What is the economic context of The Kite Runner?

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The initial economic context of The Kite Runner is a semi-feudal, hierarchical society in which there are limited opportunities for social advancement.

In the Afghanistan of Amir's youth, Amir's father, Baba, is an important man. Wealthy and respected, he is very much at the top of the social ladder. All that changes, however, with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, which completely upends the existing social, economic, and political order.

When Amir and Baba arrive in the United States as refugees, it's a complete culture shock to both of them, but especially to Baba, who finds that he's no longer as economically privileged as he once was.

In America's free-market economy, he has to stake his claim, make his own way in the world. This means that he has to start all over again, right at the bottom, which Baba inevitably finds a humiliating and thoroughly disorientating experience. For a man who once enjoyed such high social and economic status back in his home country, this is a real comedown, to say the least.

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