Settings in The Kite Runner

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This explores the significance of various settings in The Kite Runner.

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Settings in The Kite Runner

  1. 1. THE KITE RUNNER Setting and Characterisation
  2. 2. SETTING • How is setting important in narratives? • What are the different settings in The Kite Runner? • Could the Kite Runner be set in Bedworth?
  3. 3. Relationships innocence Racism Universal Themes ideas Courage War Love
  4. 4. Literature Political events Race Influences of Setting Culture Marriage
  5. 5. Afghanistan Afghanistan Kabul: The Alley Amir’s house Hazarajat Hasan’s House Kaka Gharja Lake Homayoun’s The house Kabul orphanage The Lorry The stadium Assef’s Office The Study Wahid’s house The Pomegranite tree Pakistan America Russia California Islamabad Golden Gate Bridge Russian Soldier The mosque The Market The hospital Peshawar Soraya’s house Views of Russia
  6. 6. AFGHANISTAN
  7. 7. All stories have settings. These may be real or fictional places, however, they all represent something. Baba paid for the construction of the two storey orphanage (p12)…We found the new orphanage …it was a flat barracksstyle building with splintered walls and windows boarded with planks of wood. (220) I went past the rosebushes to Baba‟s mansion…Hassan to the mud shack. I remember it was spare, clean, dimly lit by a pair of Kerosene lamps (p6) AFGHANISTAN Now the pitch was a mess. There were Assef‟s office holes and “there was a coffee craters table….The base was X everywhere, shaped, walnut sized brass most notably a balls studded the ring where pair of deep holes in the the metallic legs crossed”. ground…(234) We were upstairs in Baba‟s study, the smoking room…Then he lowered himself into the leather sofa…I watched him fill his glass at the bar.. I sat against one of the house‟s clay walls. The kinship I felt suddenly for the old land...it surprised me…I planted a fistful of money under the matress. Basement/Lorry The fuel tank was pitch black. (105106)..There were others in all about a dozen, including Baba and me sitting with our suitcases between our legs cramped with these strangers in the tarpaulin-covered cap of an old Russian truck (96-97).
  8. 8. We snaked our way among the merchants and the beggars wandered through the narrow alleys (p23) Hazarajat: The same day my father put Homaira and her family on a lorry and sent them off to Hazarajat. AFGHANISTAN We sat at a picnic table on the banks of the lake. The water was deep blue and sunlight glittered on its looking glass-clear surface. (p12) The Alley: Becomes a personal Metaphor. I smiled. “bas you donkey. No-one‟s sending you away…Do you want to go climb our tree…There was an old abandoned cemetery atop the hill with rows of unmarked headstones…There was a pomegranate tree near the entrance...(p24) I sat against one of the housr‟s clay walls. The kinship I felt suddenly for the old land...it surprised me…I planted a fistful of money under the matress. Afghanistan – “Returning to Kabul was like returning to an old, forgotten friend and seeing life hadn‟t been good to him. There were hedges that, in the summer, the gardener shaped like animals…could hear..the music the laughter. It shouldn’t have felt this way. Baba and I were finally friends.
  9. 9. All stories have settings. These may be real or fictional places, however, they all represent something. “America was different. America was a river, roaring along, unmindful of the past. PAKISTAN AND ISRAEL We listened to the call to prayer watched the building’s hundreds of lights come on as daylight faded. Islamabad: The architecture was more elegant too, more modern and I saw parks where roses and jasmine bloomed in the shadows of trees. I see Him here in the eyes of the people in this corridor of desperation. This is the real house of God….
  10. 10. AFGHANISTAN Afghanistan „What is Afghanistan‟ to Amir? How does he reflect on Afghanistan when he first moves to America? What changes in his perception of Afghanistan when he visits it again towards the end of the novel?
  11. 11. The trek between Kabul and Jalalabad, a bonejarring ride down a teetering pass snaking through the rocks, had become a relic now, a relic of two wars. Twenty years earlier, I had seen some of the first war with my own eyes. Grim reminders of it were strewn along the road: burned carcasses of old Soviet tanks, overturned military trucks gone to rust, a crushed Russian jeep that had plunged over the mountainside. The second war, I had watched on my TV screen. And now I was seeing it through Farid's eyes. (20.2) Ask him where his shame is. RUSSIA I overheard him telling Baba how he and his brother knew the Russian and Afghan soldiers who worked the checkpoints, how they had set up a "mutually profitable" arrangement. This was no dream. As if on cue, a MiG suddenly screamed past overhead. Karim tossed his cigarette and produced a handgun from his waist. Pointing it to the sky and making shooting gestures, he spat and cursed at the MiG. The end, the official end, would come first in April 1978 with the communist coup d'état, and then in December 1979, when Russian tanks would roll into the very same streets where Hassan and I played, bringing the death of the Afghanistan I knew and marking the start of a still ongoing era of bloodletting. (5.5)
  12. 12. "In Afghanistan, owning anything American, especially if it wasn't seconhand, was a sign of wealth." (69) "Baba dropped the stack of food stamps on her desk. "Thank you, but I don't want," Baba said. "I work always. In Afghanistan, I work, in America I work."" (1 San Francisco: the place I now called home. AMERICA For me, America was a place to bury my memories. For Baba, a place to mourn his. I overheard him telling Baba how he and his brother knew the Russian and Afghan soldiers who worked the checkpoints, how they had set up a "mutually The profitable" arrangement. This was no dream. As if on fruit was never sweet enough, the water cue, a MiG suddenly screamed past overhead. never clean enough, and where were all the trees and open fields? Karim tossed his cigarette and produced a handgun from his waist. Pointing it to the sky and making shooting gestures, he spat and cursed at the MiG.
  13. 13. AMERICA AND IDENTITY • America offers both a chance to form a new identity – teaching, writing etc. America as a place of freedom • In contrast, General Taheri and Baba lose the identity they had in Afghanistan. • They want to keep the traditional culture alive. The Afghan market, the General’s dislike of a ‘hazara boy’ in the house etc
  14. 14. AMERICA America “For me America was a place to bury my memories, for Baba a place to mourn his” In what way do Amir and Baba view America differently? How does moving to America alter their relationship?
  15. 15. PESHAWAR, PAKISTAN • Formally in Afghanistan/India. • Became part of India with the British rule. • Eventually this part of India became Pakistan. • The front line for refugees/terrorist training. • Shifting borders/identity
  16. 16. CLOSE ANALYSIS • Choose an extract from the novel and analyse the use of setting/place • Possible extracts • P4, 5, 24, 104, 109, 182, 190, 213, 228 • If you have chosen an extract in an earlier chapter of Afghanistan, compare it to later chapters. • Who describes the setting? Is it symbolic? Linked to a particular character? Description? Imagery? Mood?

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