In The Kite Runner how has the Taliban changed the society?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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We are shown Afghanistan under the Taliban when Amir returns to his home country and we share Amir's sense of shock at how his country has been transformed. However, to me, one central way the novel shows the changes in Afghanistan under the Taliban regime is in Chapter Fifteen, when Amir goes to Pakistan to visit Rahim Khan. They talk about Afghanistan under the Taliban, and Rahim Khan tells Amir that it is "much worse" than he has heard, saying that "they don't let you be human." He goes on to tell Amir how he received a vicious scar on his face. He was watching a football match and Kabul scored a goal. The man next to him cheered loudly and a young Taliban soldier struck Rahim Khan in the face with the butt of his Kalashnikov and insulted him:

"I was old enough to be his grandfather and I was sittingĀ there, blood gushing down my face, apologising to that son of a dog."

We are thus presented with an image of Afghanistan where enjoyment, simple pleasures and the joy of life has been eradicated, along with values such as respect for your betters. We are told later on that kite competitions have been banned, and also we are shown the way that bloodthirsty violence has replaced entertainment in Afghanistan. This country is very different from the Afghanistan that Amir remembers in his childhood.