English 5-6 — Smith 2016-17 80 points Directions

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The Kite Runner Analytical Essay Assignment

English 5-6 — Smith


80 points

Directions: Choose one of the following topics for your essay. Alternately, you may propose your own essay topic to Mr. Smith or Zach. Once you have selected a topic, craft a thesis statement that makes an arguable claim that addresses that prompt. While you may address an alternate point of view, I want you to take, and to argue, a strong stance. Don’t write a thesis that says it is a little bit of both. Write a thesis that clearly takes one side of the issue.
Topic #1:

At his father's funeral, Amir reflects on his father's role in his life: "I realized how much of who I was, what I was, had been defined by Baba and the marks he had left on people's lives. My whole life, I had been 'Baba's son.' Now he was gone. Baba couldn't show me the way anymore; I'd have to find it on my own" (174). In what ways has Baba shaped Amir's character? In what ways is Amir like or unlike his father? Does Amir change after Baba passes away? In your essay, choose your primary point about the influence Baba has on Amir's identity and support your thesis with observations based on specific moments in the text.

Topic #2:

Amir's mother died in childbirth; Hassan's mother ran away to join a clan of singers and dancers when Hassan was an infant. The only female characters that play any form of a significant role in the story are Soraya and her mother, Khala Jamila. However, some may even argue that their roles are limited. Consider the roles that women typically play in a family and in a society. Discuss how the lack of female characters in the story serves to advance the plot of the novel. Be sure to identify specifically how an absence of mothers or female characters directly plays into the plot of the novel, and support that stance with specific examples from the story.

Topic #3:

Amir speaks about the different attitudes toward giving away the end of the story. "Afghans like to say: Life goes on, unmindful of beginning, end, kamyab, nah-kam, crisis or catharsis, moving forward like a slow, dusty caravan of kochis [nomads]" (357). In many ways, the story's plot takes an unconventional path. The novel begins with a phone call from Rahim Khan where he tells Amir that "there is a way to be good again," and ends with Amir trying to run a kite for Hassan's son Sohrab who has had a tough time of adjusting to life in America. Discuss the way the author frames the story and how that relates to the sense of resolution at the end of the novel. Specifically, does the structure of the story lend itself to a sense of resolving the story's central conflict? Be sure to support your points with specific examples from the story.

(more on the back)

Topic #4:

Much of this novel focuses on the idea of the possibility for redemption once someone has committed an injustice. What conclusion does the author seem to come to regarding this topic? Does Amir seem to forgive himself and see himself as “good again”? Does the author forgive Amir? Similarly, do Baba’s actions charitable actions toward the Afghan community redeem the fact that he lied about being Hassan’s father? Does Rahim Khan redeem his involvement in Baba’s cover up by reaching out to Amir at the end of his life? Be sure to take a clear stance on whether or not you think the novel suggests that it is possible to redeem oneself. Point to specific examples from the text that support your stance. Also, consider addressing anything that might work against the side you are taking.

All papers must meet the following requirements:

  • Body paragraphs should follow the TISAS format.

  • Each body paragraph should include two quotes per body paragraph to support and develop your ideas.

  • The final essay should be 750 - 1,000 words in length. Please include a word count at the end of your essay.

  • Your essay should follow MLA format, including parenthetical citations and a Works Cited list at the end of the paper.

  • Read the essay aloud to yourself before preparing your final draft.

  • Submit your final draft to your shared Google folder for this class and to turnitin.com no later than 11:59 p.m. on the date that it is due for your class. Late papers will lose points

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