It has been quite a while since I have the time to properly settle down and read a book with all my attention. Usually I am so busy that even with my assigned literature texts, I am reduced to googling for their plot summary and themes. This time, thanks to recess week, I can finally indulge in my old hobby by reading Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner for my South Asian Literature Module.
It is beautiful, and so so very poignant.
I have only read up to the fourth chapter so far and Hossini has already brought me through a roller-coaster of emotions – disgust, rage, displeasure, sadness, sympathy… The character of Amir is both worth sympathizing with yet at the same time contains a “mean streak” that makes me resent him.
I love how Hosseini has crafted Amir to be this beautifully dilemmatic character whom I cannot decide whether I want to hug him or slap him – his desire for paternal love and affirmation is so relatable that I feel anguished that Baba constantly deny him of the affection he tries so hard to earn. I see Amir’s possessiveness of Baba mirrored in myself as a child, where I resented my parents showing other children any form of attention or affection. I feel my heart break a little for him when he hears Baba speaks of him disapprovingly – he is trying so hard to change himself to be what Baba wants him to be, but alas, it is not in his nature. Baba – unable to appreciate the nature of Amir – pushes him away time and again, shutting him out both physically and emotionally. The pain is so clear in Hosseini’s words. Hosseini’s language has powerfully evoked all sorts of emotions in me through his short but impactful description of Amir’s stream of consciousness – his hurt and rejection, his insecurities and cowardice.
My heart hurts whenever Hassan is brought up in the story. He is a chararacter whom you cannot help but feel so sorry for because of his social circumstances and also because of the treatment he receives from Amir whom he considers to be a close friend. I feel peeved even when Amir plays “harmless pranks” on him as I see a potential for the harmless pranks to grow into something larger. Just as Hassan’s daunt in facing the bullies evoke a sense of admiration in the readers, Amir’s silence and cowardice is a cause of both disdain and irritation – yet at the same time, you can’t help but empathize with him to a certain extent.
I can’t stop analyzing Hosseini’s brilliant use of language, pauses, sentence length, intertextual references and foreshadowing that send chills down my spine. My text is full of sticky notes and highlights now and I really loved every sentence I have read this far. Never did I think that I will enjoy reading a book so much, so undistractedly again!
It is a tragic piece – so poignant that the story will stay with you long time after you read each chapter.