom of the garden. The choice of sentence structure is reflective of their positions in society; their respective lifestyles are the culmination of ethnic tensions and intolerances. However, a degree of similarity remains, a similarity that is irrelevant of society. Both Hassan and Amir have lost their mothers, and as a consequence, only have their fathers and each other. They are...
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