The Kite Runner
“A journey from innocence and naivety to wholeness and enlightenment” accurately describes the development of almost anyone, to a great extent – effectively, it states the transition from young child to wise adult. However, the phrase is particularly relevant to The Kite Runner because Amir's journey to enlightenment is the novel's central theme. In fact, the phrase could almost serve as the novel's summary.
Amir's naivety is perhaps best reflected in the chapter in which he is the youngest, the novel's second chapter. Indeed, the opening paragraph conjures the perfect picture of childlike innocence: Amir reminisces about sitting barefoot in poplar trees with Hassan, annoying his neighbours by reflecting light into their homes with a shard of mirror and eating mulberries. He then discusses talking (or perhaps bullying) Hassan into firing walnuts at the neighbour's dog with a slingshot - “Hassan never wanted to, but if I asked, really asked, he wouldn't deny me. Hassan never denied me anything” (pg. 4) – and so it becomes evident that Amir has a childish tendency to dominate, his best friend in particular.
Amir's boastful disposition and spoiled upbringing are then made apparent with: “Everyone agreed that my father, my Baba, had built the most beautiful house in the Wazir Akbar Khan district, a new and affluent neighbourhood in the northern part of Kabul" (pg. 4). This bold statement is laden with information – we now know the main character's father's name, that he built his own house and that it is situated in a wealthy neighbourhood in Afghanistan's capital. It is also followed by an elaborate description of the house's extravagant décor, giving the impression that the young Amir revels in his wealth, and positioning the reader to dislike him.
Shortly afterwards, Baba refuses to let Amir sit and talk with him - “Go on, now, this is grown-ups' time. Why don't you go read one of those books of yours?” (pg. 5) – and the reader is now...
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