In The Kite Runner, how do the political events in Afghanistan shape the lives of Amir, Assef, and Hassan?
The political climate shapes all three of these characters quite differently in The Kite Runner. In the case of Amir, he is one of the privileged members of Kabul society--the son of the wealthy, philanthropic Baba, whose family has socialized with past rulers of Afghanistan. When the Russians arrive, however, Baba must flee for his life, leaving his fortune and social status behind. Baba and Amir begin a new life in California, a lower middle class life much different from what they had experienced in their homeland. Assef's family is also a wealthy one who stays in their country and suffers at the hands of the Russians; however, when the Taliban come to power, Assef joins them and rises in the ranks. He takes to the murderous eradication of Taliban enemies, and thrives in this new atmosphere of terror that rules Afghanistan. Hassan's life is a better one while Baba lives there. Although the Hazari are the lowest in Afghan culture, they are able to live in relative peace. Things really do not change for him during the Russian rule, but when the Taliban take over, they attempt to purge the Hazari. Hassan and his wife eventually become just two of their many victims.