Analyse how the setting(s) influenced the characters’ actions and attitudes.

In the novel The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini the story is set in three distinct settings: 1970’s Afghanistan – in particular the city of Kabul, the USA and modern Afghanistan under the Taliban regime. Despite the different times and places the social background of these remain the same: dominated by the rules and norms of Afghan culture. Afghan society is very strict and conservative. There is a class order and Hazara are at the bottom as a servant or peasant class.

Not long after Amir was born, Baba, his father, had an affair with his Hazara servant’s wife and fathered her child, Hassan. In Afghan society, as Rahim Khan later explains to Amir, this would have been a “shameful situation.” Infidelity and illegitimate children were taboo subjects. “All that a man had back then, all that he was, was his honor.” Baba was a rich, successful merchant and if word got out abut his affair, he and his family would be out-casts. So, to cover up his mistake, Baba lied and let Hassan grow up as the son of his servant father, a servant himself, and raised in Baba’s home. However, the guilt of the lie and betrayal haunted Baba for the rest of his life and prevents him from being a good father to Amir as he cannot demonstrate his affection for him because he feels guilty that he is not giving Hassan the same open affection and recognition. He is crippled by the lies that his social environment makes him decide to keep.

Amir grew up without the firm foundation of Baba’s love and support. He had always felt neglected by his father and this drove him to be selfish and cowardly. Baba was never proud of Amir and his interests. Baba felt guilty for showing Amir affection when he couldn’t do the same for Hassan; couldn’t even publicly acknowledge him as his son. Because of this, Amir was always craving attention and approval; he jumped at any chance to impress Baba. When the kite competition...