The events described in the novel The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini spread over a few decades, particularly from 1975 – when Amir is a twelve-year-old boy in Kabul – to 2001 – when Amir takes Sohrab to live with him and Soraya in the United States. The story is narrated by an adult Amir in March 2002, four days after he runs a kite for Sohrab.
The novel covers several important events in the history of Afghanistan. For example, the novel briefly looks at the fall of the monarchy, which is marked when Amir and Hassan overhear Baba and Rahim Khan listening and discussing the news of the military coup (Chapter 5, 10%).
The novel also looks at the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and its consequences. Although Amir and Baba take refuge in Pakistan in the 1980s and do not experience the Soviet rule firsthand, the novel hints at what is about to come: “You couldn’t trust anyone in Kabul any-more—for a fee or under threat, people told on each other, neighbor on neighbor, child on parent, brother on brother, servant on master, friend on friend” (Chapter 10, 9%).
The novel also covers the Taliban rule in Afghanistan. When Amir returns to Afghanistan to retrieve Sohrab, he is shocked to witness the poverty and destruction that have affected his country:
We had crossed the border and the signs of poverty were everywhere. On either side of the road, I saw chains of little villages sprouting here and there, like discarded toys among the rocks, broken mud houses and huts consisting of little more than four wooden poles and a tattered cloth as a roof. I saw children dressed in rags chasing a soccer b...