The Kite Runner (Exam) technique Flashcard Example #92439

The Kite Runner commentary support framework
Some sentence starters that can and should be used in the answer include:

-I created an authentic voice for my character by…

-I stuck to details of the base text through…

-My creative task adds to the base text through…

The Kite Runner AO’s

AO5 – 25 marks

Total: 25 marks

Critical commentary:

AO2 – 15 marks
AO4- 10 marks
AO5- 5 marks

Total: 30 marks

Mark scheme for exam

Level 5:

-Show a high degree of flair and originality

-Sustain a chosen style or styles of writing throughout

-Use the base text convincingly


AO2 – Provide perceptive accounts of how meanings are shaped, by judiciously selecting and identifying significant language features and by evaluating the choices they made.

AO4 – Offer perceptive insights about particular aspects of language and likely effects produced in their base text, compared with their transformed text.

AO5 – Produce a commentary which is well organised and accurately written.

Farsi language
In the exam, try to use Farsi language to show a good knowledge of the base text and to help link your writing to Hosseini’s. Some Farsi terms to use are:

Jan – My dear

Agha – Sir/Mr

Mast – Drunk

Bas – Enough

Kaseef – Dirty

Ahmaq – Idiot

Inshallah – With god’ will, hopefully

Mashallah – Said after giving a compliment – superstitious

Quwat – The power

Salaam Alaykum – Hi how are you

Balay – Formal way of saying thanks

Tashakor – Thanks

Khoda hafez – Good bye

Mareez – Being ill

How to present an uneducated character
-Use simple lexical choices

-Use odd syntax (word order) which seems out of the ordinary, which will make the narrator seem illiterate. Perhaps adopt quite a childlike tone.

-Do not, however, deliberately misspell words or have a poor written structure. You have to get a balance between having a narrator who seems slightly illiterate and proving to the examiner that you are good at writing.

What to include in creative writing
1. Opening hook

2. Sentences used for effect (minor, simple, compound, complex).

3. References to the base text – good knowledge of historical facts

4. Use of Farsi

5. Stylistically similar to Hosseini

6. Building of theme/motifs

7. Highlight specific techniques that can be explored in the commentary

Tips for creative writing aspect
-Open sentence with indicating location. Use temporal deixis.

-Start the sentence with a word ending in “ing” or “ed” or “ly” (adverbs)

-Use embedded clauses

-Use a variety of sentence lengths, from short and punchy to more complex (Baba’s character)

-Use similes (Rahim Khan)

-Use alliteration (Rahim Khan and Baba)

-Use triadic structure

-Use speech followed by action

-Use personification

What to think about when answering exam question
-Look at WHERE and WHEN the passage takes place in the novel

-What is SIGNIFICANT ABOUT THE WRITING STYLE in the passage that you are looking at?

-Think about the significance of the extract and the text as a whole

-Focus on journeys

-Think about whether the character is an archetype or whether they symbolise or represent a specific concept

-Think about how the narrative is constructed. For example does it follow particular narrative conventions, what is the function of specific events or characters, and what are the specific moments of tension and conflict?

-When faced with the exam question, read and decode the question properly. Plan points before you begin, and draft a quick response (for commentary)

-Remember that the book is about fathers and sons, dreams and memories feature heavily in the book, the book perhaps ignores religious views, and Amir perhaps narrates his story in a way which favours him.

Stylistic features that can be used
The writing in the creative writing piece must be realistic and be as though it could stand in the novel itself. Therefore, the writing style must be similar to Khaled Hosseini’s. This can be achieved through:

-The use of colour in the piece
-Using a fragmented story
-Making the narrative unreliable / having an unreliable narrator
-Use of prolepsis/analepsis- self conscious narrator
-Use of senses to evoke a sense of place
-Farsi language
-Making sure different characters have different levels of syntax. For example an uneducated character might have shorter sentence lengths than an educated character.

How to develop a convincing character
To develop a convincing character in the piece, the following questions must be considered:

-What do they believe in?
-What are their priorities?
-What are their strengths/weaknesses?

When reading the question, first identify the sections in the novel where the character is mentioned and glean what you can from them. Then, generate a list of points from this that can be used in the final creative piece.

Writing the commentary
When writing the commentary, try to use at least two stylistic techniques which Hosseini uses himself in “The Kite Runner,” (see list above), and focus on these in the commentary.
Also try to use and analyse specific language features such as triadic structure, second person pronouns and sentence functions,. Try to focus on two of these in the commentary, and specifically state where and what they are, and why you used them.
Remember to focus on contextual factors of the novel, and to EMPHASISE A SPECIFIC THEME from the base text. In other words, state what you think the most important theme is in the extract you are given, and how you adapted this to your creative writing.
Commentary checklist
•Have you DRAWN CONNECTIONS between the base text and your own?
•Have you explained the reasons for your transformative choice?
•Have you used APPROPRIATE TERMINOLOGY to describe features of language?
•Have you gone beyond description to analysis of interpretative effects?
•Have you discussed the ways in which your re-creative addresses the points required by the task? Have you properly answered the question?
What are the key features of narrative technique?
-Story within a story
-Delayed and deferred information
-Analepsis/ prolepsis
-Intentionality – author has a reason for shaping a text
-Flat character/ round character
-Free direct speech/ direct speech
-Homodiegetic narrative
-Unreliable narrator
-Intertextuality (referencing other texts)
-Different voices
-Use of symbols / motifs
-Epistolary structure – letters are used as part of storytelling (think of Rahim Khan’s letter in chapter 16).
The Kite Runner context from Hosseini
-Hosseini wants to paint Afghanistan in a different light, meaning people will see it in a different way to how they see it on the news.

-Hosseini’s life mirror’s Amir’s life in some ways. He got moved to the United States in the wake of the Soviet invasion, as Amir does, and went through many of the immigrant experiences that Amir did with his father.

-Hosseini describes how the incident with Hassan is metaphorical of the downfall of Afghanistan. You can substitute Afghanistan for Hassan. After Hassan has served his purpose and found what Amir wanted, the kite, then Amir stands by and watches him be attacked without intervening. A lot of Afghans feel that’s what happened after the Soviet Union left and Western countries failed to help the country.

-The novel is about atoning for past mistakes. It’s about tolerance and forgiveness and fathers and brotherhood and generally about positive things.

-Concerning religion, Amir is mostly on the fence (he’s agnostic) but as the story progresses he comes to a place of faith. He becomes a moderate practising Muslim.

-Afghans are very religious people

Feedback on assessments
Teacher said the recast was engaging and insightful. They said that the commentary was clear.
However, I need to think more about EMPHASISING A THEME from the base text. My main challenge is to EXTEND USE OF TERMINOLOGY, and REFER MORE TO SPECIFIC EXAMPLES from the re-creative writing. In the first essay I needed to COMMENT MORE ON CULTURAL ASPECTS OF THE NOVEL in order to communicate.

Main development point is how the theme of shame and secrecy is carried by Sanaubar. Her relationship with Baba was too significant not to mention. Also remember to specifically state terminology terms such as “temporal deixis.”

THIRD ASSESSMENT – Re-cast Ali’s recount of what he feels after Hassan has been accused of stealing and they decide to leave

Mark: 32

Teacher said I have clearly demonstrated some flair and originality. The use of pathetic fallacy was good and how I conveyed Ali’s change in attitude towards Amir. I have given a competent account of how meanings are shaped and have given a good selection of several significant features to discuss. AO4 is also strong.

An area to improve is to use Farsi. Also check understanding of Hassan’s father.

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