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Time and Setting throughout 'The Kite Runner'

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on 23 April 2014

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Transcript of Time and Setting throughout 'The Kite Runner'

Time and Setting throughout 'The Kite Runner'
Part One: Afghanistan 1975
Seasons in The Kite Runner often represent the tone of the chapter or section of the story; winter will foreshadow either physical or emotional pain, and summer will be more relaxed and happy.
'I turned thirteen that summer of 1976 [...] things between Baba and me were already cooling off.'
Winter is the season Hassan's rape occurs - 'I watch the snow erase my fresh footprints' - Amir is afraid of being forgotten, blanked, ignored, rejected by his father, leading him to selfish things and to make the wrong decisions, such as abandoning his best friend.

What are your thoughts?

Can you think of any key quotes of setting/time and its significance?
America 1980s
Immediately in chapter 11, America is given a foreshadowing that the American Dream is not necersarily reality; 'Baba loved the idea of America'. 'Idea' suggests that it's a wish, but something few people ever achieve.
Amir is still a child at this point of the novel, and yet he seems more aware of life around him; his journey has brought him to his final destination.. or so he thinks.
'It was living in America that gave him an ulcer'. This suggests Amir blames his whereabouts for the impeding death of his father, who at this point he believes to be nothing short of a saint.
Once Baba is gone however, it seems he is not so saintly.
This shows Amir's naivety as a narrator at this point in the novel, he is not omniscient, and he is definitely biased to anyone, or anything, that is against his father.

Let's do some annotation! :3 (Pages: 116, 117, 120, 121-122, 124-125)
Pakistan 1981
The part of the story within Pakistan shows Baba to be strong willed and protective of both Amir and the other people they are traveling with.
Being in Pakistan and on the run makes the whole chapter tense, especially when Baba confronts the soldiers.

What are your thoughts of this section of the story? Read/Annotate: 105,107-108.
America 2000s: Chapter 25
There is very little separation in the text showing the movement of country; suggesting the movement happened quickly and without delay. (It's a detour!)
Chapter 24 ends with the relief of being allowed to go to America - everything seems resolved, and yet Houssini doesn't relent; Chapter 25 is born into tension and with a small remaining hope that everything will be okay.
The first part of this chapter is written in present tense, emphasising the knowledge that at this point both the reader and Amir have no idea what is going to happen.

The final part of the novel has the role reversal of Amir against Hassan/Sohrab. Amir is the Kite Runner, he would give himself for Sohrab.
Starter: Write down all the different times and settings within The Kite Runner.
Chapter 19+
Return to Kabul
The re-entry to Kabul turns the once majestic world that Hassan and Amir first lived in into a scene of death and memories. (Chap 20: 'Rubble and Beggars', page 225)
Amir's return has sparked his chance of redemption; it seems he was destined to return. Part of the narrative on page 221 describes Hassan's death. (Annotate?)
Pg 239: He sees Baba's house again.
Pg 242: Amir refuses to leave, he wants redemption. 253: as he nears the goal, he starts getting cold feet.

276-277: Amir's childhood father figure leaves him: He's orphaned.
OFF TOPIC, BUT WORTHY
Pg 226: 'The war had made fathers a rare commodity in Afghanistan'; stark contrast to before the war where Amir lived in a world that lacked women!
On re-entry to Kabul, Amir is unable to even open the window of the car, due to a 'dismissive look' given by Farid. He is unable even to take a breath of air; the air is musty and full of death - it is toxic.
The freedom Amir and Hassan used to have, under the protection of Baba's 'wrought iron gates' has been turned on its head by corruption of war; even the air itself is poison.
Farid, his driver, has 'no empathy in his eyes'. They do not even know each other and yet now the once peaceful community of Afghans in Kabul are driven by suspicion and hatred.
HOMEWORK!!!!

What are the effects of the progression of time, as well as the change in physical setting? How has this impacted on the rest of the novel?

Due 20th November 2100. (Just do it if you have time) (In other words, you won't ;) )
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