During the early stages of any narrative there are certain expectations that, when met, typically form the basis on which a story can develop – expectations that Hosseini doesn’t seem to directly address within this chapter. Whilst we, as the reader, yearn for an insight into our protagonist’s thoughts and feelings, we are instead faced with an analeptic episode of facts and formalities. Founded upon dates, times, historic detail and directly quoted dialogue, not omitting the Farsi language sporadically woven throughout, this chapter creates an oddly formal tone. Embedded quotes such as, “Baba always called it ‘fattening the pipe’’ only reinforce the report-style tone created by specific details – ‘One cold winter day in 1964.’”
This detached writing style seems to reflect Amir’s attitude to the content of the chapter; perhaps he feels ashamed and wants to distance himself from any emotional accountability? The tone could therefore possibly foreshadow Hassan’s verbal abuse from the soldiers later in the chapter when Amir waits until, “later,” when they are, “in the dark,” to comfort his supposed friend. This, “public versus private,” motif develops throughout the text to highlight the cultural and hierarchical divides between Amir and Hassan. Only now with hindsight, the chapter is written in past tense, can Amir feel guilt about not openly defending Hassan so chooses to adopt a reporting tone to mask this guilt. Perhaps this whole mini-storyline is in fact constructed by Hosseini to further foreshadow the events of chapter seven. On both occasions Amir could have defended Hassan yet on both occasions he chose not to, yet there is a stark contrast in the tones of these two chapters. By chapter seven Amir cannot mask his shame anymore, no matter how much he may want to.
Tone Of Kite Runner
The reinforcement of just how different Amir and Hassan are is certainly a key theme within chapter two; their respective lifestyles are the culmina…