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 forefront of the various emotional conflicts.Speaking of Baba, his scenario also has been juxtaposed with that of Rahim Khan.
The two fatherly figures have very different personalities purposefully juxtaposed to show how cruel Baba is to Amir at times. Baba’s proud and mighty personality is consistently pitted against Rahim Khan’s just and seemingly eternal serenity. The last important example of juxtaposition is Amir and Baba when they move to California. Baba is constantly slogging in gas stations, and being the proud man that he is, never gives in.
Amir’s insecurities and weaknesses make him seem like the dust off Baba’s shoes as he crumbles when he finds out Baba has cancer. However, Hosseini deliberately juxtaposes them as it shows how quickly and well Amir grows into a man like Baba. My point stands that Hosseini’s juxtaposition is able to give the reader of the novel a whole new level depth and understanding. There isn’t a single instance where he misuses it. Without it, the novel wouldn’t leave as much of the lasting impact that it has on most if not all of its readers.