Hosseini uses setting in the kite runner in various ways. It is a tool in showcasing the social division between Hazara and Pashtuns in Kabul and is also used to dramatise and add tension to the story.
An example of Hosseini adding tension through setting is Amir and Baba’s car journey from Kabul to Jalalabad. It is narrated by Amir in the present tense, as if he is there telling us what’s happening at that moment as opposed to the past tense narrative style that the remainder of the book is told in. The scene begins with ‘ We pulled up to the check point’ we are only limited to Amir’s view at the time, whilst Amir usually adds his thoughts for example just before Hassan gets raped, after his harelip has been fixed he says ‘…which was ironic. Because that was the winter Hassan stopped smiling’ there is no reflection of the past in this scene. There is no sense of omniscience and the reader feels for the first time that Amir is vulnerable and that he is real.
The scene continues with ‘Feet crushed gravel’ by using the word ‘feet’ instead of some ones feet or the Russian soldiers feet, Hosseini makes it impersonal and threatening, as if the feet do not belong to a human being with emotions. It also allows the reader to understand how Amir was feeling at the time, he knows that the feet belonged to the Russian soldier but he doesn’t tell us and by only including information he knew at the time we turn into Amir and we feel his fear.
The people in the car are clearly on edge, Hosseini shows us this through ‘a flicker of a lighter’, in order to hear it in the truck Amir and the other passengers must have been very quiet and listening out for anything threatening. The word ‘flicker’ is gentle and emphasises how still and alert they must have been. The deathly silence is broken by a ‘shrill cackling’ that scares Amir. There is an eerie...