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The Kite Runner. How does Hosseini write Chapter 13?

Updated on February 13, 2013

Chapter 13 begins with a paragraph that is very short compared to other pages of the book. This is an example of Hosseini using the structure to emphasis the closeness between Baba and Amir, now that Amir is older and more mature. By using a short quick paragraph to introduce the chapter Hosseini makes it clear that this chapter will be themed around the last precious/happy moments Amir has with Baba, as he is dying. “You look khoshteep.” Hosseini uses the afghan language when within Baba and Amir’s dialogue to remind the reader that despite being in America deep down they are still Afghan men. Afghan language also links into the event that’s about to take place within this chapter, a traditional Afghanistan proposal.

Hosseini also sets the mood in this chapter straight away by using the five senses. He uses Amir’s sense of sight and hearing to set the scene of a busy family gathering, “laughter, and Afghan music playing softly.” This sets the mood as being positive and happy, which is very different to the darker moods in other chapters within the novel. Then as soon as the Taheri’s arrive the chatter, laughter and music stops. Hosseini does this to show how nervous Amir is feeling, it also symbolises how serious a marriage is, especially in Afghan society.

Baba is a huge part of this chapter. When writing this chapter, Hosseini makes it clear how much he was respected by everyone and how Baba is finally expressing the pride he has over his son. This is important as it relates back to the beginning when Amir was younger and him and Baba has a tough relationship, it also links further forward in the book to when Amir realises how Baba has betrayed him. “When Baba entered, everybody stood up.” This shows that Baba’s presence means a lot to everyone, also possibly because he is dying and unwell. Hosseini uses punctuation to express Baba’s weakness, by placing ellipses between his dialogue. These ellipses make his speech more realistic, they create huge pauses where Baba would be breathing. Hosseini doesn’t introduce Soraya into the chapter straight away which is effective, as it creates anticipation for the reader. "In keeping with tradition, Soraya was not present." This is her day and her chapter in the novel so the reader feels excited by her presence when she eventually does arrive. She wears a wine coloured dress, this colour may symbolise the love between her and Amir. When she appears Hosseini describes the other characters reactions, applauds, tears and hand holding. This emphasises how important Soraya is to Amir and also how important she is in this chapter.

Chapter 13 is very reflective of Baba and Amir’s past. Amir is growing up now and marrying into a new family and Baba is dying, therefore it is the beginning of a new life for Amir. So Hosseini relates back to the past by using the wedding song (ahesta boro.) This song was sung by a Russian soldier during a hard time in Baba and Amir’s life. When Amir and Baba had to escape Afghanistan, the war devastated their family life. Now he uses the song again but this time to symbolise family’s coming together again. Amir also thinks of Hassan which shows this chapter as being reflective of the past. "I remember wondering if Hassan too had married. And if so, whose face he had seen in the mirror under the veil?" Hosseini does this to remind us that although Amir is growing up, he still remembers the past.

This chapter is key to the novel as many important life events happen. A main theme of this chapter is the passing of time and change. Amir marries, his father dies and at the end he himself is trying to have a child. Throughout the chapter the mood is very happy, giving the reader the impression that something will go wrong because of past events. At the end when Amir and Soraya can’t have children this reminds the reader that perhaps despite starting a new life, his past mistakes will always haunt him. “Maybe this was my punishment.” It is also ironic that Hosseini describes the emptiness of not having a child as being physical. “Like a newborn child.” He uses this simile to exaggerate the emptiness Soraya feels at not being able to have a child that she desperately wants...


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      stevie 4 years ago

      thank you so much this has helped me to write my english a level essay

    • JessJoll profile image

      Jessica Jolliffe 5 years ago from Isle Of Wight

      Ooh good idea!

    • stopalltheclocks profile image

      Helen 5 years ago

      Good. You should write a review of the whole novel. What's your opinion on it, JessJoll?