In The Kite Runner, why do you think Amir elaborates so much on the description of his home and the family pictures within the house?

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Chapter 1, Amir describes the beautiful home that his father built in the Wazir Akbar Khan district of Kabul. Amir mentions that some people thought it was the prettiest home in the city, and it had marble floors, mosaic tiles, wide windows, beautiful tapestries, and a "smoking room" where Baba regularly entertained guests. Amir's description of the elaborate home gives insight into what kind of person Baba is throughout the novel. Baba is a proud, wealthy man who values his appearance throughout the community and is rather vain. Amir also mentions a grainy photograph of his grandfather standing next to King Nadir Shah, which illustrates that Amir comes from a prestigious family. Hosseini uses the description of the elaborate home to develop the characters of Baba and Amir. Amir is portrayed as the privileged child of a wealthy, proud man. Hosseini juxtaposes Baba's magnificent home with his servant's home. Ali and his son, Hassan, live in a tiny shack located in Baba's backyard. Unlike Baba, Ali is humble and poor. Ali and Hassan are also Hazaras, while Baba and Amir are Pashtuns. Hosseini uses these differences to illustrate the gap between the privileged Pashtuns and the oppressed Hazaras in Afghanistan.

bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Baba's home is one of the finest in all of Kabul, and Amir is proud of his family's wealth and heritage. The picture of his grandfather with King Nadir Shah illustrate the family's power; the dead deer shows the men's love of the hunt and their power over animals (and men) who are inferior. The extravagance of the home--hand-picked tiles, gold-lined tapestries, marble floors, chandeliers and four bathrooms--shows that Baba has fine tastes and an urge to impress people through his wealth and power. The magnificence of the home and its lengthy description is also meant to show the contrast with Ali's little mud hut which stands nearby. It is a message that there are two highly different social classes in Afghanistan--the ultra-rich and the ultra-poor.