Kite Runner Literature Terms Flashcard Example #87593

ANTAGONIST
The character in a story who opposes the hero, or protagonist. Assef was the antagonist. Assef represents the interntional community and its effect on the Afghani society. He rapes Hassan in Chapter 7 of the novel.
CLIMAX
The decisive moment and the turning point of the action in the plot of a play or story. In Kite Runner, the climax was the rape in Chapter 7 when Assef raped Hassan. This rape changed not only the tone of the story, but caused a rift in the friendship of Amir and Hassan.
CONFLICT
The struggle between opposing forces that provides the central action and interest in any literary plot. The one of the major conflicts in Kite Runner is the Hazaras vs. Pashtuns. This conflict caused many other conflicts such as Hassan vs. Amir, Amir vs. Assef and Assef vs. Hassan.
CONTEXT
Anything beyond the specific words of a literary work that may be relevant to the meaning of a literary work. Contexts may be economic, religious, social, cultural, historical, literary, biographical, etc. The context in Kite Runner was an economic/ cultural context because of the way the country of Afghanistan was ran and how they were defined as a human being by their religion and culture.
FORESHADOWING
Hints of future events through unusual circumstances in the present. In Chapter 1, Amir make a reference to the winter of 1975, which later on we realize is the winter when Hassan is raped by Assef.
FLASHBACK
When a character remembers a past event that is relevant to the current action of the story.Their was a moment of flashback in Chapter 7 when Amir remembered that he and Hassan had fed from the same breast making them bonded by a brotherhood. Housseni references this to make the next scene even more of a tragedy.
FLAT CHARACTER
A literary character whose personality can be defined by one or two traits and does not change over the course of the story. Flat characters are usually minor or insignificant characters. A clear example of a flat character is Ali. He usually either exibits extreme sadness or happiness throught the story.
FOIL
A character that by contrast underscores or enhances the distinctive characteristics of another. In the story Kite Runner, the two main characters Amir and Hassan are an example of a foil. Amir’s weakness and cowardly ways enhances Hassans strength and good, loyal characteristics.
HYPERBOLE
From the Greek; pron.: high-PURR-beh-lee. Exaggeration for effect; e.g. “When sorrows come, they come not single but in battalions” (Hamlet, 4.5) An example of a hyperbole is the scene of his father being compard to a hurricane becuase they were trying to make him out to be a strong brute of a man.
IMAGERY
The use of words to create pictures. An author can use lively description to create vivid pictures in the mind or appeal to other sensory experience; e.g. “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark” (Hamlet, 1.4). The author uses imagery in the beginning of Chapter 6 when he describes the winter and its cool crisp snow and chilled air.
MOTIF
One of the key ideas or literary devices which supports the main THEME of a literary work. It may consist of a character, a recurrent image or verbal pattern. An example of a moif in Kite Runner is the winter of 1975. The winter symbolizes not only the rape of Hassan, but also the loss of a stable friendship, the success of a power struggle between Assef and Amir/ Hassan, and the non existence of Amir’s courage, which is evident throught all of the chapters becuse of it being mentioned several times.
PROTAGONIST
The main character in a drama or literary work. The protagonist in Kite Runner is Amir. He is not only the narrator of the story, but also the story is being told from his point of view. We see the world through the eyes of Amir and how he views every character in the story.
ROUND CHARACTER
A character who is developed over the course of the book, round characters are usually major characters in a novel. In the novel of Kite Runner, an example of a round character would be Hassan because he changes from a happy child to being distant and reserved and away from his childhood friend Amir because of his rape. He didnt sing or be in his happy moods anymore. He wasnt the true Hassan anymore.
SETTING
The locale, time, and CONTEXT in which the ACTION of a literary work takes place. “It was a dark and stormy night . . .” is an example of a setting (a cliche). The setting of the story was Kabul, Afghanistan 1963-1981 when the boys grew up; Freemont, California; then Kabul, Afghanistan 2001
SCENIC NARRATION
Narration in which an event or moment of a plot is stretched out for dramatic effect. An instance of scenic narration in Kite Runner is once again the rape scene of 1975 becuase the entire scene is drawn out to bring out the tragedy of the scene occuring.
STATIC CHARACTER
a figure who remains the same from beginning to the end of a narrative. (i.e. Nick Carraway in the Great Gatsby). Also a flat character, Ali is a static character becuase he has no honest change from the beginning to end.
SYMBOLISM
The use of words or objects to stand for or represent other things. The symbols in the story was the kite. The kite is symbolized as the reason for a sacrafice of Hassan.
THEME
A theme is an author’s insight about life. It is the main idea or universal meaning, the lesson or message of a literary work. A theme may not always be explicit or easy to state, and different interpreters may disagree. Common literary themes involve basic human experiences such as: adventure; alienation; ambition; anger; betrayal; coming-of-age; courage; death; the testing of faith; overcoming fear; jealousy; liberation; love; loyalty; prejudice; the quest for an ideal; struggling with fate; truth-seeking; vengeance. One of the greatest themes in literature is the “quest,” the search to attain some noble goal or purpose. Examples include the great epics, Beowulf, the Odyssey, and the Aeneid.
TONE
The writer’s attitude, mood or moral outlook toward the subject and/or readers, e.g.: as angry, cynical, empathetic, critical, idealistic, ironic, optimistic, realistic, suspicious, comic, surprised, sarcastic or supportive; e.g. in Hamlet, when Shakespeare puts these words in the mouth of Polonius: “Brevity is the soul of wit,” Shakespeare’s tone is clearly ironic and comic, since Polonius is a long-winded fool.The tone of the story is very intimate and sentimental becuase the story has a very strong emotional attachment and gives the reader something to tear up about such as the rape scene as well as when the soilder confronted Hassan about his mother. The two scenes give the emotional appeal and set the mood for events afterward.
FIRST PERSON PARTICIPANT –
the story is narrated by one of the main characters in the story (e.g. Mark Twain’s, Huckleberry Finn). The participant is Amir. The story is told by Amir to give the reader a clear picture of how cowardly Amir is and how far he will go to gain respect and honor of his father while slowly losing his childood friend.
lamb to slaughter
a Biblical allusion where innocents are brought to sacrifice. An example of lamb to slaughter is Ali because he is being sacraficed for the kite in the 1975 rape so that Amir can be in favor of Baba when he brings the kite that he won home.
David and Goliath
a Biblical allusion where David defeats the giant Goliath with a sling shot. An example of a David and Goliath situation in Kite Runner is when Amir and Hassan were up against Assef and his minions then Amir uses his sling shot to threaten Assef and he then leave the two boys alone for that moment.
antihero
a protagonist who lacks the characteristics that would make him a hero (or her a heroine). Amir is an example of a antihero, he instead of having a strong, corageous attitude is weak and cowardly as he watches his child hood friend get raped in front of him.

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