The Kite Runner Questions and Answers
by Khaled Hosseini

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What were some of the major events of the Taliban reign? Also, how did the reality of the Taliban rule differ from what the Afghanistan people had hoped for?

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The Kite Runneritself does not address this issue as much as Hosseini's Thousand Splendid Sunsdoes, but the novel does demonstrate some aspects of Taliban rule and the Afghans reaction to it.  Major events include the institution of totalitarian rule--the leadership possesses ultimate power over the people.  For example, when Amir returns to Afghanistan he must wear a fake beard because of the Taliban's strict dress code for everyone (women wearing burqas, etc.).  Additionally, the Taliban begins rule by Shari'a Law.  Hosseini depicts this through his scene in the Ghazi Stadium where the woman and man are executed as a "halftime show" because they allegedly committed adultery. Likewise, men and women who once enjoyed intellectual freedom as professors and writers become beggars, as depicted through the beggar Amir sees in the street and who talks to him about his mother.

The Afghans who were unfortunate enough not to escape Afghanistan during the Soviet invasion certainly hoped for peace and a return to their culture-rich, modern lives from Afghanistan's Golden Age.  Instead, the Taliban forces them back in time and ushers in a form or leadership far worse for most than the Soviet puppet government that they toppled.  Instead of a return to their arts, music, and other cultural activities, most Afghans were forced into an isolated, miserable existence, never knowing when they might offend a Talib.


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