Here is the workbook and powerpoint for National 5 Media as looked at in class.
Now we’re going to try and write an essay. We’re going to take a look at question 1 again:
1. Choose a novel or short story in which there is a character who experiences rejection or isolation. With reference to appropriate techniques, explain the rejection or isolation, and discuss how this aspect adds to your appreciation of the text as a whole.
If this was your question and you’ve started off your essay by giving this intro:
In The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini there is a character Amir, who experiences isolation when he isolates himself because he experiences guilt at letting Hassan get raped. In the story Amir must make up for letting his best friend Hassan get raped by rescuing his nephew Sohrab from the Taliban. We can look at how Amir‘s isolation is important to our appreciation of the text as a whole by helping us understand that it is important to redeem yourself even if it is a hard thing to do.
Then we need to focus on Amir isolating himself and how this plays into the bigger theme of redemption. To begin with we’re going to note the POINTs when Amir isolates himself – the rape scene. Our next comment should be on how Amir goes on to isolate himself from Hassan, and then unwittingly from his father Baba. We can then begin to talk about how he comes back from this self-isolation by returning to Afghanistan at Rahim Khan’s request and rescuing his nephew. Then there is the sense of redemption at the end as he has finally managed to resolve things with Hassan’s memory. Our five points then would be something like:
1. Amir witnesses the rape and becomes guilty at Hassan’s sacrifice
2. He cannot deal with the rape and pushes Hassan away, attempting to fight him and eventually framing him
3. Rahim Khan explains that there is a way to be good again and he doesn’t need to be guilty anymore.
4. He gets Sohrab back and experiences a catharsis at finally confronting Assef.
5. He becomes the good man Baba wanted him to be and there is hope for Sohrab’s future.
Now, obviously that alone isn’t enough to write your whole essay. We will need to flesh this out with EVIDENCE from the text. What would we note down for these different sections? For each piece of EVIDENCE we need to explain how it is doing what it is doing. For a Higher essay some of our POINTs may have more than one piece of EVIDENCE which we will put in the same paragraph, or series of paragraphs. When we round off a paragraph we need to refer back to the question to show how that POINT is relevant. This is your LINK BACK. We’re going to put this plan together now:
P: Amir witnesses the rape and becomes guilty at Hassan’s sacrifice
E: “It was the look of the lamb”
Metaphor and alliteration to draw attention to what he is saying. The lamb is a symbol for Hassan. The lamb is sacrificed just like Hassan sacrifices himself for Amir and the kite trophy.
L: This event and the trauma of letting it happen is what causes Amir to isolate himself from those around him, especially Hassan who he feels he cannot face.
P: He cannot deal with the rape and pushes Hassan away, attempting to fight him and eventually framing him.
E: “Coward! Coward!”
E: Speech that is shouted hence the exclamations. Amir calls Hassan a coward but really he is talking about himself. As he does this he throws pomegranates at Hassan. Pomegranates = friendship. Friendship is dead.
E: “Hassan’s reply was a single word, delivered in a thin, raspy voice: Yes”
E: Word choice thin raspy = Hassan’s low state. Yes = Hassan covering for Amir to get away from him.
L: Amir is incapable of processing or dealing with his guilt at what he has allowed to happen to Hassan and so he pushes him as far away as possible. This is what he will have to redeem in the future – the hurt he causes his best friend (and brother).
P: Rahim Khan explains that there is a way to be good again and he doesn’t need to be guilty anymore.
E: “There is a way to be good again”
E: instruction and challenge set by Rahim Khan. Idea that Amir was once a good person.
L: This phone call gives Amir the push he needs to leave his self-isolation and make things good.
P: He gets Sohrab back and experiences a catharsis at finally confronting Assef.
E: “My body was broken…but I felt healed. I laughed.”
E: Alliteration on ‘b’ and the plosiveness matches the sound of his bones breaking and so adds to the violence of the scene. The ellipses is to make us pause as he contrasts with his physical pain by telling us he was mentally relieved. He was ‘healed’ word choice tells us he was whole again. The ‘laughing’ shows us his relief.
L: Amir’s isolation was caused because he didn’t do the right thing the first time around. Now he does the right thing by preventing a rape and taking the beating he should have had in the first place.
P: He becomes the good man Baba wanted him to be and there is hope for Sohrab’s future showing complete redemption and becoming a good person.
E: You will not refer to him as ‘that Hazara boy’ in front of me again. He has a name and it is Sohrab
E: standing up to Soraya’s father. The words are words once used against Hassan. Amir is finally learning to be a good person.
E: For you a thousand times over
E: he can finally speak the words Hassan once said to him and mean them. That he is willing to do anything for someone else.
E: It was only a smile, nothing more… but I’ll take it.
E: The smile shows hope for Sohrab’s future, and their future as a family unit.
L: Amir has made things right and no longer has to feel isolated.
The isolation was caused by Amir because he couldn’t handle his guilt. This lead to him having to redeem himself, something that Hosseini wanted us to think about. Amir eventually came out of his isolation at the request of Rahim Khan and he made things right by rescuing Sohrab.
Now attempt to write an essay using this plan.
For those of you that missed it, here are the worksheets on The Kite Runner Higher essay introductions. One work sheet gives you the Prose exam questions and has some clozed introductions for you to have a go at. The other sheet has the example introductions to check yours against.
click to open the kite runner notes