Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner is a very deep and emotionally touching novel. The book revolves around the life of Amir, the protagonist, as he struggles against his conscience and finally triumphs after redeeming himself. Mr. Hosseini weaves the tale using an excellent arsenal of techniques. He uses some brilliant similes and metaphors throughout the book. However, juxtaposition is easily his most effective technique.
What is juxtaposition? Wikipedia defines it as “synonymous with contrast, two objects or texts that oppose one another.” In my opinion, it is something a lot more than that. A better way to define juxtaposition (my definition) is “taking two or more very different things and putting them together for comparison in order to imply something.” That isn’t exactly what it is, but there is no full definition that encompasses it. You can only show what it is by example, with the prime instance being an oxymoron like “an unbiased opinion”. How someone tries to have an unbiased opinion is their own business, and I genuinely don’t care. Question is, how does Hosseini do it, and how does he do it so well?
We see it throughout the book in one form or another. The book starts when Amir is a man reflecting on his childhood. Amir’s childhood was a very comfortable and enjoyable in the middle of a flourishing Kabul, Afghanistan. Hosseini points out first example of juxtaposition as Amir grows up, the relationship between him and Hassan, his truest friend. Hassan was a servant boy of a different slightly oppressed ethnicity of the Afghani people (the Hazaras), and, as it turns out, Amir’s half brother. Their contrasting personalities, Amir’s arrogant, malicious, and cowardly persona against Hassan’s constantly calm, passive, and courageous persona , are very useful to juxtapose as they emphasize the qualities that set them apart; Amir’s jealousy of Hassan being able to please Baba and Hassan’s want to always please Amir are always pushed out to the...
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