Write the Ways Hosseini Tells the Story of 'the Kite Runner' in Chapter 1?

In the opening chapter of Hosseini’s 2003 novel The Kite Runner, a reflective tone is present in the narrative and is used to plant the seeds of three prominent themes in the novel: guilt, betrayal and atonement. The chapter both starts and ends with the currently unnamed Amir alluding to a yet-unknown event which ‘made [him] what [he is] today’. Despite providing specific details such as the ‘when’ (‘winter of 1975’), and the ‘where’ (‘behind a crumbling mud wall’), Hosseini, through the first-person perspective of Amir, neglects to provide the ‘what’ thus shrouding the chapter in a purposeful ambiguity no doubt used to entice the reader. The details that Hosseini is willing to confide are provided with a precision which works to emphasise the character-shaping significance of the foreshadowed event.

With hindsight one can see that Hosseini uses subtle juxtapositions in the chapter to accentuate the extent of Amir’s guilt. The idyllic and utopian descriptions of San Francisco (e.g. ‘[the sun] sparkled on the water’, ‘[the boats were] propelled by a crisp breeze’) contrast notably with the feelings of self-disgust and remorse which consume Amir – feelings so strong that they ultimately force him to leave the freedom and ‘utopia’ of the city he now calls ‘home’ and return to the turmoil and instability of Afghanistan.

Alongside Amir, the character of Rahim Khan is introduced by Hosseini. Characterised in a prophet-like manner, Rahim is used in the opening chapter by Hosseini as a plot device. Through his phone call to Amir, Rahim acts as the catalyst in forcing Amir to come to terms with his past and his immorality – ‘I knew it wasn’t just Rahim Khan on the line. It was my past of unatoned sins’. Rahim is used as a medium to connect Amir with the past he has tried to bury and forces him into the realisation that he has been ‘peeking into that deserted alley for the last twenty-six years’.

Hosseini’s inclusion of the kites in the opening chapter is...