By looking the novel “The Kite Runner”, one can see how the author, Khaled Hosseini, uses foreshadowing device to great effect in the story, which is important because it gives subtle hints about what will occur as the story opens.
Foreshadowing is an author nudging the reader and saying, “hey you! Pay attention!” It is also an excellent way to create suspense. Add more drama to the story.
The Kite Runner is a story of two boys, Amir and Hassan, and their inside and out struggles while growing up in Afghanistan.
Hosseini uses foreshadowing right away in chapter one, page 1. “I became what I am today at the age of twelve, on a frigid overcast day in the winter of 1975”, the narrator, Amir, begins. This type of foreshadowing is paired with a flashback: the chapter is headed with a date of December 2001, so we know this novel will contain a flashback to Amir’s childhood.
Chapter 1 foreshadows the entire novel. As Amir sets up his story, dropping little hints along the way, we realize that the novel will answer our questions properly. The chapter is sprinkled with names: Rahim Khan, Hassan, Baba, Ali. Who are these people, and how are they all connected? Right from the start, the Hosseini prepares us for the journey we are about to take with Amir. Chapter introduce events of the novel in a rather obvious way. We are meet with names and places that we can expect to encounter as we read. Throughout the rest of the novel, foreshadowing comes to play in a much more subtle way.
In chapter six Amir describes a strange feeling he sometimes gets when he looks at his close friend Hassan. This foreshadowing type called “subtle foreshadowing”. ”I suddenly had the feeling I was looking at two faces, the one I knew … and another, a second face, this one lurking just beneath the surface.” This is not the first time Amir has had this strange impression. “I’d seen it happen before – it always shook me up a little.” This “other face” of Hassan would appear shortly, giving Amir an “unsettling feeling”, that he had seen it somewhere else. This passage is a subtle hint to the reader. Hosseini employs it here to foreshadow what we learn later in the novel – that Hassan and Amir are actually half-brothers. That “second face” that Amir sometimes sees in Hassan is his own.
Khaled Hosseini in his novel uses examples of direct and indirect foreshadowing. Direct foreshadowing is, for example, when Amir again actually tells us at that Afghanistan suddenly changed forever. This is an example of foreshadowing because Amir gives us a hint that things were going to change in Afghanistan. This quote would turn out to contribute of the story in a big way. Later in the book, we see how Afghanistan turned into a war zone and a country full with injustice, from the invasion of the Soviet Union all the way to the Taliban gaining power and taking over towns in Afghanistan, only to introduce injustice and violence to their people instead of helping them.
The last type of foreshadowing – indirect, we can see in the chapter twenty. When Zaman, the orphanage owner, tells us, “He’s (Sohrab) inseparable from that slingshot. He tucks it in the waist of his pants everywhere he goes”. This is an example of foreshadowing because even though he does not tell us that Sohrab is going to use the slingshot, we all know that the process of getting Sohrab back will not be easy. This quote would also turned out to contribute to the story in a huge way because we later see that Sohrab saves Amir from the beating that he was receiving from Assef by shooting Assef in the eye with his slingshot, helping save not only Amir’s life but his as well. As you can see, the novel The Kite Runner did a great job at providing us with different types of foreshadowing and how author, Khaled Hosseini uses them in his novel.
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