What country is the setting for The Kite Runner? Why is that setting important?

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are two prominent settings throughout the novel The Kite Runner. The time period of the novel spans over thirty years and takes place in Kabul, Afghanistan, and California, United States. The novel begins in 1963 when Amir is born in Kabul, Afghanistan. Amir grows up in a culturally rich and independent Afghanistan where he enjoys a carefree childhood. After the Soviets invade Afghanistan in 1979, Amir and his father escape to California. In California, Amir lives with his father in a small apartment located in Fremont. Amir ends up going to college where he majors in English and becomes a successful writer. In 2001, Amir returns to Kabul and is shocked by the war-torn country. The Taliban is under control, and the people live in fear. Amir then risks his life to save Sohrab before returning with him to America.

The setting is significant because Hosseini depicts the difference in Afghanistan before and after the Soviet invasion and Taliban rule. The setting also provides important cultural elements to the story which impact the character’s lives. For example, Hosseini examines how the Hazaras were discriminated against in Afghanistan and explores the religious differences between Muslims. The stark contrast between the Afghanistan Amir grew up in and the one he returned to in 2001 depict the devastating impact war and “radical Islam” have had on the country.

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The Kite Runner

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